Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Briones Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 15, 2009
Location: Lafayette, CA
Event Director: - 510.409.9285
Course Setter: Jonas Kjall
Type: C; ADVANCED COURSES ONLY--there will be no Beginner (White/Yellow) or Intermediate (Orange) courses available due to park restrictions on parking

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

Note: This event is not at the "normal" Bear Creek entrance to the park.

The Briones (North) orienteering event will be held on Sunday, March 15th. Due to parking restrictions at the Alhambra entrance to Briones Regional Park (the north end of the map), there will be no beginner or intermediate courses. White, Yellow, and Orange courses will NOT be offered; the courses will be for advanced orienteers only. (We apologize to those looking for beginner courses. Please attend one of our other events.)

We will be using E-punch. Registration will be open from 9:00 AM to noon for non-members or those who need to rent an E-punch stick. Others can use the self-registration envelopes. Don't forget to visit the E-punch tent before you head out to the Start.

You can now pre-register using the link under the Events heading on the left-side menu. Registration is strongly encouraged, but it is not mandatory ... or binding. Please do not stay home just because you did not pre-register.

There will be an advanced-skills clinic offered at the event for all interested competitors. A short introduction will be offered at 9:30 AM (don't be late), which will be followed by some special drills. These drills were designed by Jay Hann to improve compass work and contour reading.

If you would like to help out and volunteer at the event, I can still use some extra bodies. Please contact .

Course Setter's Note

Since this event will offer only advanced courses, my goal is to take advantage of that and set courses that are as technical as possible from the Start to the Finish. However, Briones might not be the best area to set technical courses (the visibility is good and most features are easy to spot), but it turned out better than I expected. Briones has some really nice and interesting parts. Moreover it is really beautiful out there now in the beginning of the spring when everything is green.

Another goal with the course setting was to make at least half of each course go in an area where we didn't go the last two times an event was held at north Briones (2008 and 2005, I think). I can't say I managed to fulfill this goal for the Green course, it would have been too tough and not nearly as interesting from an orienteering perspective. But there are, of course, some new areas and others used in a different way then at the two previous meets also on Green.

The course information:

   Course    Length    Climb   Controls
   Brown     2.9 km    150 m       9
   Green     4.2 km    295 m      11
   Red       5.3 km    415 m      14
   Blue      7.6 km    550 m      18

The map scale is 1:10000; the contour interval is 7.5 m.

"Excellent courses overall is my impression." (Joe Maffei, one of the vetters)

The distance from the parking lot/registration to the Start is 1500 m (on trail, slightly uphill). The Finish is 300 m from the registration area.

Those of you who have attended a north Briones event before know that it is very hilly, especially if you avoid the "flatter" open area around the parking lot, which I have done since it doesn't contain any interesting orienteering. So although it doesn't look so on the course info, I have really tried to have as little climb as possible (also the slower you run, the less technical a course is). So don't just look at the course length, but also the climb, before you choose a course.

I also want to remind everybody that the Golden Goat takes place two weeks after this event, in another East Bay park, Tilden. So this event should be a perfect preparation. If you are going to run the Goat, I would strongly recommend you to take the Blue course at this event. Two weeks before is the perfect time for the final, longest, practice run.

There is some poison oak in the park that has just started to leaf out. But I have not seen so much. I hope you should be able to avoid it easily, but on the longer courses you might run into some with some route choices. So bring your Tecnu just in case.

I hope you take advantage of this event to improve your orienteering skill on some technically challenging Bay Area courses.

Driving Directions

NOTE: The parking and gathering will be at the Alhambra Valley entrance to Briones—the north side of the park, not the normal west-side entrance from Bear Creek Rd. (There's a map with a "pin" that indicates the location. [Click three times on the "+" icon to zoom in for a larger view.])

Take the Pleasant Hill Rd exit off Highway 24 in Lafayette. Go north on Pleasant Hill Rd for 0.8 mile, and turn left onto Reliez Valley Rd. Stay on Reliez Valley Rd for 4.6 miles. Turn left at the large, brown sign that says "Alhambra Creek Valley Staging Area of Briones Regional Park". It is 0.8 mile to the parking kiosk. After paying ($4) and parking, follow signs 100 m to registration in the orchard.

There are picnic tables, so bring some snacks for afterward.

Carpooling is encouraged as always.