Sunday, June 2, 2002

Contact: Gary Carpenter, 925-862-2978

Welcome to Sunol Regional Wilderness! Join us today as we celebrate the end of spring and the inauguration of BAOC's newest OCAD map. The "standard 7" point-to-point courses are offered today: White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue. If you've never tried orienteering before, we recommend that you try a White course first. If you like it, you may have time for a Yellow course too. Registration opens at 9:00 am, with start times from 10:00-12:30. There will be informal clinics for beginners between 9:30 and 10:30 AM near the registration area.

Course statistics:

Course     Length    Climb     Technical Difficulty     Physical difficulty

White       2.2km      60m       Novice                   Easy
Yellow      2.6km     110m       Advanced Beginner        Easy
Orange      3.4km     160m       Intermediate             Moderate   
Brown       3.8km     270m       Advanced                 Moderate
Green       4.2km     320m       Advanced                 Tough
Red         5.8km     440m       Advanced                 Very tough
Blue        7.0km     540m       Advanced                 Almost unbearable

All course maps are pre-printed from OCAD. White and Yellow maps are printed at 1:7500 scale. All other maps are scaled at 1:10000. Electronic punching (e-punch) will be used on all courses except White and Yellow.

Remote start: There is a remote start for the advanced courses (Brown, Green, Red, Blue). Follow the pink streamers across the bridge and up the dirt road (1.0 km, 90 m) to the remote start assembly area. It is a 20 minute hike from the registration area. There will be plenty of water at the start assembly area (no need to bring your own). There are no toilet facilities at the remote start area. You can leave warm-ups at the start and we will arrange to transport them back to the finish area. The last start will be at 12:30 so please allow enough time for your hike to the start.

Terrain: The terrain at Sunol is STEEP. The contour interval is 7.5 meters. Two closely spaced 7.5 meter contours can mean an uncrossable reentrant. In most cases contouring around reentrants is advised. The ground is generally dry however it is steep and loose in some areas. CLEATS are strongly recommended on Orange and Advanced courses. There are lots of foxtails in the grassy areas so gaiters are suggested on all courses.

Map: Since the new map is basically a direct conversion of the old Sunol map, it does not reflect the 11 years of changes in terrain and man-made features that have taken place since the old map was printed. We've made a pretty good stab at updating the map in those areas traveresed by the White, Yellow, and Orange courses. But most outlying areas along the Advanced courses are essentially unchanged.

Don't be alarmed. You'll find the map to be generally accurate. However, it's useful to bear a few things in mind: There are many unmapped animal trails. Some of the mapped trails are overgrown and indistinct. Cattle trails in particular can be surprisingly well- defined and confusing in areas of mapped trails. Be careful not to mistake an unmapped trail for a mapped one. In areas where trails critical to the White and Yellow courses are overgrown, we have placed pink flagging to help define the path. There are also many unmapped dead/fallen trees (root stocks). Some of the vegetation has spread and thickened since it was mapped. Much of the ?green? (even the very light green) is poison oak. The courses have been designed to avoid the worst of the poison oak, but you'll still encounter some on the courses. Full body covering and the use of Tecnu is recommended.

Advanced course special advice: Considerable efforts have been made to steer the advanced courses away from Satan's salad (poison oak) and plunging reentrants. But of course total avoidance is simply not possible. If you do not recognize P.O. easily by sight, we would strongly recommend that you not run an Advanced course. When traversing any hillside shown as forested or vegetated on the map, our advice is to STAY HIGH! Lower parts of reentrants along hillsides such as these tend to be extremely steep (steeper than the map would suggest) and choked with veritable hedges of P.O. Don't try to be a hero, else you'll just end up as a limping, itching fool! A few areas where P.O. is particularly widespread have been marked in purple as "Bad P.O." on your map.

Control markers: Some of the control markers for advanced courses will be on stands about knee high. Most will be hanging from the branch of a tree or a bush. Where the control feature is a point feature (such as a boulder), the control is typically placed on the side of the feature opposite the expected direction of approach.

Hazards: Sunol Park has the usual wilderness hazards which include poison oak, ticks carrying Lyme disease, rattlesnakes and steep loose terrain. There are several fence crossings on the intermediate and advanced courses. Some of the fences have been repaired recently and are more difficult to scrooch under than in the past. Choose your crossing point carefully and beware of the barbed wire. There will be a First Aid Kit at the registration area.

Wildlife and fauna: Sunol Park has a variety of wildlife. This year the course setters have seen lots of wild pigs, flocks of turkeys, and two bobcats. Wildflowers are in bloom.

Equestrians: Sunol Park conducts trail rides near the beginning of the White And Yellow courses. Please note that the equestrians, as always, have the right-of-way. IF YOU ARE NEAR EQUESTRIANS, PLEASE WALK TO AVOID SPOOKING THE HORSES.

Safety: Every participant (or group) on every course must carry a whistle. Whistles will be available at registration for participants that don?t have one. Whistles should only be used in an emergency. Blow three short blasts at 1 to 2 minute intervals to signal that you need help.

The courses close at 2:00PM. Every participant must check in at the finish by 2 PM whether or not you finish your course. If you do not check in by 2PM we will assume you are lost or injured and a search party will be organized. If you think you may take a long time to finish a course, please start before 11 AM so you'll have the full 3 hours to finish.

Directions: To get to the park, take I-680 to the Calaveras Road exit near Sunol. Go south on Calaveras Road about six miles to Geary Road. Turn left onto Geary and continue for a couple of miles to the park entrance. Pay the parking fee and follow the O' signs to the registration area.