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Camp Tamarancho

Date: (Sun.) Aug. 23, 2009
Location: Fairfax, CA
Event Director: - 510.407.1876
Course Setter: Greg Ehrensing
Type: B; Join us for a wonderful summer day at Boy Scout Camp Tamarancho in the hills above Fairfax

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

Enjoy the vistas of Mt. Tamalpais, Mt. Diablo, San Francisco Bay, Loma Alta, and sweeping views of Marin. The terrain is mixed with oak forest, and open, steep grassland, fir forest, redwoods, and ferns. The trail network is moderate and a little unkempt. Maps are 1:10000 with 5-meter contours.

We will offer seven pre-marked courses: White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue. E-punch will be used for all courses. Registration opens at 9:00 AM and closes at noon. Starts will be from 10:00 AM until 12:30 PM. Registration and other event activities will be located on Staff Hill, a lovely shady area with lots of picnic tables and convenient bathrooms, a short walk (less than 400 m) from the parking areas.

Greg Ehrensing has created some great courses. Details are in the Course Setter's Notes.

Just a few important rules so we can continue to use this map:

Please volunteer! We will need folks for traffic direction as well as the usual starts, finishes, beginners clinics, control pick up, and registration. Contact the event director if you can help.

Trail-O Demo Course


BAOC will be hosting a series of casual Trail-O demonstrations at BAOC events leading up to the 2009 U.S. Trail Orienteering Championship hosted by LAOC in December at Vasquez Rocks. The kick-off Trail-O demo will be at BAOC's Tamarancho event on August 23.

In Trail O, participants are allowed to travel along any trails or roads marked as such on the map, but cannot go off-trail, not even one meter! The controls are all off-trail, shown on a 1:2500 map. A viewing station for each control, represented by a sign, will be by the side of a trail or road. The viewing stations will not be marked on your map, you have to find them. At a viewing station, you will see up to five control bags. One of them, perhaps, will match the location indicated on the map, or perhaps none of the control bags is "correct". The control bags are identified from left to right (when looking from the viewing station): A, B, C, D, and E. You enter on your "punch card" the letter for the control you believe corresponds to the control circle on the map, or "Z" if you believe none of the controls matches the map.

There will be three controls—that is, three viewing stations. The course is free, untimed, and unscored. Look for the trail-O maps and instructions near registration, or look for Gary Kraght. If you want to try the trail O, it is recommended that you do this first, before doing a regular course. Two reasons: you will be tired after battling a course at Tamarancho, and the Trail-O maps may disappear after 11:30 or so. It should take no more than 30 minutes to complete the course, depending on whether you walk or run, and how long you spend at each control.

The Trail-O demo is suitable for anyone who has successfully completed at least one Yellow course. If you are a beginner, however, it is best to do a regular course first, and then try the Trail O (or do a second regular course).

Normally, a trail orienteering course is constructed so that it can be completed by people in wheelchairs. However, at Tamarancho there will be one viewing station on a trail that is not wheelchair accessible.

I hope many of you have fun with the Trail-O demo, perhaps pick up a few Trail-O pointers, and start making plans to travel south in December for the U.S. Trail Orienteering Championships.

Driving Directions

From Highway 101 in Marin, take Sir Francis Drake Blvd until you reach downtown Fairfax. Continue westbound on Sir Francis Drake past downtown for another quarter mile and look for the green highway sign that says "Camp Tamarancho". Turn left at this sign onto Olema Road, and continue to follow the orienteering signs until you reach Iron Springs Road. Head up Iron Springs Road for two miles until it ends at the camp entrance.

Note: You must park facing outward (i.e., back into your space).

Warning: Iron Springs Rd is a narrow, winding, partially-paved road with lots of small to moderately sized potholes. A car with normal clearance can make it if driven carefully. Low-riders and sports cars are not advised. Please allow at least 15 minutes for these last two miles.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event.