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Camp Tamarancho

Date: (Sun.) Aug. 29, 2010
Location: Fairfax, CA
Event Director: - 415.456.8118
Course Setter: Greg Ehrensing
Type: B; Regular 7-course event, with beginner through advanced courses

Course Setter's Notes


Please come join us for some fun and challenging orienteering at a venue not normally open to the public!

The road is as bad as ever, so don't bring your lowrider and you'll be fine. The views of Mt Tam, the Bay, and West Marin are still as good as ever, and it looks like the hot spell of the last week will break for the weekend. It should be beautiful.

The advanced courses will start from a remote location up on the ridge to reduce the climb of years past — but the terrain at Tamarancho can still be rugged.

Here are the course stats:

   Course    Length    Climb   Controls
   White     1.5 km     50 m      11
   Yellow    2.5 km     90 m      11
   Orange    3.4 km    160 m      11
   Brown     3.0 km     90 m      13
   Green     3.6 km    110 m      12
   Red       4.7 km    205 m      12
   Blue      6.5 km    320 m      15

I've tried to emphasize route choice, especially on Red and Blue, which both have a leg approaching 1 km.

The Map

Bob Cooley helped with some map corrections to keep up with new buildings and trails added by the Scouts. It's hard to keep up with the trails. Some marked trails have fallen out of use, while some that were faint last year have become well defined under the feet of hundreds of Scouts.

The vegetation on the map has held up surprisingly well, although French Broom has filled in some areas.

Green X's, O's, and dots are used rather inconsistently. Where I have used them for control locations, the controls should be clear. "Distinctive" trees in the forest (green X's) are large (2 feet + diameter) fir trees (not redwoods). "Distinctive" trees in open grassland (green dots or X's) are smaller, lone, bushy trees.

The archery and shooting ranges were permanently marked out of bounds. In addition to being a rule violation to go in those areas, it would simply not be a good idea.


It's the Bay Area, so of course there's poison oak, but it should be entirely avoidable.

No bees or snakes were encountered during course setting.

Some of the trails are heavily used by mountain bikers. It will be obvious which ones. Most advanced orienteers will use these trails for at least some part of their run. Watch out for, and give way to, bikers.

Not really a hazard, but there will be a Search and Rescue group training with their dogs in the camp. I've avoided the area they plan to be in, but things might change.


Traction shoes are strongly recommended on the advanced courses. There are some steep side hills, some loose soils, and lots of slick dry leaves in the wooded areas.

Gaiters will make your run much more comfortable for any off-trail travel, but especially in the open, grassy areas. Most of the foxtails seem to be gone, but there are billions of the little spiky "burrs". Not painful, but very annoying.