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Shell Ridge

Date: (Sat.) Jan. 10, 2009
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Event Director: - 925.872.3935
Course Setter: Gavin Wyatt-Mair
Type: C; White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, and Green courses (NOTE: NOT AT THE "NORMAL" MEETING PLACE)

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

This meet will be held at Shell Ridge Open Space, starting from a new location on the west side of the park, at the end of Marshall Drive (see the Driving Directions below).

The "Daddy Long Legs" course is 5.7 km with only five controls—there are three long legs. Route choice is the feature here.

Note: There will be no water put out on the courses, and no water is available on site, so bring whatever liquids you'll need to drink.

Course Setter's Notes

By Gavin Wyatt-Mair

The park is quite beautiful at this time of year. The new grass is short and green, and the running is excellent, with nice visibility. Footing is very good, with the ground being soft from the rains, but not yet muddy. The long-range weather forecast calls for sunshine and 55 degrees—conditions should be perfect for some excellent orienteering!

Nature is relatively dormant, with not much activity from the ground squirrels. I saw many turkey buzzards, one coyote, and heard a bunch more coyotes howling. There is no poison oak and negligible stickers—you can easily run these courses in shorts if you like.

The map is generally poor in vegetation quality—some trees may not be mapped, while others of equivalent significance are. It's a good idea to cross-check with other features and not rely heavily on vegetation for navigation. There are many rock features, but again the mapping is somewhat inconsistent. The rock features that are mapped are located reasonably well.

Course statistics:

   Course                  Length    Climb  Controls  Map Scale
   Course 1/White          1.7 km     60m      11     1:5,000
   Course 2/Yellow         2.2 km     85m       9     1:5,000
   Course 3/Orange         2.9 km    120m      12     1:5,000
   Course 4/Brown          3.8 km    150m      16     1:7,500
   Daddy Long Legs/Green   5.7 km    200m       5     1:10,000

Courses 1 and 2 have some slightly more challenging legs than usual, using some non-trail hand-rails. There are good cross-country opportunities to cut time off the trail options.

Shell Ridge south side doesn't have many opportunities for navigation with advanced difficulty. Nevertheless, there are two challenges for advanced orienteers: one is to sprint fast on course 3 or 4. The other is to run the Daddy Long Legs course, and hone your long-leg route-choice skills. It should be interesting to compare route choices on Route Gadget afterwards.

There is no water on the courses—please carry your own if you need some.

The safety bearing is south to the park fenceline and Walnut Creek.

Have fun!


Driving Directions

Traveling north on I-680, take the Ygnacio Valley Road exit (which is just north of the Hwy 24 interchange). Turn right onto Ygnacio Valley and go 0.9 mi to Homestead Ave. See below for the continuation from there.

Traveling south on I-680, take the N. Main Street exit, and head south on Main St. Turn left onto Ygnacio Valley and go to Homestead Ave.

Turn right onto Homestead and go 0.2 mi to Marshall Drive (the first street on the left). Turn left onto Marshall, and go 1.1 mi to Indian Valley Elementary School (at the end of Marshall). The school gates are closed on weekends, so park on the street.