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Calero County Park

Date: (Sun.) Oct. 19, 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.996.8749
Course Setters: Shura Kretchetov, Alex Finch
Type: B; Standard seven courses

Course Setters' Notes

By Alex Finch and Shura Kretchetov

Welcome to the Bay Area Orienteering Club's annual event at beautiful Calero Park. This year's event has the standard set of seven courses, with these details:

   Course    Distance    Climb    Navigation      Terrain, Physical Effort
   White      2.9 km     180 m    Beginner        Mostly Trails, Easy
   Yellow     2.9 km     180 m    Adv. Beginner   Mostly Trails, Easy
   Orange     3.1 km     275 m    Intermediate    Off-trail, Moderate
   Brown      3.3 km     245 m    Advanced        Off-trail, Moderate
   Green      4.1 km     335 m    Advanced        Off-trail, Hard
   Red        5.2 km     430 m    Advanced        Off-trail, Hard
   Blue       6.3 km     495 m    Advanced        Off-trail, Very Hard


Course participants should expect the usual schedule for local events:

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

Start and Finish Locations

The parking and registration area has portable toilets. Water will be available at registration, the Start and the Finish.

The Start is a 1-km walk from the parking and registration area, so allow 15-20 minutes. Proceed 1 km following streamers on the trail that enters the park directly opposite the registration area. On the way you will pass the Finish area near the small pond. Continue on until you get to the Start area at the next trail junction.

All courses start at the same spot. White maps should be picked up at Registration. Yellow and Orange maps are located at the Start punch. Advanced runners will punch Start and then follow streamers around the corner to the Brown/Green/Red/Blue maps.


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


With the dry weather, the matted grasses, fallen leaves, 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 White and Yellow courses.

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 assorted minor burrs and stickers, we recommend long pants for the off-trail courses.

Rattlesnakes are present in the park. In most cases they will avoid humans, so you should not have a problem. However, if you are bitten by a rattlesnake, sit down, blow your whistle, and let other orienteers help you.

The Orange and advanced courses will need to cross some barb wire. Often this can be done in places where the fences have gaps. In some of those places there is barb wire on the ground, so watch your step. We have streamered some of the loose barb wire in spots that you might encounter to help with visibility. People on the White and Yellow courses should not climb over any barbed wire fences. Any place you need to cross a fence will have openings.

Course Notes

Calero is very hilly and the course climb statistics are high. We have tried to compensate for this by making the courses shorter.

All controls are on well-defined point features with emphasis on route choice and execution.

The White course will leave the trail for a little while and follow a well-defined handrail.

The Yellow course follows the same general path as the White course, so you are likely to pass a number of White controls. Make sure you check the control numbers on the bags when you punch.

The Orange course will give you a good taste of what Bay Area hills can be like. If you are not wearing cleats, take your time on the downhills—the leaves and grasses can be very slippery. Remember that a ridge is a good handrail, and enjoy your time in the trees.

While the climb is high on the advanced courses, it is broken up. There is a mix of short and long legs, route choice and execution, climb, and runnability. As with most of our maps, keep in mind that the accuracy of the vegetation goes down over time. This is particularly true at the far end of the Blue course where the course turns around.

There are 2 water controls for the Blue and Red courses, 2 for Green and Orange (but they are back to back), and 1 for the Brown, Yellow, and White courses. The water stop for Yellow is not at a Yellow control, but you will go right by it. Depending on the temperature, and your expected time on the course, you may consider carrying additional water.


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. Contours do not show the deeply eroded reentrants that can make contouring difficult, particularly on the lower portions of the hillsides.

The map uses a 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.

For standing stumps and dead trees, the map uses a green "X" symbol.

The Calero map also contains several instances of a standard IOF symbol that is not commonly used in the Bay Area: a line of small black dots in a white area. These lines of black dots mark a change in vegetation (e.g., transition in type of trees). BAOC orienteers are used to seeing these around patches of green, or in small circles marking a redwood circle, but not in more free-form lines in white areas, where they are easily confused with lines of brown dots that mark dry ditches.

We hope you enjoy the courses!

Your event organizers,

Alex Finch
Shura Kretchetov
Tapio Karras