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Joseph D. Grant County Park

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 28, 2013
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.878.5073
Course Setters: Werner Haag, Rory Maclean, Derek Maclean
Type: B; Classic courses on the Joe Grant North map

Course Setters' Notes

By Werner Haag, Rory Maclean, Derek Maclean

Park Logistics & Terrain

Please join us on the slopes of Mount Hamilton for some classic orienteering. This year we will explore the lesser-visited area north of Mt Hamilton Road, unused for at least the past five years. Parking and registration will be at the main parking lot (Stockman's Area) on the south side of the road ($6 entry per car). There will be a 10- to 15-minute walk to the Start for all courses. The rangers have asked us not to park in the north-side parking lot. Please use care crossing Mt. Hamilton Road, and pay attention to the crossing guard.

Despite the fairly steep terrain, we have attempted to provide runnable courses that take you through oak-studded grassy hillsides, thicket mazes, runnable woods, walkable brush, and cool stream beds. It's a great time to run in Joe Grant: it's still fairly cool, but not wet, wildflowers are out but the burrs are not, the grass is still green, and the ground is still soft (although it has gotten a bit drier and harder over the past few weeks).

Key Factors

Thickets & Poison Oak: The White course will not encounter these hazards. The Yellow course will go near poison oak (PO), but it is easily avoided. On the more advanced courses, we tried to keep you out of PO, but it is not entirely possible to avoid it, so be prepared with clothing and Tecnu if you are sensitive. Non-sensitive people can run these courses in short sleeves. Poison oak areas are mapped as dark green, but many dark green areas are not PO. If the only logical route is through a bit of green or light green, you can assume there is no PO. Green hatched or cross-hatched areas are usually not poison oak, or have very little of it, and are usually quite walkable with good visibility. Thus, while slower, such areas provide reasonable route choices.

April 24 update: The poison oak (PO) has grown over the past few weeks. The White, Yellow, & Brown courses should not see much PO. Orange, Long Orange, Green, & Blue will encounter a little, and Red has more, so be prepared.

Stream Beds: Most of the stream beds that might be used as routes are dry and readily walkable, sometimes even joggable. If you see a lot of boulders mapped in the stream bed, it will be slow, but if few rock features are indicated, it's a reasonable route option.

Hillsides: These are starting to dry out, but still soft enough to provide reasonable traction when contouring. If the remaining two weeks of April are dry, Blue runners with sensitive feet may want to consider protective action against blisters.

Thistles & Burrs: Almost non-existent at this time of year. Gaiters are hardly needed except to keep your socks clean(er).

Cow & Wildlife Paths: Expect to encounter numerous of these unmapped, seasonal paths on the advanced courses.

Ticks: They are present; check for them after your course.

Other Animals: There are plenty of deer, boar, grouse, and turkeys. They will run away from you. We have not seen any bees, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, horses, or mountain bikers.

Course Statistics

The extended range of eight courses will offer the appropriate level of challenge for all competitors​—​beginner to advanced. The final course statistics are below. By popular demand, the course lengths & climbs have been increased a little bit.

    Course        Length    Climb  Controls  Technical Difficulty
    White         2.2 km     35 m     10     Beginner
    Yellow        2.8 km    120 m     12     Adv. Beginner
    Orange        3.8 km    225 m     14     Intermediate
    Long Orange   5.2 km    280 m     20     Intermediate
    Brown         3.0 km    200 m     12     Advanced
    Green         4.6 km    285 m     17     Advanced
    Red           5.2 km    310 m     18     Advanced
    Blue          6.2 km    370 m     19     Advanced

  • The White course is entirely on well-marked and graded trails, and is manageable with a trail stroller.
  • The White and Yellow courses do not overlap, so you could also go out on Yellow if you still have energy after doing White.
  • Orange, Brown, Green, and Red are on the easier side of their technical levels. So if you are looking to move up a level, this is a good time to do it.