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BAOC COOL/BAWS #8 (Open to All)

Tilden Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 4, 2012
Location: Berkeley, CA
Event Directors: , - 925.934.6567
Course Setter: Joseph Doetsch
Type: B; Meet #8 and season championships — Regular event for everyone

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

Discover densely-vegetated Wildcat Canyon, and climb the open slopes of Tilden Regional Park!

We return to Tilden Park for a "B" event on March 4, 2012. As one of the East Bay Regional Park District's three oldest parks, Tilden is a popular recreational area for the East Bay, and has become a favored location for BAOC meets. The weather for this coming weekend should be great, with Sunday forecast for 65 degrees and sunny. Perfect weather for Orienteering!

This event has a little something for everyone. If you're new to the sport, we've got White and Yellow beginners courses, and an instructional video and Beginners Clinics to get you started. For those with more experience under their belts, we've got the full complement of courses. Joseph has had a great time setting some fantastic courses for you to enjoy.

This is the second "B" event of 2012, and is also the BAOC COOL and Winter Series season finale event. We'll have an Awards ceremony at 1:30, to recognize the accomplishments of this season's participants.

Beginners are welcome — introductory clinics will be available!

If you are planning on bringing a group of 5 or more people to the event, please notify the event director a week or so in advance, so we can print an adequate number of maps.

More information about Tilden Park is available here (

Some highlights of the event are below. A printable flyer for this event is available here (PDF/307KB).

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Please note that you must report back at the download table by 2:00 — even if you haven't completed your course — so we know that you have returned safely.

Assembly Area

Tilden is a very central park, convenient to most Bay Area residents. The assembly area will be at the same place where we have held this meet in the last few years — at the Mineral Springs Group Picnic Area on Wildcat Canyon Road.

If we are careful with our parking, there is probably room for 60 cars in the parking lot, so please park close together. There are additional parking lots at adjacent picnic areas. Parking is also permitted along the shoulder of the road in Tilden Park, as long as the vehicle is completely off the road and is not in a "No Parking Zone."

Beginner's Clinics

Beginner's clinics will be offered between 9:30 and 10:30 AM, depending on the demand. These short, repeating sessions provide an introduction to orienteering and enough information to be able to complete a beginner course. There will also be a short 5-minute video available for viewing at any time during the event.

First-time participants should probably visit our FAQ to answer common questions about orienteering, including what to bring to the event.


The standard seven courses for beginners through advanced participants will be available. The final course stats are as follows:

                                         Physical     Navigation
    Course    Length    Climb  Controls  Difficulty   Difficulty  
    White     1.4 km     60 m     12     Low          Very Easy
    Yellow    2.4 km    120 m     13     Low          Easy      
    Orange    2.9 km    135 m     12     Medium       Medium    
    Brown     3.0 km    125 m     11     Medium       Advanced  
    Green     4.2 km    240 m     17     High         Advanced  
    Red       5.6 km    360 m     18     Very High    Advanced  
    Blue      7.1 km    490 m     21     Very High    Advanced  

Note that the course lengths above represent the straight-line distances from control to control. The actual distance you will travel will certainly be longer — determined by your route choices (and any navigation errors you might make).

Be sure to read the Course Setter's Notes, which will provide more information.

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Competitive Categories

The following courses will be used for the BAOC COOL classes:

Elementary boys and girls – White (or above)
Middle School boys and girls – Yellow (or above)
Junior Varsity boys and girls – Orange (or above)
Varsity girls – Brown (or above)
Varsity boys – Green (or above)

The following courses will be used for the BAOC Winter Series classes:

Winter Series women – Brown (or above)
Winter Series men – Green (or above)

Electronic Punching

Electronic punching (EP) will be used on all courses. If you do not own your own EP card (finger stick), you may rent one at the event. Everyone must stop by the EP tent after you have registered, but before you go out on the course, to be entered into the event database.

Participants who have never used EP before can read our User's Guide to Electronic Punching.


