Montebello Open Space Preserve

Palo Alto
Sunday, September 22, 2002

contact Debra LaVergne at

On Sunday, September 22, we will run the full set of 7 courses with a hard yellow course as an extra. The hard yellow course will be more technically challenging than the regular yellow, but less than orange, and at the same physical level as yellow. E-punch will be used for the 4 advanced courses, paper punch for white through orange.

Three beginner courses will be held on the Skyline Ridge map, including a non-standard `harder yellow' course for those who are feeling a little more adventurous. The courses all go through the `Christmas Tree' plantation; the cultivated areas are shown as a yellow area with dark green stripes. The direction of the stripes indicates the direction of planting.

Course stats:

                Distance    Controls    Terrain

White            2700m        18        Trails
Yellow           2225m        13        Mostly Trails
Harder Yellow    2525m        15        Mostly Trails,
Optional X-country

The remaining five courses will be held on the Montebello map. The walk to the start is approximately 1.5k from the parking lot - mostly downhill. Allow about 15 minutes.

        Distance  Controls Climb  Navigational  Physical
                                  Difficulty    Difficulty

Orange  3275m      12      225    Moderate      Moderate
Brown   3850m      10      275    Hard          Moderate
Green   4550m      12      300    Hard          Hard
Red     6150m      14      400    Hard          Very Hard
Blue    7200m      16      475    Hard          Brutal


Registration and the download station will be at the parking lot we always use. Start and finish for the white, yellow and hard yellow courses will be close to the parking lot. There will be a remote start for orange and advanced courses, about a 20 minute walk from the parking lot. The finish will be at the usual place.


White, yellow and hard yellow will be on a new map and will use the trail network on the west side of Skyline (where the parking lot is). Their start and finish points will be close to the parking lot.

Orange and advanced courses will use the existing map showing the east side of Skyline. The finish will be at the usual place, but the remote start will be a 20 minute walk in along the White Oak Trail.

The Montebello map will be printed at 1:10000. All symbols are standard. Some gullies have been mapped using the IOF symbol for `erosion gully' (a thick brown line) whilst others have been indicated by use of contour lines. The control description sheets use the symbol for gully, even if the feature is shown as a long narrow re-entrant on the map.

Course setter notes

Montebello is a very physical area. All five advanced courses will be required to traverse streams and gullies that may be difficult or even dangerous to cross in certain places. All competitors are advised to exercise caution and good judgment when deciding where to cross these obstacles. As always, all competitors should carry whistles to be used in the event of difficulty.

Red and Blue courses have one very tough climb, which could be debilitating in very hot weather. Competitors on these courses are here reminded of the high level of physical fitness required to complete these courses and are referred to the comments below on the importance of adequate fulid intake.

Poison Oak is light and avoidable on all courses. However, the star thistle is bad in places and full body cover (including gaiters) is highly recommended. Significant portions of the advanced courses cover open ground and are subject to the full glare of the sun. Staying hydrated will be especially important if the weather is at all hot. Please ensure that you take on board adequate fluid for the conditions on the day of the event, both at the start and at the water stops on the course. Those of you who normally use Sun block are advised to bring it to this event!

Finally, several controls (entire legs in fact) will be visible from the finish area. Once you have completed your course, sit back with a pair of binoculars and watch your fellow orienteers in action on the slopes of Montebello.


Skyline Blvd entrance: Take Page Mill Road from 280 to Skyline Blvd. (about 10 miles), and turn left at the stop sign. Go about one mile down the road and turn right into the parking lot for Skyline OSP. Park in the lot to the left (the equestrian lot).

From 101, take the Embarcadero Road/Oregon Expressway exit and go west on Oregon Expressway until it becomes Page Mill Road at El Camino Real, then continue on Page Mill Road until it undercrosses 280 and you can apply the directions above.

Meet officials

Meet director: Debra LaVergne,, (650) 856-2470 (evening), (408) 463-2428 (work)
Course setters: Russ Green (advanced) and Dean French (white through orange).

Montebello is getting close! Helpers are needed for starts, finishes, beginner clinics and everything else! Please send a note to if you would be interested in helping.