Sunol Regional Park, Sunol
May 3, 1998

Original Announcement, Course Setter's Notes

Our annual Sunol event will be held Sunday May 3rd. We will use our 1991 five color 1:15,000 map which is one of the most detailed and accurate maps produced by the BAOC. Sunol Regional Park is relatively open with many interesting rock features.

I plan to set seven courses (including brown). There will be a remote start for advanced courses to help reduce the amount of climb. I will do my best to limit the amount of climb but remember, it is Sunol. I will also do my best to avoid poison oak (it should be in full bloom in May). Watch the BAYONET and BAOC Web page for course statistics and course setter’s notes. Registration opens at 9AM with start times from 10AM to 12:30PM. Beginners clinics are planned for 9:30 and 10:30. Help from advanced orienteers who cannot attend this meet but would be interested in vetting the courses is welcomed.

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 $3.50 parking fee and follow the O'signs to the registration area.

For additional information contact Gary Carpenter at 510-862-2978 or e-mail

Course Setter's Notes

Welcome to Sunol Regional Park...El Nino has bought a gorgeous wildflower display for your enjoyment while negotiating the steep terrain and avoiding poison oak. White, Yellow, Orange, Brown,Green, Red and Blue courses are offered today. If you have never tried orienteering before, we recommend that you try a White course first (you’ll probably have time for a Yellow course after you complete the White). There will be informal beginners clinics at 9:30 and 10:30 AM near the registration area. Ask for Dan Greene or Mike Poulsen.


Course   Length    Climb    Technical Difficulty   Physical difficulty
White    2.2km      90m           Novice                 Easy   
Yellow   2.5km     100m           Advanced Beginner      Easy
Orange   3.0km     195m           Intermediate           Moderate
Brown    3.0km     125m           Advanced               Moderate
Green    4.2km     250m           Advanced               Hard
Red      5.5km     340m           Advanced               Extremely Hard
Blue     6.6km     440m           Advanced               Gonzo Tough

There are map corrections for ALL courses. Please check the map correction board at the registration area. The Blue course has quite a bit of climb. If you’re a Blue runner but not into steep physical courses you may want to run Red today.


There is a remote start for the advanced courses (Brown through Blue). Follow the pink streamers across the bridge and up the dirt road (1.1 km, 130 m). It is a 20 to 25 minute hike from the registration area. There will be plenty of water at the start (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 the hike to the start.


There are map corrections for all courses. Some of the advanced map corrections affect the area around controls so be sure to check them. For those of us who were spoiled by the 1:10,000 5m contour pre-printed maps at Annadel Sunol will be a rude reminder of the steep terrain of the East Bay. Two closely spaced 7.5 meter contours can mean an uncrossable reentrant. The ground is wet in some areas and loose in others CLEATS are strongly recommended on all advanced courses.

The map is generally accurate however the mapping was done during a drought. As a result many features mapped as dry depressions or dry stock ponds are now full of water. Ponds shown on the map are typically much larger than when mapped. In addition, 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 try to avoid the worst of the poison oak however you will still encounter some on the courses. Most can be avoided by careful route choice. Full body covering and the use of Tecnu is recommended. Some of the paths mapped as “indistinct” are overgrown in places and there are many unmapped animal trails. Some of these can be useful to help contouring in steep terrain.


Most of the control markers for advanced courses will be on new stands about knee high (use the punches on top of the stands). Where the control feature is a point feature (boulder) the control is typically placed on the side of the feature opposite to the expected direction of approach.


Sunol park has the usual wilderness hazards which include poison oak, ticks carrying Lyme disease, rattlesnakes and steep loose terrain. There will be a First Aid Kit at the registration area.


I was just informed that there will be an equestrian group camping near the corral very close to our finish area. I will adjust the last couple of controls so as not to cross their campgrounds. Please note that the equestrians, as always, have the right-of-way. Try not to spook the horses.


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 have the full 3 hours to finish.

Gary Carpenter and Kelly Wells


To get to the park, take I-680 to the Calaveras Road exit near Sunol. Go south on Calaveras Rd. about six miles to Geary Rd. Turn left on Geary (there is no right turn) and continue on for a couple of miles to the park entrance. The parking fee has recently been raised to $3.50. Follow the O’signs to the registration area in the southeast end of the parking area (opposite end of the park from our November meet).

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