Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Twin Peaks

Date: (Sun.) Dec. 5, 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Director: - 415.359.4237
Course Setters: Mark Prior, Deron van Hoff
Type: C; Urban Score-O with a fair amount of off-road action -- 90-minute time limit

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Course Setters' Notes


Greetings and welcome to the 2010 Twin Peaks orienteering event. This is the fourth use of the map in its six-year history. Former BAOC president, Ian Tidswell, and I created the map after many years of training on these local hills. Having competed in a broad selection of urban events around the world, I am confident that no other area can offer the variety of twin peaks: topographically, botanically, and culturally.

Today's Score-O consists of 24 controls placed across the map, encompassing many districts and natural areas of the geographic center of San Francisco, from Cole Valley, UCSF, and the Castro in the north — down to Miraloma, Glen Park, and Noe Valley in the south.

Interwoven into these neighborhoods are a myriad a green belts, including Mt. Sutro, Glen Park Canyon, and Mt. Davidson. Control placement has been methodically chosen to maximize exposure to these swathes of forest and their dense trail networks. While the specific control locations are very straightforward, many of the route choices require the competitor to weigh the effort and navigational risk of entering the forest with a more circuitous paved route.

The course has been engineered with the expectation that even the fastest competitor will not reach all the controls. Given that controls are worth a single point, this simplifies the challenge to determining how many controls you think you can reach and selecting which are not worth the effort. I predict that the winner will reach 15–18 controls.

Participants moving slower will be challenged to select which area of the map to focus their efforts on — and will face many navigational challenges in this execution. Be warned that the late penalty is one point per minute (or part thereof), which can add up quickly.

The map includes much semi-suburban area with minimal vehicle traffic, as well as pseudo-urban districts with very busy intersections and pedestrian crossing lights. Regardless, this is easily the most dangerous orienteering event of the year, with vicious metallic beasts roaming the course bent on your destruction. I recommend the eye-contact, assume-everyone-is-high, approach to urban running, in which you rely less upon lights and paint — more on your survival instinct. The map indicates safe places to cross upper Market St — and we ask that you stick to them. Also, please avoid crossing areas indicated out of bounds within the new Laguna Honda hospital slightly south of HQ, which is now complete, but not open (yet) to public crossing.

Finally, a hearty thanks to club members Deron van Hoff and Don Gee. Deron created much of today's course and updated the map to reflect recent changes. Don selflessly visited each control to test its accuracy and clarity. Together, they made my job much easier and ensured a fun day for all participants.

Please enjoy.