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Calero County Park

Date: (Sun.) Sep. 24, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Directors: - 408.732.4818, - 408.996.8749
Course Setters: Dan Greene, Tapio Karras, Bill Strauss
Type: B; Regular 7-course BAOC event

Event Directors' and Course Setters’ Notes

Welcome to the Bay Area Orienteering Club's annual event at beautiful Calero Park. This year's event has a standard set of 7 courses (White through Blue) with these details:

 Course  Distance  Climb   Navigation      Terrain
 White    3.7 km   115 m   Beginner        Trails, Easy
 Yellow   3.2 km   140 m   Adv. Beginner   Mostly Trails, Easy
 Orange   3.8 km   345 m   Intermediate    Off-trail, Moderate
 Brown    3.6 km   205 m   Advanced        Off-trail, Moderate
 Green    4.9 km   305 m   Advanced        Off-trail, Hard
 Red      5.8 km   365 m   Advanced        Off-trail, Very Hard
 Blue     7.6 km   495 m   Advanced        Off-trail, Extremely Hard

White, Yellow, and Blue participants should consult the individual course notes below before choosing a course.


Course participants should expect the usual schedule for local events. That is, registration opens at 9:30am, starts from 10:00am - 12:30pm, beginner's clinics from 9:30am - 10:30am. Courses close at 2:00pm.

Important: Please remember that courses close at 2:00pm. And, even if you don't complete your course, please be sure to check-in at the Finish and download your e-punch so that we know you have returned, and do not initiate a search for you.

Start and Finish Location

The Start and Finish are both short walks from the parking and registration area. Proceed 400 meters on the trail that enters the park directly opposite the registration area, until you see the Start and Finish areas on either side of the trail.


All courses will be using electronic punching. If you do not already own an e-punch stick you can rent one at registration. Please remember to check-in at the e-punch station near registration before you do your course, and also remember to download your e-punch stick after you complete your course. (Please download and return your rented e-stick even if you do not complete your course. This will help us determine that everyone has finished.)


With the dry weather, the matted grasses and loose soils can be slippery. Please be careful. We recommend O-shoes or cleats on the intermediate and advanced courses, and shoes with good traction for the Yellow course.

There is a moderate amount of poison oak in the park. It is very dry this time of year, which will reduce the risk of getting an allergic reaction, but without leaves, poison oak can be hard to identify. If you have doubts, we recommend that you wash with something like Tecnu after the event.

Because of the poison oak, as well as other minor assorted burrs and stickers, we recommend long pants.

Course Notes

The runnability this year is exceptionally good, as the tall grass has already fallen.

White Course

The White course is the easiest course, and is recommended for beginners. It will follow trails, and all the White controls will be next to the trail. The navigation will require making the correct turns at the trail junctions. It is a good opportunity to learn all the symbols and mapping conventions of an Orienteering map, but it will only require being able to read and follow the roads and trails. The White course is slightly longer than normal, due to the trail patterns in this park, but is should be possible to finish it in roughly 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Yellow Course

The Yellow course is also a beginner course. The route will follow road, trails, and similar linear features like fences and streams. When a Yellow route follows a stream or fence, there will always be an alternative (navigationally safer) route following a road or trail. Unlike the White course, the controls on Yellow will be slightly off the road or trail, and less visible, so it will be possible to walk by a control if you are not navigating correctly. The Yellow course is a good opportunity to learn to read the contour lines on the map. These lines represent the shapes of the hills and valleys, and can be very helpful for navigation; however, since the course follows linear features, reading contours is not necessary to complete the Yellow course.

All Advanced Courses

Calero is very hilly and the course climb statistics at Calero are high. We’ve tried to compensate by making the courses shorter, and we’ve taken advantage of the hills to create some interesting route-choice legs. However, it’s not all route choice; thanks to a relatively new map we have also been able to use more technical features, so we expect some of the controls to be very challenging.

Blue Course

The Blue course is extremely difficult this year, primarily due to the high climb, and single, long, route-choice leg. We’re expecting that the winning time will still be less than 90 minutes, so technically it should be considered a standard USOF Blue course, but this will only be because the USOF standards are particularly flexible for Blue course length. If you regularly have trouble finishing the Blue course (in the 3 hours allowed), Red would be a better choice at this event.

The Blue course has some route choices near the edge of the lake, and the level of the lake has fallen. For fairness, we will offer some advice on running near the lake, but this discussion should not be interpreted as our necessarily believing that the best route is near the lake; only that we expect routes near the lake will be under consideration along with other routes not close to the lake. Fairness requires us to supply information that is otherwise missing from the map.

The lake level is lower than is shown on the map by 2-3 meters. This means that in the shallow reentrants the lake has receded 10 – 20 meters. We’ve marked the amount of receding with purple lines on these inlets.

When the lake recedes it uncovers land that is unmapped. On the average this land should be considered rough open, but there is some variation. Some spots are "open" and extremely runnable. This generally applies when the shore nearby is also flat and open. In other places this land is rocky and should be marked as rocky ground. Running would be slower than rough open. This generally applies when the shore nearby on the map is steeper.


Most of the Calero map has been remapped by Zoron Krivokapic. All the courses will be entirely on the new map, except the Blue course which will have controls on the older portion of the map. The maps are printed at a 1:10,000 scale with 25-foot (~7.5 m) contour intervals. Control descriptions are printed on the front of the maps.

Because the entire map has 25-foot contour intervals, there is some loss of detail in the contour information, even in the newly mapped areas that have very accurate vegetation and point-feature detail. The contours do not show the deeply eroded reentrants that can make contouring difficult, particularly on the lower portions of the hillsides.

The new map follows IOF mapping standards with the exception of Zoron's innovative "green T" symbol to mark fallen trees. The symbol is oriented to point the direction of the fallen tree trunk. You will find this useful in identifying down trees. Note that the "green T" symbol has a fixed size, thus it only indicates the direction of the trunk, not its length. On the control description this will appear as a lone tree modified by the ruined symbol.

Standing stumps and dead trees have been encoded on the control description with the rootstock symbol, and appear on the map as a green X (new portion of the map) or a brown X (old portion of the map).

Green and Red Courses

Your map will show an outrageous multi-control dogleg. It’s not as bad of a dogleg as it seems, but care should be taken to read the map properly and visit the controls in the correct order, otherwise the e-punch system will declare a mispunch.

Blue Course

On the Blue course, the two northernmost controls are on the older part of the map. The mapping is still very good in this area, but you will notice differences in quality and in mapping conventions. On the older parts of the map, a fallen tree showing roots in the air is mapped as a "brown X". A fallen tree without visible roots, or a standing dead tree, is mapped as a "green X". Many of these have deteriorated with time and may not be large enough to warrant mapping.

We hope you enjoy the courses!

Your event organizers,

Dan Greene
Tapio Karras
Bill Strauss