SugarLoaf Mountain, San Mateo

Wednesday, August 25, 1999 (Practice Session)

by Mark Prior

This evening's practice session will be held at SugarLoaf Mountain in San Mateo. You have a choice of a 60-minute or 90-minute score-O. There will be a mass start at 6:15 p.m. for both courses, and another at 6:45 p.m. for 60-minute participants who can't arrive earlier. You may start after 6:45 if desired, but the course closes at 7:45 pm, so you won't have the full hour to find the controls. Each control will be worth one point, with each minute late being a one point penalty.

This new color map is the result of a personal effort to learn OCAD. With a USGS topo base map and a partial attempt to document vegetation, it should be sufficient for some technical off-trail O'. I have made a copy of the latest map available if you want a preview (editor: bad link to "" has been removed).

The park itself is a small patch of steep hillside nestled in the suburban hamlet of San Mateo. For those familiar with highway 92 between 101 and 280, you will recognize this "mountain" as the barren hilltop directly southeast of the W. Hillsdale exit. The park's topography consists of a single, circular hill with trails both surrounding and climbing (straight) up the hill. These trails are, by and large, extremely faint and extremely steep. Approximately half of the 13 controls will be placed on trails, but the most aggressive competitors will find themselves avoiding the steep trails, braving, instead, the vegetation and poor mapping to use the hill's contours.

This event is for intermediate and advanced orienteers only, although folks will never be more then a mile from the start. Depending upon one's route, poison oak is an issue; please take the appropriate precautions. Cleated shoes are recommended, although not necessary.

Controls will be full-size O' bags with a two-letter code. Please bring a pen to document these and an optional $1 donation for the map. I ask that all those planning to attend drop me a quick e-mail so I can bring the proper number of maps. We will take advantage of the suburban location to eat and drink after the event.


Take either 101, 280, or 880 to highway 92. From 280, head east. All others, head west. Once on 92, take the Hillsdale Exit east (away from San Mateo College) and proceed about 100 meters. Make a right on Glendora Dr., heading down a steep hill. Proceed about one mile on Glendora until its intersection with Cherrywood Dr. Laurelwood Park (which is adjacent to SugarLoaf Mtn.) will be on your left. There should be ample parking on the street. The start will be located on the large grass field that is part of Laurelwood Park.

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