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Sunol Regional Wilderness

Date: (Sun.) Oct. 29, 2017
Location: Sunol, CA
Event Directors: - 925.862.2978,
Course Setter: Misha Kreslavsky
Type: B; Standard 7-course B-meet in a beautiful, but challenging park

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

We return to Sunol Regional Wilderness ( for our annual event. (We normally visit this park in the spring, but this year the rangers required us to schedule the event in the fall or winter.) Seven courses are on the menu, with our usual beginner and intermediate courses as well as a full set of advanced courses to choose from. We have an excellent course setter, and the courses will be in a less physical part of the park, so come and join in on the fun!

Sunol Scenic View
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What is Orienteering

An adventure! Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! Navigate to checkpoints using a specially-produced map. Participants may enter individually or in teams of up to five people. You can read more about orienteering here.


  9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginners' clinic instruction (free)
 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts open
           2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control 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)).

Note that you can register and start on courses anytime between the open and close times above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be "punctual" at 9:00 (but you can if you want, but please don't show up earlier and expect to be served).

Beginners' clinics are short, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the beginner (White) course.

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, stick around and socialize with other participants!


The following fees apply at this event.

  $3 for juniors (age 8 through 20) on beginner's (White) and advanced beginner's (Yellow) courses
  $8 for adults on beginner's and advanced beginner's courses
  $5 for juniors on intermediate (Orange) and advanced (Brown, Green, Red, Blue) courses  
$12 member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$18 non-member price for intermediate 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)  

Note: We are able to accept payment only by cash or check​—​no credit cards or electronic payments.

For extra people on a team, add $5 per adult on beginners' courses or $7 per adult on intermediate and advanced 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.

What to Bring

For the beginner (White) course, comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

Due to the dry weather, matted grasses, and loose soils, we recommend O-shoes or shoes with cleats on the intermediate (Orange) and advanced (Brown through Blue) courses. Hiking boots with an aggressive tread are recommended for the advanced beginner (Yellow) course.

Dry grasses with burrs and stickers are present on all the courses except White. We recommend long pants and gaiters.

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 and vault toilets are available.

There is no longer piped drinking water available at this park. BAOC will provide drinking water at the assembly area and at water stops on the intermediate and advanced courses. There will not be any water stops on the White and Yellow courses. If you plan to carry water bottles or a Camelback-style water bladder on your course, please fill them at home.

Starts and Finish

Be sure to go to the correct Start!

The White (Beginner) Start is a short (170 m) walk from the registration/assembly area southeast along the main park road.

The Start for all the other courses (Yellow through Blue) will require a short (400 m, 40 m elevation gain) trail hike following streamers. Plan on taking 15–20 minutes to get to the Start.

The Finish for all the courses is 100–m from the assembly area (just across the footbridge).


Here are the course details (updated October 23rd):

    Course   Length      Climb     Controls  Stops  Navigation     Terrain
    White    2.4 km    60 m  2.5%     12       0    Beginner       Trails, Very easy  
    Yellow   1.9 km   120 m  6.3%     10       0    Adv. Beginner  Off-trail, Easy
    Orange   3.7 km   150 m  4.1%      8       1    Intermediate   Off-trail, Moderate
    Brown    3.6 km   150 m  4.2%     14       2    Advanced       Off-trail, Difficult
    Green    4.9 km   200 m  4.1%     14       2    Advanced       Off-trail, Hard
    Red      6.2 km   290 m  4.7%     19       3    Advanced       Off-trail, Very Hard
    Blue     7.6 km   390 m  5.1%     26       4    Advanced       Off-trail, Very Hard

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.

The Advanced Courses at Sunol Will Count Toward National Rankings

There is no reason for anyone to be scared away by this, nor for beginners and novices to get the feeling that this is not an event for them. Nothing about the Sunol event will be noticeably different from any of our other high-quality BAOC "B" events. The fees, schedule, procedures, and just about everything else will be the same. The spirit of the day will be no more, and no less, competitive than our regular events.

