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Indian Valley Open Space Preserve

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 27, 2008
Location: Novato, CA
Event Director: - 415.895.6039
Course Setters: Scott Aster, Heidi Whalen
Type: C; White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, and Sprint courses (part of Spring Sprint Series)

Please note that fees and time limits apply, unless otherwise mentioned below. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Note: This event will be part of the BAOC Spring Sprint Series, with the finale to be held at Golden Gate Park on May 17th.

Our first North Bay event of 2008 will be at the College of Marin Indian Valley campus on Sunday, April 27. This is peak wildflower season, and the meadows around Indian Valley will be blooming. We will be using the college campus and land, which includes nice flower-filled meadows and hills north of the campus and oak-covered hills south of the campus, the campus trail network, and even some interesting gullies.

White (beginner), Yellow (advanced beginner), Orange (intermediate), Brown (technical advanced), and Sprint (the name says it all) courses will be offered. All the courses will use E-punch. For those who are thinking of doing a Sprint plus another course, it is recommended that you do the Sprint course first.

The college assures us that, unlike last year, there will be no major swim meets scheduled on the same day. So bring a picnic lunch, and join us on the lawn afterwards.

The start and finish will be very close to registration and the e-punch table, which will be next to the pool in our usual spot. Unlike last year, we have been promised by the college that there will not be a major swim meet going on alongside us.

For people considering doing the Sprint and another course, it is recommended that you do the Sprint as your first course.

  Course       Distance      Climb     Controls
  White         1.8 km        35 m        8
  Yellow        3.0 km        80 m       10
  Orange        4.0 km       180 m       11
  Brown         3.6 km       160 m       12
  Sprint        2.9 km        55 m       15

Registration opens at 9:00 and closes at 12:00. A short, repeating, beginners clinic will be available from approximately 9:30 until 11:30, depending on demand. All courses close at 2:00 PM, and controls will be picked up at that time. Please honor the course closure time, come to the Finish, and check in with the epunch crew, even if you have not completed your course by 2 PM.

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Course Setter's Notes

By Scott Aster, Course Setter (Brown & Sprint Courses), 4/26/08

This Sunday should be a great day at Indian Valley. Full course setters' notes will be available when you register, but here are some important tips for the day.

Orange course entrants only: The campus has erected a chain link construction fence across a likely route between two of your controls. This fence is not mapped. Follow the fence in either direction to get around it. Do not climb this fence!

The Brown course will definitely challenge your technical skills to a high degree, while taking it easier on the physical effort. I have kept the climb relatively low without sacrificing a tough technical course.

I have had a great deal of fun designing the Sprint course. I encourage everyone to try it, as I have wound the course rather whimsically around the map, sending you over, under, and through features normally not visited on any orienteering course. Definitely check the modifiers on your clue sheet! If you don't, you will reach several control features and not see the control!

There are few hazards at Indian Valley, and the terrain footing is pretty good. Trail running shoes should be sufficient for most people on the courses. There is some poison oak (PO) on the map, though the courses stay away from the worst of it, and what you will encounter is easy to avoid. The PO at Indian Valley grows low to the ground, from 3 inches to 24 inches high at most, and I have moved a couple controls to minimize possible contact.

I have twice now seen a rattlesnake soaking up the sun on a rock near a Brown control. He has paid no attention to me and I'm sure he would appreciate it if you don't step on him. Keep your eyes open!

Indian Valley has a couple of nice perks we don't always have at our other venues: a huge parking lot, drinking fountains, flush toilets, and access to the swimming pool's locker room and showers! There is also a large lawn area, great for picnics after your course.

One last note for the adventurous. All five courses are almost completely independent of each other as far as controls go (almost none shared between courses), a good opportunity to do more than one course, or try all five!

See you on Sunday!

Driving Directions

To get to the Indian Valley campus, take Highway 101 through Marin County to southern Novato, and exit at Ignacio Blvd. Go west on Ignacio Blvd as far as you can go, where it terminates at the College of Marin Indian Valley campus entrance. Follow the campus road to its end, and park in the huge parking lot. Registration will be next to the swimming pool—the same spot we have used in the past.