Table of contents

O in the Oaks '08

Joseph D. Grant County Park

Date: Nov. 14 - 16, 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.568.6740
Course Setters: François Léonard, Kent Ohlund, Dan Greene, Nick Corsano
Type: A; Full-featured "A" meet, including U.S. Trail Orienteering Championships

Event Notes

Note: The material on this page will be distributed as part of the printed packet that all registrants will receive. Much of what is here has already been on the meet's main page (though sometimes in a different format), but some of it is new. Should any further information need to be disseminated, it will appear on the Late-Breaking News page.

Driving into the Park

There is a daily use fee of $6 per day per auto. We have made a special arrangement with the park whereby you can purchase passes for several days at once. We strongly urge you to purchase all the passes you need when you first enter the park. This will greatly facilitate the flow of vehicles into the park on subsequent days. Of course, having exact change helps, too.

On Sunday we will be utilizing buses to shuttle people up to and back from a remote part of the park. On their return route, these buses have to come through the main park entrance, the same entrance where you purchase your parking pass (or, hopefully, where you flash the one you have already purchased). There is a lane on the left side of the parking kiosk that is ordinarily closed but that will be open on Sunday only for the buses. Please stay to the right as you enter so that the buses will be able to access this left lane.


The assembly area will be the Stockman's Group Area, at the end of the main road from the park entrance (about 800 m). The registration station and the epunch station will be set up near the picnic tables, and will remain in the same location for all three days. There is a nearby building with flush toilets, and another such building 300 m to the west. There are several porta-potties in the vicinity. There are also several drinking fountains and water spigots.

On Sunday, a single porta-potty is available at the remote shuttle drop-off point on Sunday. Finding privacy at the remote Start will be a challenge.

On Friday, the Start is about 80 m from the registration station and is in plain view. The Finish is about 500 m away and is out of sight.

Saturday's foot-O Start is about 500 m from registration. Follow small red flags on thin, foot-high wires to get there. You will see the Finish on the way to the Start. (Small orange flags mark the route from the last control to the Finish.)

Saturday's trail-O Start is about 800 m from registration. Follow small yellow flags to this Start. For details, see the notes for the U.S. Trail Orienteering Championships.

The Start and Finish for Sunday's White and Yellow courses are right next to each other and about 70 m from registration.

Sunday's Orange through Blue competitors must take a shuttle bus to the Start and then back from the Finish. More on this below.

Shuttle Buses

On Sunday, shuttle buses will take you to a more remote area of the park for the Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue courses, and then take you back when you are finished with your course. The shuttle pick up point is in the heart of the assembly area. The relationship of the remote Start and Finish to the shuttle drop off point is described in the Course Setter's Notes for Sunday. When returning, you pick up the shuttle at the same place where it dropped you off. Shuttles will run approximately every 15 minutes starting at 8:00 AM. The last returning shuttle will leave the remote area at approximately 1:40 PM. If you have not finished your course in time to catch the last shuttle, meet workers will be available to drive you back to the assembly area.

Note: White and Yellow competitors should not get on a shuttle bus.

Start Procedure

We expect to use a Chronomix clock displaying the current meet time at the Start each day. The clock will be set to beep at regular intervals: every minute on Friday, and every two minutes on Saturday and Sunday. The start procedure will be tied to these beeps, as follows:

<Beep> Your name is called two minutes prior to your start time on Friday, four minutes prior on Saturday and Sunday. You report to the call-up line. A meet worker will ask you to insert your e-stick into a special Check unit. This is an important step, as it will provide us a record of exactly who went out and when.
<Next beep> You proceed to the Start triangle. There you put your name and bib number on the back of the map in the box that is appropriate for your course. Leave the map in the box.
<Third beep> Punch the Start unit, pick up your map, and off you go.

There's no need to memorize the above; the start crew will guide you through each step. This is here just so you'll know what to expect.

Event Director's Map Notes

The maps for Friday's foot-O and Saturday's trail-O are printed at 1:5000. All other maps are printed at 1:10000. All maps employ a 5-m contour interval.

