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Shell Ridge Open Space

Date: (Sun.) Jan. 16, 2011
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Event Director: - 925.872.3935
Course Setter: Jay Hann
Type: Junior; Meet #6 at Shell Ridge

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

Shell Ridge is a beautiful open space in Walnut Creek, with rolling grasslands, patches of oak forest, assorted rock and stream features, and plenty of contours. Visibility is good to excellent. Bring good shoes with spikes or cleats, because it is slippery on the steeper slopes if they are wet. Weather conditions could vary from sunshine to rain, and 45 to 60 degrees — so do check the forecast and come prepared!

Note that the event is at the west side of the park, where the last few events have been held, not the north side. Be sure to read the driving directions below.

The Start might be a short walk from the parking and registration area. First starts will be at 10:00 and last starts at 12:30. Courses close at 2:00. Please be sure to check in at the Finish and then the download tent by then, even if you haven't completed your course.

Parking is on the street near the park entrance, and is somewhat limited, so please park close together — and carpool if you can.


Here are the preliminary details of the courses:

   Course      Length    Climb   Controls
   Course 1    1.6 km     55 m       8
   Course 2    2.7 km    135 m      14
   Course 3    3.9 km    230 m      12
   Course 4    3.4 km    225 m      20  (contours-only map)

In order to make the South section of Shell Ridge more interesting for Course 4, we have removed all the man-made features from the map. Then we removed all the rock features, then all the vegetation features. So all we have are contour lines. Hmmm, a bit too hard, so we added more contour lines, then more yet. Then we made them all LIDAR quality. Sweet! We have a map of all LIDAR-quality contour lines, with a 60-cm contour interval! Still a bit tough, so we reduced the course length by 20%. There, that's it! The perfect Course 4 map to prepare for Pacheco, where contour information is king!

There is no poison oak and negligible stickers — you can easily run these courses in shorts if you like. Wildlife is relatively dormant in winter, although there will be turkey buzzards and a few ground squirrels.

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. (Of course, none of those comments apply to Course 4.)

Request for Helpers

We would really like to have your help at this event. Please let know if you have a favorite activity (Starts, Finishes, Beginners' Clinics, Control Pick-up, etc.) and a favorite time to help. Not sure how to do it? We'll show you how!

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.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event. (You can drag the map [not the event's "pin"] to center the event's "pin", zoom in to see more detail, and change to satellite view.)