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High Summer in the High Sierras

BAOC 2009 Club Championships

Spooner Lake/Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park

Date: Aug. 8 - 9, 2009
Location: Between Incline Village, NV and South Lake Tahoe, CA
Event Directors: - 510.681.6181, - 510.619.5728, - 510.526.9071
Course Setters: Rex Winterbottom, Nik Weber
Type: B; 2-day combined middle- and long-distance courses for BAOC annual club championship

Sunday Long-Distance Course Setter's Notes



Competitors on Sunday's advanced courses can visit such rock formations as The Battleship, The Corridor, The Nose, Pile of Big Rocks, and Big Freakin' Mountain of Sand—as well as some stunning views once you get to the top of the hill. Sunday's courses feature under 5% climb for all the courses (except Green, which is more like 30%), minimal slash (for Spooner) and lots of rocks. Just kidding about the Green course, it is really about 5.4%. Route choice will be the name of the game Sunday, and controls will not be hidden, invisible, or buried. If you think you are near the control and you don't see it, you are probably lost. Most of the terrain is very open, sandy, and easy running.

Gratuitous climb has been minimized (you're welcome). That was for the benefit of Dwight, who has graciously agreed to place the controls for me while I am at work Saturday. Thanks Dwight! It is also for the benefit of the control pick-up crew, so you should volunteer early before all the spots are filled.

Water stops will be placed near trails where the courses cross them, and will be marked on the map with the water sign. Starts and Finish are close to Stonehenge, so no extra time is needed.


There are a few areas of slash, most of which can be avoided by running around them, but if you are on a hillside you might be better off going through them. It's up to you.

There are downed barbed-wire fences in various areas. These have been mapped with the ruined-fence symbol, but as barbed wire tends to curl up when broken, the whole surrounding area poses a danger to your legs. I have flagged as much of it as I could find, but be careful.

Spooner lake is near 7000 feet altitude where the air is thin and dry, and the sun is hot, so you will dehydrate fast and run out of oxygen faster than you are used to. Drink a lot, take your electrolytes, and pace yourself, because if you can't breathe you can't run up the hills with Ben and Mikkel. And wear your sunscreen unless you want to look like a sweet and sour, deep fried Snickers bar.

Watch out for bears, too, especially if you look or smell like a deep fried Snickers bar. They will pretty much avoid you otherwise.

Out-of-Bounds Areas

Please don't run in the meadows or on Highway 50, no matter how inviting that might seem. You will be disqualified and removed from the park, or possibly fed to a bear if we can find one. The first two controls are shared by all the courses, to run everyone down a particular section of trail across one meadow. Please don't get lost in this area—it could be embarrassing and/or painful.

Please do not go into Spooner Lake either. There is a large sea creature, never photographed, that will eat your torso and leave your arms and legs for later burial. Please also watch out for the photographers who sometimes lurk in the bushes hoping to get a shot of the creature.


Green X's for the most part apparently mean "big tree that looks a little bit different from the surrounding (usually slightly smaller) trees", rather than your typical "distinct tree." There are several in the control circles, but none are used as control locations, because I couldn't see why most of them were mapped.

Brown X's mean "tall stump," up to 10 m high. Small stumps less than 1.5 m high are not mapped, the only two that are that small that are used for controls are very obvious, and you will see the control easily. But it is pretty difficult sometimes for some of us to notice a stump 10 m tall, so keep your head up when you are looking for those controls.

Much of the "rough open land with trees" has grown up to almost white forest status, so take that map pattern with a grain of salt; some light green areas are kind of medium sized trees kind of close together. Some knee to waist high bushes are mapped as various vertical green lines, and some are not. If it is mapped, expect that it is more difficult to run through than the surrounding terrain.

Rocks: Most rock piles (black triangles) are accurately mapped, most boulders up to 2 m are not mapped. If a small boulder is used for a control, the smaller boulders are accurate within the control circle. If there are a lot of unmapped ones in the area, a rock pile is used as the control description instead.

There are a few new and unmapped signs, benches, and such on the trails around the lake; none of these are used for controls. Mapped man-made objects are mapped as black X's, including some National Forest border signs, but there are probably many others that are not mapped.

For Blue and Red runners: The eastern part of the map has been logged and cleared fairly extensively. These areas are mapped as white forest if there are still trees there, and open land if the area has been totally cleared. Some map corrections have been made in the area, but there is still potential for mismapped vegetation. Navigation in that area is quite easy, however, so there should be no problem.

Course Statistics

  Course    Length    Climb   Controls
  White     2.8 km     35 m       9
  Yellow    2.9 km     65 m       9
  Orange    4.0 km    165 m      14
  Brown     3.6 km    155 m      12
  Green     4.7 km    255 m      14
  Red       6.7 km    315 m      18
  Blue      7.9 km    385 m      25