Indian Valley

Sunday, June 9, 2002

Contact: Gary Kraght, 415-383-4429

Indian Valley, part of the Marin County Open Space District, has some of the nicest orienteering terrain in the Bay Area. At its center is the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus, which is surrounded by nicely forested ridge and reentrant. Some areas are steep, particularly farther away from the campus, but the topography allows for interesting, creative course setting.

Well, The courses have been designed and streamered, and are now being vetted. Indian Valley is looking very pretty now, with still lots of flowers and green grass (under the trees).

We will have the standard seven courses: White (Beginner), Yellow (Advanced Beginner), Orange (Intermediate), and four advanced courses. Electronic punching will be used on Orange and the advanced courses, manual card punching will be used on White and Yellow. Scott Aster is the course setter.

Here are the course stats for you to help you decide which course to try. Course stats may change after the vetters report to me.

Course        Distance      Climb         Difficulty

White          1.7km          25m          easy /first timers course 
Yellow         3.0km         105m          advanced beginners/physically easy
Orange         3.3km         235m          intermediate/physically moderate
Brown          2.6km         145m          advanced/physically moderate
Green          3.8km         315m          advanced/physically moderate
Red            4.8km         410m          advanced/physically hard
Blue           5.8km         530m          advanced/physically very, very hard

Note: I calculated the climb based on my assumption that the optimal route is usually up & down rather than contouring (lots of large spurs and reentrants at Indian Valley). I recognize a chance of bias here, as my feet really hate to contour for any length of time. People who normally contour a lot may experience anywhere from 20 to 100 meters less climb than posted if they choose to primarily contour between controls.

Detailed notes will be available near registration, but I wanted to cover a few important details here.

First, the map is ten years old and thus is lacking in accuracy in a few places.

The biggest difference you will notice is the brand new, huge manicured, lighted, grandstanded, Soccer and Softball complex now existing in the flats to the northwest of the campus. The map shows this as it was 10 years ago, as open land, but it has changed greatly. Unfortunately, all of the courses pass close by these fields, so don't be confused! Secondly, most of the trails marked as "indistinct" on the map are badly overgrown and many have disappeared completely. Do not rely on these for your navigation. All major trails and roads are still there and are accurately mapped. When I say overgrown, I mean by grasses and leaves. The level of fight on the map has not changed appreciably since 1992.

Thirdly, I encountered lots of remnents of barbed wire fences, most of which are not shown on the map. I have marked one such remnent with streamer, so participants don't blunder into it (on a likely route choice), but there are many others out there. Be careful!

I have set out extra water on all courses save White, but you may still want to carry water with you if it is a hot day.

Remember, this is your last opportunity to get in some training before the A meet at the end of June!

If the weather is good, you may want to consider bringing a picnic lunch. Indian Valley has spacious green lawns next to the registration area, a very pleasant locale to hang out with your orienteering buddies. See you there!

Registration will be at the customary location near the campus pool. Registration is open from 9AM to noon, with starts available from 10AM to 12:30. Beginners clinics will be available from 9:30 until 10:30. All courses close at 2PM, and control stands will be picked up at that time.


To get to Indian Valley, take Highway 101 through Marin County to southern Novato and exit at Ignacio Blvd. Head west on Ignacio. Go all the way until Ignacio Blvd. terminates at the Indian Valley campus entrance. Follow the campus road to its end and park in the huge parking lot.