We are taking advantage of a new rule, just passed by the Orienteering USA Board in September, that gives us the opportunity to have one of our regular events each year count toward USA rankings. The idea is to give more people an opportunity to get ranking scores. Many of you participated in the Point Pinole and Briones National Ranking Events in March, so if you add this Sunol event to that, and then participate in the National Ranking Event on the final day of Sprint San Francisco (Dec. 10), then you will have achieved the minimum of four ranking events required for a place in the U.S. rankings without ever leaving the Bay Area. And even if you don’t participate in four ranking events yourself, your entry on an advanced course at Sunol will help others get more statistically significant ranking scores.

We will list the event results by course, as we always do at our regular events. However, the results submitted to OUSA for ranking purposes will be submitted by age categories. You can see the list of OUSA age categories here ( To list you in the correct category, we will need to know your year of birth. If you are BAOC member in good standing, we already have that data. Otherwise, we will have a means for you to submit that information when you register at the event (details to follow). Alternatively, you can send your year of birth to our National Event Coordinator, (please use that link for the address). If you run a course that’s "above" your age category (e.g., if you are an M55+, which should be on Green, but you run Red), then we will list you in the oldest appropriate category for that course, unless you instruct us otherwise in advance. (For the M55+ example, for instance, that would be M45+.) If we don’t know your age category, we will list you in the "Open" category for your course. Finally, if for some reason you would not like your personal result submitted for rankings, you can opt out by declaring yourself "non-competitive". You will still be listed in our event results in the normal way, but your result won't count toward national rankings. You will be able to opt out at registration at the event, or you can send a note saying you want to opt out to (please use that link for the address). Note that such an election must be made before you run your course.


Poison Oak: Participants on all but the White course will encounter some poison oak which you will want to avoid. I looks like this. Washing clothes and shoes and bathing exposed areas with dishwashing soap or a commercial product such as Tecnu to help remove the irritant oil is recommended. Poison oak is dry this time of year, leaves turn orange or red, are beginning to fall off, and it can be hard to identify. The irritating oils are present in the stems as well as the leaves.

Ticks: Deer ticks are found in this area and may carry Lyme disease.

Rattlesnakes: Rattlesnakes are present in this park. They are not aggressive, but if threatened or cornered, they may strike. Give them distance and respect.

Steep Terrain: The terrain at Sunol is very steep. The contour interval is 7.5 meters rather than the usual 5-meter interval. Closely spaced 7.5 m contours may indicate a slope that is not safely crossable. During the dry season, fallen leaves and loose soils result in slippery slopes.

Park Rules

No Smoking: There is no smoking allowed in Sunol Regional Park

Dogs: If you plan to bring a dog to the park, please review and abide by leash rules posted near the registration area and on line (

Equestrians: There is an equestrian-only trail that parallels the White course. It is clearly marked. Please do not use this trail. Horses always have the right of way. If you encounter equestrians while running on a multi-use trail or road, please walk until you are clear of the horses. A startled horse could throw and injure the rider. Also be careful not to jump onto a trail when horses are nearby.

Other Considerations

Cattle: The advanced courses will cross a cattle grazing area. Cows are generally docile and easily avoided, but do not get between a mother cow and a calf.

Fences: There are several fences in the area used for the advanced courses. One of the conditions of use of Sunol Park for orienteering events is that we DO NOT CLIMB FENCES. The course setter has mapped several areas where there are gaps in the fence. In addition, he indicates that there are many locations where rolling under a high or loose bottom strand is easy. Do NOT attempt to climb over a fence or squeeze between strands. Any such violation will result in disqualification of the participant (and, more importantly, could jeopardize our ability to use the park).

Request for Volunteers

Misha has designed some challenging courses, sooooo we need some volunteers for this event. Please consider volunteering to help in one of the ways below.

Oct. 25th Update: I haven't been able to fill a single slot for starts. So I've decided to have an unmanned Finish to reduce the number of volunteers, since it is so close to the assembly area, but I really need some help with starts.

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 Gary know if you are interested.

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 four miles to Geary Road. (Note: Calaveras Road is closed just past the Geary Road turnoff.) Turn left onto Geary Road and continue about two miles to the park entrance.

For GPS navigation, the approximate coordinates are 37.515393,-121.832400.

The entry kiosk will be manned by a ranger to collect (cash only) use fees of $5 per car and $2 per dog. Please try to bring exact change.

Follow O' signs to parking and registration. (Park only in designated parking areas. The rangers do give tickets.)

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.)