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Tilden Park

Date: (Sun.) Jan. 13, 2008
Location: Berkeley, CA
Event Director:
Course Setter: Martin Kunz
Type: B; First "B" meet of the year

This event will take place, rain or shine. Be sure to read the Event Director's Update for late-breaking information.

This will be the second use for our Tilden map. The "Swiss Mountain Goat", Martin Kunz, will be the course setter. I'm sure he will produce some interesting and challenging courses.

For more information about Tilden Park, click here (

Assembly Area

Tilden is a very central park and is convenient to most Bay Area residents. This is one of the main reasons we decided to map Tilden—because of its close-in location. The assembly area will be at the same place as last year at the Mineral Springs Group Picnic Area on Wildcat Canyon Road. There is probably room for 60 cars in the parking lot, so please park close together. Late comers may have to park on the shoulder of the road (see below) or in several other relatively close parking lots.

There will be remote starts and a remote finish. There will be two start areas, one for the Green, Red, and Blue courses, and another for the other courses (White through Brown). There will also be a remote finish. It is about a 5-minute walk to the start areas, and about a 5-minute walk back from the finish to the assembly area. Because of the remote finish, it will be important to remember to download your SI stick at the blue EP tent near registration before you go home. Otherwise, we will not know that you have returned, and may have to start a search party for you after the courses close.


Registration will be at the assembly area at Mineral Springs from 9:00 to 12 noon. Remember that registration is a two-step process. First you fill out the forms and pay your fee. Then, do not forget to go to the blue EP tent to enter in the computer before you go out on your course. This is important, because this is the main way we keep track of people who are still out on the courses. We do not leave the area until everybody has been accounted for, so for safety reasons, please check in at the EP tent before going out on your course. It also significantly improves the speed of the download process after your run if you are entered in the computer before you download your results.


The terrain was field checked and drawn in 2006 by Russian mapper Vladimir Zherdev. The map is quite good. All maps will be printed at 1:10000 scale, and the contour interval is 5 meters. Standard IOF orienteering symbols are used. Zherdev frequently uses the dotted-line symbol for distinct vegetation boundaries, which many other mappers, particularly in this country, do not use.

The map is non-standard in that it was drafted at 1:10,000 (rather than the standard 1:15,000) and also will be printed at 1:10,000. As a consequence, the symbols will be 33% smaller than a standard 1:10,000 map, although the distances will be correct.


Tilden Park is much like most of our Bay Area terrain: steep, lots of rough open with scattered areas of pine and eucalyptus forest, and a moderate amount of fight, which is mainly poison oak, brambles, blackberries, and dense coyote bush. In the summer, the meadows are filled with stickers, burrs and thistles, but by January the hostile vegetation usually dies back and the rains beat it down, so there it will not be a significant problem. The poison oak is mainly in the reentrants, but since the event will be in the winter, the plant is not quite as noxious as in the early spring; however, poison oak prevention techniques should still be utilized.

The contour detail is relatively bland. Most of the competition area will be on the side of a large hill, the park border being the ridge line. There is a relatively dense trail network. There are some rock features, many of which will be used as control points. The vegetation is quite well mapped, particularly since the map is new.


All seven standard courses will be offered: White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue—and also a Long Orange (adventure racer training course). Course statistics and other information are available in the Course Setter's Notes.

Martin Kunz has been working hard on designing some interesting and challenging courses. This year, the emphasis for the Green, Red, and Blue courses will be on route choice. These courses will have several long legs that have some challenging route choices. Your success will largely depend on choosing quickly which route is optimal. Martin is using some fresh terrain for the first half of those courses.

Also, because he wanted to use different terrain for the White and Yellow courses, there will be remote starts and a remote finish. This is so that the younger participants will not have to cross Grizzly Peak Road in the middle of their course. The walk to the starts is about 5 minutes, as is the walk back from the finish. Because of the remote finish, it is important to remember to download your SI stick at the EP tent at the assembly area near registration after you return from your run.

The White course will have a short off-trail leg, which will be streamered.

Electronic Punching

Electronic punching (EP) will be used on all courses. If you do not own your own EP card (finger stick), you may rent one at the event. For participants who have never used EP before, look at our User's Guide to Electronic Punching.

Beginner's Clinics

Beginner's clinics will be offered between 9:30 and 10:30, depending on the demand. These short introductions to orienteering provide all the information you'll need to complete a beginner (White or Yellow) course.


We will need volunteers to staff the usual tasks: starts, finish, beginner's clinic, control pickup, etc. Please contact to sign up.


Event Director – Evan Custer
Course Setter – Martin Kunz
Vetter – George Minarik
Map Production – Bob Cooley
Electronic Punching – Jim Fish, Toby Ferguson, Cameron Ferguson, Rosemary Johnson
Setup – David Meredith, Jim Fish, Harold and Penny DeMoss
Starts – Margaret Longstreth, Becky Ferguson, Michael Behrens
Registration – Gary Kraght, James Wilson, Martin Kunz
Beginner's Clinics – Scott Aster
Control Pickup – Kelly Wells, Harold & Penny DeMoss, Theo Verhoeven, Becky Redfield

Driving Directions

There are many ways to reach Mineral Springs in Tilden, depending on what direction you are coming. Since you are an orienteer, you may want to check a map. Here are a few possibilities:

From the east, take the Orinda exit from Rte. 24, and head north toward Orinda Village and Richmond on Camino Pablo. Go about 3 miles, and turn left at the signal onto Wildcat Canyon Road (Bear Creek Rd. goes off to the right toward Briones Park), and wind your way up Wildcat for 3.1 miles. The Mineral Springs Picnic Area will be on your right, past Inspiration Point, but before you get to the Botanical Garden.

If you are coming from the north or from Berkeley, it probably will be easier to go up to Grizzly Peak Rd., east on Shasta, and right on Wildcat Canyon Road past the Botanic Garden, and turn left into Mineral Springs Picnic Area.

In the winter, the park closes South Park Drive, so if you are coming from the south on Grizzly Peak Rd. from Claremont or Fish Ranch Rd., you will not be able to take South Park Drive down to Wildcat Canyon Rd., but should continue to Shasta Road, and turn east.

If the lot is full, and it probably will be if it is a nice day, you may park on the shoulder of the road if your vehicle is completely off the road and is not in a "No Parking Zone".

Public Transit

Take BART to the downtown Berkeley station. Take the #67 AC Transit bus, which leaves once an hour at 50 minutes past the hour. Go to the end of the line and get off at the Brazilian Room in Tilden. Walk about 1 km on Wildcat Canyon Road past the Botanical Garden to the Mineral Springs Group Picnic Area. The return bus leaves once an hour at 15 minutes after the hour. The adult (18–64) one-way fare is $1.75; the youth (5–17) and senior (65+) fare is $0.85.