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Sunol Regional Wilderness

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 3, 2011
Location: Sunol, CA
Event Director: - 408.773.8881
Course Setters: Luc Poppe, Mark Blair
Type: B; Standard seven-course event for beginners through advanced

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

March 29th Update:

Sunday is coming up and it looks like it will be a great day for orienteering.

Thanks to everyone who already responded to the request for volunteers. I still need people, though, to help with clinics (10–11) and the finish (30 minutes or an hour between 10:30–2:00). Of course, more pickup volunteers are always welcome — the more people, the faster it's done.

Spring is almost around the corner, so it is time to plan our annual event in Sunol Regional Wilderness, one of our more popular parks, on April 3 (pending park approval). Last year the weather was gorgeous and we had over 300 registered runners & walkers enjoying the park's creeks, spring wildflowers, great views, grand hills and reentrants, and, not to forget, lovely cows. It will be a perfect training event for the not-to-be-missed O in the Oaks event in Pacheco State Park two weeks later (April 15–17). Some people might like to stay after the event to go in the museum, hike to Little Yosemite, or go geocaching.

Like last year, we are dumping all the rain on you in March, so we'll have a beautiful sunny day come April 3rd.

Three's a charm, so the event will be organized once again (i.e., for the third time) by Mark, Luc, and myself (Theo). We will be offering the standard 7 courses, and will do our best to find some locations you haven't been yet. Luc (with an assist by Cedric Lasfargues) will be setting the advanced courses, while Mark will take care of the beginner and intermediate courses.

NOTE: The BAOC Annual General Meeting and officer elections will be held at 1:30 PM near the Registration area. This meeting is open to everyone (but only paid-up BAOC members can vote). Highlights of the past year will be discussed, and club officers will be elected for the coming year.

You might also want to know that Nancy and Rex will be helping with the filming of an orienteering video.

The event schedule will be as follows:

This will be a 30-minute meeting to discuss the A-meet, and the U.S. InterScholastic and U.S. InterCollegiate Championships scheduled for April 15–17. This will be a Question-and-Answer session. All are welcome, and especially those who have volunteered to help at Pacheco and Casa de Fruta.

Please be sure to return to the Finish and download your E-stick (by 2:00), even if you did not complete your course. Otherwise, we need to assume that you got lost, and we will need to organize a search party.

Beginner's clinics will be provided for newcomers to orienteering. These short, repeating sessions provide an introduction to orienteering and enough information to be able to complete a beginner course.

Electronic punching will be used on all the courses. E-sticks can be rented at registration if you don't own one.


The beginner courses (White and Yellow) are suitable for families with younger children, adult newcomers who would like to try an outdoor adventure, school groups, homeschool families, JROTC teams, scouts, and other groups. These courses will start at the registration area, which is again located in the grassy area close to the nature exhibition building.

The intermediate (Orange) and advanced (Brown thru Blue) courses offer off-trail experiences. They may be a bit more physically challenging than in some of our other parks, and will use a remote start (no, it's not as far away or as high up as last year). Adventure racing teams might like to try the Orange course.

Here are the details of the courses. Be sure to check the Course Setters' Notes for more details and information about hazards.

   Course    Length    Climb   Controls   Technical Difficulty  Physical Difficulty
   White     2.2 km     60 m      10      Beginner              Easy
   Yellow    2.0 km    112 m      13      Advanced Beginner     Moderately easy
   Orange    4.7 km    240 m      14      Intermediate          Good workout
   Brown     4.2 km    170 m      12      Advanced              Fairly tough
   Green     5.1 km    290 m      14      Advanced              Very tough
   Red       6.4 km    340 m      14      Advanced              Greuling
   Blue      7.0 km    380 m      18      Advanced              Possibility of collapse

Sunol has lots of open, relatively steep terrain. Cleats are recommended for off-trail travel. On a sunny day, it can be very hot. We will be providing water at the Start and Finish, and on the intermediate and advanced courses, but be advised to bring plenty of liquids. The courses will be designed to avoid known areas of poison oak, but long sleeves and long pants are strongly recommended.

Stick Around After Your Course

There will be the regular treats for the post-race nourishment... and then, more foodie treats will be revealed at 1:30 at our Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The AGM is not only where we elect our officers for the next year. You will get the chance to give your input on some important things the club is dealing with... like marketing!

How do we better get the word out about our club and attract new participants to our fun events? What are things we can do with our events to be more welcoming, attractive, and fun to retain those new faces?

A great social opportunity to help think about forward directions for our club and connect with our club community — hope to see you there!


Social Director, Bay Area Orienteering Club


As always, this event cannot happen without the help of volunteers (hint, hint)...

Mark and Luc are finished setting the courses, and their Course Setters' Notes are available here. Yes, there will be a remote start (but only for Orange and up). And no, it is not as far away or as high up as last year.

James will run registration, Jim and Trinka will run the "new" volunteer sign-up table, Rosemary will support the OE2010 E-punch software.

That's all great, but we need more volunteers for registration, clinic, starts and finish, and control pickup. Please avoid my having to call you () by sending an e-mail if you can help out April 3rd (or give me a call: 408-773-8881 home, 408-513-1591 work). Any help will be very much appreciated.

Driving Directions

Sunol Regional Wilderness is in the East Bay. Take highway I-680 to the Calaveras Road exit near Sunol. Go south on Calaveras Road about six miles to Geary Road. Turn left onto Geary and continue a couple of miles to the park entrance. Pay the entrance fee (see below), and follow the O' signs to the Registration area. (Park only in designated parking areas. The rangers do give tickets.)

Be prepared to pay a park-usage fee of $5 per car (and $2 per dog). Most likely a ranger will be on duty at the entrance kiosk to accept your payment, but if not, you may have to use a ticket machine that takes only $1, $5, and $10 bills.

There's a map here that shows the location of the park. (Click on the "pins" in the East Bay until you find the one for this event, and then drag the map [not the pin] to center the pin, and zoom in to see more detail.)