The maps used for each of the three days differ somewhat from one another. For instance, Saturday's map uses green X's and brown X's, but no green T's; Sunday's map uses green X's and green T's, but no brown X's; Friday's map uses none of those three, but employs two different sizes of green circles. (Note: Saturday's U.S. Trail Orienteering Championships uses the same map as Friday's foot-O events.) The maps have in common the difficulty of distinguishing what is represented by groups of closely packed green circles from what is represented by small patches of white. See below, as well as the individual Course Setter's Notes, for more on these topics.

Friday's map (printed at 1:5000) has been modified to conform more closely to international standards for sprints. Small green dots very accurately represent individual bushes. This map differs from international standards, however, in its representation of small vs. large distinctive trees. Green circles of approximately the size you are used to seeing on 1:10000 maps represent small distinctive trees, usually no more than 5 m high and not having branches that you can stand under. Large distinctive trees are represented by noticeably larger green circles.

There are streams on the maps for all four events. However, these streams are completely dry; indeed, in over two decades of coming to this park I have never seen water running in them. They really should be mapped as seasonal streams. In any case, they appear to be more like gullies. They usually have steep banks and a deep channel in the center. All courses have been designed so that, on reasonable route choices that require crossing a stream, there will be decent places to cross. Always look for such a place; don't take unnecessary chances. One observation: it is generally relatively easy to cross a stream at a stream junction.

Again, see the notes provided by the individual course setters for more information about the maps.

Safety Bearings

Friday: West Saturday (Foot-O): North Saturday (Trail-O): West Sunday (White & Yellow): West Sunday (Orange through Blue): East to fire road on open ridge, then South to parking lot

Avoid Ponds

A biological study is underway in the park concerning micro-organisms in ponds. We have been asked by the rangers to avoid all ponds. Some of Sunday's courses will take you past a pond. There is no logical reason why you would want to go through this pond, but if your oxygen starved brain for some reason starts contemplating taking you through this muddy pit, please fight the urge.


There is plenty of poison oak in this park but we have taken great care to keep the courses in areas where there is little or none of it. Still, you may pass near an occasional small patch. If you are sensitive to poison oak, please take the usual precautions.

The park has an amazingly remote feel for being only a few miles from a major metropolitan area. This feeling is enhanced by the presence of many wild animals. They are likely to stay away from you, but be cautious should you encounter any of them. You will probably see some ground that has been torn up by feral pigs. I have not seen any of the pigs themselves this year, but in the past I have on occasion been startled by something very large suddenly scurrying through nearby brush. The pigs are generally heading away from you, but it can still be disconcerting for a moment.

The most significant hazards in the park are the steep ravines. We have gone to great lengths to avoid dangerous areas. Nevertheless, the longer courses (Green and above) on Saturday and all the courses in the remote area on Sunday will have you crossing a few ravines (mapped as streams). There are always good places to cross; exercise care and good judgment in seeking such a place.

Meet Personnel

Event Director:             Dennis Wildfogel
U.S. Trail Orienteering
  Championships Director:   Gary Kraght
Registrar:                  Marsha Jacobs
Course Setters, Foot-O:     Francois Leonard (Friday)
                            Kent Ohlund (Saturday),
                            Dan Greene (Sunday Orange through Blue)
                            Dennis Wildfogel (Sunday White and Yellow)
Course Setter, Trail-O:     Nick Corsano
Vetting:                    Dennis Wildfogel, Dan Greene, Steve Beuerman, Mikkel Conradi
Map Meister:                Bob Cooley
Crew Chiefs:                Alan Glendenning (Start)
                            Mikkel Conradi (Finish)
                            Toby Ferguson (E-punch)
                            Harold and Penny DeMoss (Control Pick Up, Saturday & Sunday)
                            Nancy Lindeman (Control Pick Up, Friday)
                            Wes Erck (Search)
                            Joe Maffei (Clothing Transport)
Signage and Equipment:      Mark Blair
Recreational Registration:  Ev and Jean Beuerman
First-aid:                  Joan Roos
Awards:                     Kelly Wells
T-shirts:                   Steph Maclean
Beginners' Clinics:         Steve Gregg
...and a cast of thousands who have volunteered to staff the various crews

Special thanks to: