2018 California Orienteering Week (COW)

California Orienteering Week (COW)

Stage 5: Sierra College Campus

Date: Friday, March 23, 2018
Location: Rocklin, CA
Event Director: - 916.220.0224
Course Setters: Matias Arola (BAOC), Dwight Freund (GCO)
Type: A; Sprint National Event with recreational beginner courses

Latest Changes:

Sierra College info added. (3/22)
Assembly Area is described. (3/14)
Embargoed areas are specified. (3/14)
Start times (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/cow2018) have been assigned. (3/12)
Course details are final. (3/12)
Course Setter's Notes added. (3/12)
Driving Directions added. (3/12)

Table of contents

Details will be added here as they become available.

Opened in 1962, the 311-acre Rocklin Campus of Sierra College is nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills minutes from Sacramento along Interstate 80. The campus is located in South Placer County, one of the most rapidly-growing areas in California.

More than 50 buildings dot the campus, ranging from classrooms to technology laboratories to student centers. The four-story Learning Resources Center is the most visible structure. The Standing Guard Memorial Garden is a highlight. This Japanese-style garden was built in remembrance of Placer County Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II, and to honor Japanese American veterans. The Sierra College Natural History Museum has one of the most extensive regional collections of natural history and scientific displays.

Campus nature trails wind through 70 acres of local foothill oak woodland and the streamside communities along Secret Ravine. Visitors may refresh their spirits by observing birds; enjoying the sounds of a babbling brook; hearing the rustling of the wind; and spotting local animal life. The trail's vernal pools include those made from 19th century gold excavation sites in the northeastern portion of the campus, and a man-made demonstration pool near the cactus and rock garden of Sewell Hall.

The Sierra College West Arboretum maintains a living collection of Californian native plant specimens, and the East Arboretum hosts a wider variety of horticultural and worldwide species. (Neither arboretum is on the campus map linked below.)

A campus map is available as a download here (PDF/2.2MB) (https://www.sierracollege.edu/_files/resources/about-us/visit/documents/rocklin-map-brochure-8-17.pdf). The Sierra College website is here (http://www.sierracollege.edu).

"Believe the Website"

The printed material in your registration packets went to press as information was still being added to the event webpages (i.e., the main event page and all seven "Stage" pages). Thus, if there is a conflict between the printed notes and the website, believe the website. We apologize for any confusion that might occur.


Registration open: 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Beginner clinics: 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Recreational starts open: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (this changed on 3/13)
Competitive start window: 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Courses close: 3:30 PM

Campus is Out of Bounds!

Except for the areas described in the Assembly Area section below, and the drive in on Campus Drive from the East Entrance to the parking lot, the entire campus is embargoed from 6:00 AM on March 23rd until course closure. That means you may not enter other areas of the campus on that day until after the entire competition is completed.

Assembly Area

You should park in Lot E (or Lot D or F, but only if E is full).

  Assembly Area(click for large image)
  Assembly Area
(click for large image)

The Assembly Area (see the map segment at the right) will be the grassy area between the Dietrich Theatre and Parking Lot B (see this campus map (PDF/2.2MB) (https://www.sierracollege.edu/_files/resources/about-us/visit/documents/rocklin-map-brochure-8-17.pdf)). Registration, Download, and the Finish will all be in the Assembly Area. Restrooms can be accessed through the entrance on the south side of the Theatre. The fabulous results displays will be at the west end of Lot B (be careful crossing the vehicle entrance to the lot).

The call-up line for the Start is on the south side of the Theatre.

Plop yourself down along the Finish chute, and cheer for people as they run in!

Notes for Competitive Entries

Notes for Recreational Entries


The advanced courses were designed by Matias Arola (BAOC); Dwight Freund (GCO) set the other courses and did all the field work. As noted below, climb is essentially negligible on all the courses.

Here are the final course details:

    Course          Length    Climb   Controls
    White/Yellow    1.5 km      5 m      14  
    Orange          1.8 km      5 m      12
    Brown           2.0 km     10 m      13
    Green           2.4 km     10 m      16
    Red             2.7 km     10 m      17
    Blue            3.1 km     15 m      21

Recreational (non-competitive) entries will be allowed on the beginner-level (White/Yellow) course, but will not be allowed on the intermediate-level (Orange) course.

Beginners should 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). (A rough rule of thumb is to mentally replace "km" with "mi", so a "1.5 km" course might cover about 1.5 miles.)

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).

Start Procedure

The same start procedure will be used at every Stage of the COW event. It is described here.

At Sierra College, you are not in the Start Triangle when you punch START, pick up your map, and start your course. Follow the instructions of the Start Crew member regarding getting to the Start Triangle.

Assigned start times for competitive entries are available here (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/cow2018).

Of Special Interest ...

For a real treat, we encourage participants to visit the lobby of the science building (Bldg. S, located just west of the Theatre building, easily accessible from parking lots D & E) after completing their courses. The entire lobby area, and some halls, contain a fabulous natural history museum full of fossils and other interesting artifacts collected in the local area. Additionally, other science museums send some unique pieces to Sierra College when they don't have room to display the items themselves. No additional fees are required to enter this museum, and the building is open until 10 PM.

Driving Directions

Note: You must enter the campus only at the East Entrance, as described below.

Coming from the Sacramento area, take I-80 heading east past Roseville to the Rocklin Road exit. Go right (east) for about a half-mile to the campus East Entrance (left turn). Upon entering the campus, turn left on Campus Drive and proceed a short distance to the entrance to parking lots D and E, directly opposite the Theatre building. The assembly area is directly to the east of this building. See below for parking instructions.

Coming from the east on I-80, take the Sierra College exit, and proceed south about a mile to Rocklin Road, turn right onto Rocklin Road, and proceed along the southern edge of the campus to the first traffic signal, which is the East Entrance where you will turn right. See below for parking instructions.

Some orienteers may choose to take the scenic route from the south: Hazel Avenue, which intersects U.S. Hwy 50, eventually morphs into Sierra College Blvd, and many miles later intersects Rocklin Road at the College. Turn left onto Rocklin Road, and continue along the southern edge of the campus to the East Entrance where you will turn right into the campus. See below for parking instructions.


Park in Lot E (or Lot D, but only if E is full). Lot F can also be used if E is full. You will need to pay $3 for the privilege of parking; the solar-powered dispensers now take credit cards and cash ($1 bills only).

Course Setters' Notes

By Dwight Freund

Welcome, Orienteers, to the low foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Friday's course is a typical urban Sprint course, to be held at the main campus of Sierra College, just off I-80 on the northeast outskirts of the Sacramento metropolitan area.

This is a relatively flat and compact map, and courses will frequently cross each other and themselves. There will be no water on these short courses, but please feel free to carry your own. Light refreshments will be provided to finishers. Restrooms are in the Theatre building next to the assembly area​—​please use only the south entrance to the building.

Map Notes

The map will be printed at a scale of 1:4000 with 2.5 m contours. The typically urban vegetation is generally runnable, with only one small patch being out-of-bounds (olive color on the map). The swimming pool and corporation areas are likewise marked as out-of-bounds (again, olive color on the map).

The campus is littered ... erm, decorated ... with student artwork and statues. The larger of these are indicated on the map with the black O (man-made object) symbol, while the black × is used for the usual sorts of man-made objects.

The map uses the International Specification for Sprint Orienteering Maps (ISSOM). There are significant differences in the symbols used, and in their meaning, from a "regular" orienteering map. Lack of familiarity with these differences can lead to confusion or disqualification. You can find the Specification on the Internet here (290KB PDF) (http://orienteering.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/International-Specification-for-Sprint-Orienteering-Maps-2007_corrected-201211.pdf). Please be sure to familiarize yourself with it.