The terrain was field checked and drawn in 2006 by Russian mapper Vladimir Zherdev. The map is quite good. Standard IOF orienteering symbols are used. Zherdev frequently uses the dotted-line distinct vegetation boundary symbol, which many other mappers, particularly in this country, use less frequently.

Course Terrain

Tilden Park is much like most of our Bay Area terrain: steep, lots of rough open with scattered areas of pine and eucalyptus forest, and a moderate amount of fight, which is mainly poison oak, brambles, blackberries, and dense coyote bush. In the summer, the meadows are filled with stickers, burrs and thistles, but over the winter, the hostile vegetation usually dies back and the rains beat it down, so there should not be a significant problem. Poison oak is mainly found in the reentrants, but since the event will be in the winter, the plant is not quite as noxious as in the early spring; however, poison oak prevention techniques should still be utilized.

The contour detail is relatively bland. There is a relatively dense trail network. There are some rock features, many of which will be used as control points. The vegetation is quite well mapped, particularly since the map is relatively new.

Potential Hazards

The hillsides in Tilden Park can be steep and slippery, and with possible rain forecast mid-week, you'll want to be sure to wear shoes with cleats or good traction.

There are horseback riding trails in the park — remember that you must give horses right-of-way.

Though somewhat seasonally dormant, poison oak is abundant in the park. Try to avoid it if possible, but use Tecnu after the event to wash off the toxic plant oil before it latches onto your skin.

Ticks are also abundant in Tilden. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and do a careful search for ticks before or after showering.

More information about dealing with poison oak and tick hazards can be found on the BAOC website here.

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Get Involved!

It would be great to get some help with registration, beginners' clinics, monitoring the Start/Finish, bringing and/or setting-up snacks, e-punch, and control pick-up. If you can help, please email , or call Gavin Wyatt-Mair at 925-934-6567.

As of Monday, February 27, most of our volunteer slots are filled, but we could use a couple more people to help with set-up/tear down, and Harold is looking for another one or two people to help with control pick-up. Please contact directly if you can help with that.

Getting There

Driving Directions

There are many ways to reach the Mineral Springs Group Picnic Area in Tilden Park, depending on what direction you are coming. Since you are an orienteer, you may want to check a map. Here are a few possibilities:

From the east, take the Orinda exit from Rte. 24, and head north towards Orinda Village and Richmond on Camino Pablo. Go about 3 miles, and turn left at the signal onto Wildcat Canyon Road (Bear Creek Rd. goes off to the right towards Briones), and wind your way up Wildcat for 3.1 miles. Mineral Springs parking will be on your right past Inspiration Point, but before you get to the Botanic Garden.

If you are coming from the north or from Berkeley, it probably will be easier to go up to Grizzly Peak Rd., east on Shasta, and right on Wildcat Canyon Road past the Botanic Garden and turn left into Mineral Springs parking.

In the winter, the park closes South Park Drive, so if you are coming from the south on Grizzly Peak Road from Claremont or Fish Ranch Road, you will not be able to take South Park Drive down to Wildcat Canyon Rd. but should continue to Shasta Road, and turn east.

If the lot is full, you may park on the shoulder of the road if the vehicle is completely off the road and is not in a "No Parking Zone".

The GPS coordinates for the Mineral Springs Group Picnic Area are: 37.89890°N / 122.24802°W. There's a map here that shows the location of the event.

Public Transportation

AC Transit line 67 runs on Sunday from downtown Berkeley near the Berkeley BART station at Shattuck and Center every 45 minutes beginning at 8:00 AM and goes to the Brazilian Room in Tilden. The trip takes about 23 minutes. From the Brazilian Room, you can walk east on Wildcat Canyon Road (toward the Botanic Garden) approximately 0.8 mile to the Mineral Springs assembly area. Just remember to watch for traffic, as Wildcat Canyon Road will be very busy on such a beautiful Sunday morning and afternoon.