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Joseph D. Grant County Park

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 30, 2014
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.878.5073
Course Setters: Werner Haag, Rory Maclean, Derek Maclean
Type: B; Standard 7-course event visiting the southern part of the park. Beginner instruction & courses offered.

Course Setters' Notes

By Werner Haag, Rory Maclean, & Derek Maclean

Welcome to the slopes of Mount Hamilton for some classic orienteering. This year all the courses are on the southern side of Mt Hamilton Road.

Park Logistics & Terrain

There is a 5- to 10-minute walk from the main parking area (Stockman’s) to the start for the White, Yellow, Orange, and Brown courses.

The Green, Red, and Blue courses start near the Twin Gates parking area, about a 10-minute drive up Mt Hamilton Road. Please carpool up, as we are limited to about 15 cars at Twin Gates. After your course, please find another carpool to retrieve cars. If necessary, one of the event staff can provide a ride either before or after your course.

Despite the fairly steep terrain, we have attempted to provide runnable courses. The ground is starting to dry out and harden, but it generally still gives good traction when contouring hillsides.

Key Factors

Poison Oak: In general, there is less poison oak (PO) this year, and the White course will not encounter this hazard. The Yellow, Orange, and Brown courses will go near poison oak, but it is easily avoided. However, you should be sure to know what it looks like. On the more advanced courses, we’ve kept you out of PO almost completely, but there are a few stream crossing options where it is not entirely possible to avoid it, so be prepared with clothing, and wash with Tecnu if you are sensitive. We have re-mapped the critical areas of stream beds to better indicate suitable crossings. You should be able to find a PO-free area to get through without having to make a large swing up or down the re-entrant. Areas mapped as light green sometimes contain some poison oak, but usually are just low brush.

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

Rootstocks & Dead Trees: Rootstocks are mapped as a brown X, and fallen dead trees as a brown T oriented in the direction of the trunk. The latter symbols are sometimes difficult to distinguish from contour lines. Expect to encounter numerous unmapped rootstocks. We re-mapped near controls, but not uncommonly, mapped lone trees have turned to rootstocks or disappeared entirely.

Thistles & Burrs: There are hardly any of these at all because of the dry winter. Gaiters are not needed, but are helpful if you want to keep your socks clean(er).

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

Other Animals: Deer, boar, grouse, and turkeys will run away from you. We have not seen any bees, mountain lions, horses, rattlesnakes, or mountain bikers.

Final Course Statistics

   Course    Length    Climb  Controls  Technical Difficulty
   White     2.1 km     90 m      9     Beginner
   Yellow    3.4 km    150 m     11     Advanced Beginner
   Orange    3.6 km    180 m     11     Intermediate
   Brown     3.0 km    130 m     10     Advanced
   Green     4.9 km    190 m     14     Advanced
   Red       5.9 km    240 m     16     Advanced
   Blue      7.1 km    310 m     20     Advanced

Course Comments

The White course is entirely on well-marked, graded trails.

White and Yellow courses overlap part of the way, but are different enough that you could also go out on Yellow if you still have energy after doing White.

Yellow is a little more difficult than usual, so this might not be a good event to move up if you are thinking of advancing from White.

The Start for the White, Yellow, Orange, and Brown courses is a 5- to 10-minute walk from the registration area.

The Start for the Green, Red, and Blue courses is a 10-minute drive up Mt. Hamilton Road, across from the Twin Gates parking area. (Please see the comments above about carpooling to the Start.) The courses starting at Twin Gates have a net descent of some 250 m.