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Almaden QuickSilver — Golden Goat

Date: (Sun.) Nov. 20, 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Directors: - 650.248.9595, - 408.348.1282
Course Setter: Vladimir Gusiatnikov
Type: Extra long and strenuous courses; NO BEGINNER COURSES

The Bay Area Orienteering Club invites you to the 10th anniversary of the Golden Goat. We return to the famous hills and mines of Almaden Quicksilver, near the town of New Almaden, made famous in Stegner's "Angle of Repose".

But this year, the event center will be at the new parking lot at the intersection of Hicks and Woods Roads. (That's just north of the entrance to the Sierra Azul Open Space.) There is a hard limit to the number of cars we can park there — 40 max. Thus, we will require parking passes and carpooling, most likely from the lower lot at New Almaden.

The good news is that the event center is within 200 feet of the highest elevation in the park. The bad news is that Vladimir will probably send you to the highest point via a much lower route.

What is a Goat? It's a long orienteering race with a mass start, for teams and individuals, plus some twists like skips and a fork. It's suitable for those in good shape with intermediate to advanced navigation ability. There will be two lengths, the Goat and the Kid.

NOTE: As an exception to normal club policy, there will NOT be any courses for beginning orienteers at this event. We apologize for having to do this, but it's necessary to satisfy the constraints placed on the event by the park.


Pre-registration is required for the Goat and the Kid.

To be sure we have a map and T-shirt for you, please pre-register for the Kid or Goat via email by November 4 to the . Include your team name (optional), and the name, sex, age, club, and T-shirt size of each member. Multiple entrants per email are fine, just be specific about who is doing what course in addition to the registration info.

You can pay at registration or send a check payable to BAOC to:

402 Bella Vista Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95032

The registration fee of $23 for the Goat or Kid includes a 10th- anniversary edition Golden Goat (white cotton short-sleeve) T-shirt that is sure to be a collector's item. You can see the design at:

If you do not want a T-shirt, you may register for $10.

The vendor will give us a discount with free shipping for quantity orders. Thus we encourage you to include the T-shirt order in your registration fee:

   Goat/Kid fee:      $10
   T-Shirt:           $13  (please provide your size, S/M/L/XL)
   TOTAL:             $23

By ordering your T-shirt with registrion you save $13, since the quantity-one price of the T-shirt is $20, plus $6 shipping. However, you can order directly from the vendor, and you can get the same design on coffee mugs, mousepads, etc.

After November 4, we will accept email registrations for the Goat/Kid only (no T-shirt) up to Thursday, November 17.

We will ask you to sign the release form at registration.

We will not have electronic punching for this event.

Watch this page and the BayONet for updates. Later, we will post information about parking passes and carpools, to ensure that we do not exceed the permit requirements regarding cars at the lot on Woods/Hicks Road.

Please send your registration now!

The entries as of November 13 are listed here.


The following information has been added on October 30:

See the November 13 update for more information.

Course Statistics

The mass start for the Goat and Kid is at 10:30 am. Both courses close at 2:00 pm.

The following information has been added on November 10 by the course setter:

The Goat, as measured along the course setter's preferred fork and without skips, is 11.7 km with 910 m of climb. The actual route taken by the winner will have about 6.5% of climb. This percentage is somewhat less than the climb honestly measured on a typical BAOC course. As we start high, expect a lot of the climb to come very late in the course. The Kid is 6.9 km with 590 m of climb. Compared to the 2003 Goat at the same location, the Goat is longer and the Kid is shorter. I expect the best club runner to take 110 minutes for the Goat, ±5 minutes.


Runners on the Goat can skip two controls; those on the Kid can skip one. Choose your skips carefully! The right choice can make the difference between winning and losing.


The Goat course will have one forked control. Of two controls, you only need to find one. For example, from control 8 the course could fork to 9a and 9b. Choose one, and go to it before moving on to number 10. Or, choose control 9 as one of your skips.


The following information has been added on November 10 by the course setter:

There will be a single loop for the Goat, no map exchange and no intermediate appearance in the finish area. (Believe me, you don't really want to climb the hill to the finish twice.) Unlike in 2003, you do not have to decide which course (Goat or Kid) to run beforehand. The Kid is a shortcut marked on the Goat maps. Do, however, remember that if you have already skipped two controls, you have to continue on with the full Goat. The Kid only has one skip.

Map/symbol notes will be provided. Please read them carefully.


Almaden Quicksilver has terrain typical of other BAOC venues — steep rolling hills with oak forests intermixed with grass clearings. There is a bit of poison oak, especially if you decide to take a creative route to a control. In the autumn, this is in its least potent state.

Locals tend to favor cleats for climbing and descending slippery grass slopes, and gaiters for minimizing contact with stickers and burrs.

Elevations range between 600' and 1800'.

Driving Directions

From north of San Jose, take highway 85 south to Almaden Expressway. Go south on Almaden Expressway 4.5 miles to Almaden Road. Go right on Almaden Road though the town of New Almaden and look for the large parking lot on the right. This is the best place to form carpools up to the event center at Woods and Hick Road. Do not park on the south side of Hicks Road. Also, the Sierra Azul Open Space lot is off limits for event parking. There are almost no options for parking along the north side of Hicks Road, either. This is why we'll closely allocate parking places to pre-registered participants who have parking passes, and cars with multiple (3 or more) occupants. Keep in mind that this saves you a 900-foot climb to the first control.  ;-)

From south of San Jose, take 85 north to Almaden Expressway, or take Monterey Highway to Bailey Avenue, right on McKean Road, and left on Almaden Road. See above for parking restrictions.