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Joseph D. Grant County Park

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 2, 2017
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.878.5073
Course Setters: Derek Maclean, Kim van Berkel
Type: B; Standard "B-meet" with courses for beginners, intermediate, and advanced — NOTE THE ROAD CLOSURE!

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.


April in the foothills of Mount Hamilton should be perfect conditions for springtime orienteering. The grass will be green, the ground will be soft and ideal for running.

Courses will be in the central area of the park, below Mt Hamilton Rd. This area has not been used for the past few years, and was remapped for the 2015 A-meet. The increased level of detail on the new map will be appreciated, and allows more precise course setting and navigation.

We will offer the standard seven courses. The beginner (White) course will be all on trails, and should be accessible to rugged stroller. The Yellow course does not stray far from the trails, but offers several opportunities for cross-country short-cuts. Orange is more adventurous, substantially off trail, but does not get too far away from the park area. Brown through Blue are for advanced orienteers, and travel further into steeper and more technical areas.

We do expect a bumper crop of poison oak in the park after the wet winter. All the courses may encounter it, so be aware of what it looks like. It should be easily avoided on the shorter courses, with exposure more likely on the advanced courses.

There are also cows grazing and horses being ridden in the park, which may be in the area of the courses. When encountering horses, slow to a walk and talk to the riders so as not to spook the horses and let them know you are a human and not a cougar.

Be sure to read the Course Setters' Notes for more information.

What is Orienteering

An adventure! Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! Navigate to checkpoints in Joe Grant Park using a specially-produced map. Participants may enter individually or in teams of up to five people.


  9:00 AM – Registration opens (closes at noon)
  9:30 AM – Beginner's clinic instruction available (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open (no early starts, please)
12:30 PM – Starts close
  2:00 PM – Courses close; checkpoint pick-up begins

At registration, all juniors must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians, or bring with them a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian (the registration form is available here (PDF/100KB)).

Beginner's clinics are repeating sessions that provide an introduction to orienteering and enough instruction to be able to complete a beginner (White) course. The sessions will continue until 10:30–11:00 (they could stop earlier if there is no more demand).

Please note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:00 PM, and check in at E-punch, even if you don't complete your course. We need to account for all participants, because otherwise we must organize a search party for you.

After you finish, enjoy free snacks and refreshments, and socialize with other participants!


Here are the course details:

    Course     Length    Climb   Controls
    White      2.0 km     50 m       8  
    Yellow     3.1 km    120 m      15
    Orange     4.0 km    190 m      19
    Brown      3.6 km    165 m      16
    Green      4.6 km    210 m      18
    Red        6.2 km    320 m      17
    Blue       7.6 km    370 m      20

Note: The details of the White course had to be changed the day before the event because of an unexpected trail closure. The details above are for the actual course at the event. The original details were 3.0 km, 100 m, 14 controls.

Note that the course Length is simply the sum of the straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat longer, and will depend on your route choices (and any errors you make).

Climb is an estimate of the cumulative "up" that would be encountered on the optimum route, with no regard for any "down" along the way. As with course length, the actual climb you encounter will depend on your route choices (and errors).

Be sure to read the Course Setters' Notes for more information.

What to Bring

For beginners' courses, comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

For intermediate and advanced courses, leg cover or gaiters are recommended, as well shoes with some extra grip on the sole.

A compass is not necessary, but can be helpful. We have compasses available for a $1 rental fee.

We time the courses with the SPORTident system, so each entry/team needs to have a SPORTident fingerstick. If you don't have your own, you can rent one at registration for $5. (Use of the "E-punch" system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)

Venue Facilities

Picnic tables, piped water, and flush toilets are available, so please feel free to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy after you finish your course.

The park does not want us serving open containers of food and water at the event. We will have a selection of sealed food items, and some small individual water bottles. However, it would be a good idea to bring your own water and reusable bottle.


For participants on the intermediate and advanced courses, the park has some poison oak which you will want to avoid. It looks like this. Washing clothes and shoes, and bathing exposed areas with dishwashing soap (which removes the irritant oil) or a commercial product such as Tecnu is recommended.


The following fees apply at this event.

  $3 for juniors on beginner's (White) and advanced beginner's (Yellow) courses
  $8 for adults on beginner's (White) and advanced beginner's (Yellow) courses
  $5 for juniors on intermediate (Orange) and advanced courses  
$12 member price for intermediate (Orange) and advanced courses
$18 non-member price for intermediate (Orange) and advanced courses
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don't own one; you'll need one to complete the course)
$15 for the lowest-cost individual one-year BAOC membership (optional)  

For extra people on a team, add $7 per adult for intermediate and advanced courses or $5 per adult on beginners' courses (with lower prices for juniors).

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/100KB), which you can print and fill out in advance to save some time at the event. (You will need one entry form for each group of people going on a course together.) Please note that the form has a second page for signatures of group members.

Request for Volunteers

Please consider volunteering to help at this event. Help will be especially needed during morning setup, and control pickup at the end of the event. Please send email to if you can help.

We would like a few early runners to go out on Sunday on the advanced courses, check that everything is OK, and wake up the controls. The estimated start would be ~8:45 AM, well before the official first start at 10 AM. Please let or know if you are interested. Thanks, Derek Maclean

Driving Directions

Note: You cannot take the normal Alum Rock-Mt. Hamilton Rd route to the event, because of a road closure.

To reach the park from the north, take Hwy 101 south to the Tully Rd exit, and head east (toward the hills). Turn right onto Quimby Rd (just before East Ridge Shopping Center); take this up and over the hill until it meets Mt. Hamilton Road. Turn right and go a few hundred yards to the park entrance. After paying the $6 vehicle entry fee, go about 0.6 miles to the parking area designated by the O' signs.

From the south, coming up Hwy 101, take the Capitol Expy exit and head east (toward the hills). Go about 1.5 miles, turn right onto Quimby Road, and follow the directions just above.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event.

Carpool Sites

People can meet at East Ridge Shopping Center (at Tully and Quimby). That might seem so near the park as to be not helpful, but it does save the steep, twisty drive up Quimby Rd and the park entrance fee for the cars that are left below.