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Calero County Park

Date: (Sun.) Sep. 30, 2018
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.599.9709
Course Setters: Dan Greene, Quincy Rosenzweig, Eric Rosenzweig
Type: B; Standard seven-course event for beginners through advanced; National Ranking Event

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

Calero is almost always one of our best local events of the year. This year it has the added attraction that it is a National Ranking Event, which simply means that the results for all courses will count towards national rankings ( (see below).

The event (including entry fees) will be just like any of our other high-quality local events. The only thing that is a bit different is that we need to submit the results with people listed in appropriate age/gender classes ( To that end, at the event we will collect from all entrants (except those going out as part of a group) this information: year of birth, gender, and the class you want to be in for the course you are going to enter. There will be a colorful little form at Registration for you to fill out​—​please take a moment to do so. Those who use self-registration also need to fill out the form.

Note that, in orienteering, your (current) age is the age you will be at the end of the year. So, for instance, if you are going to turn 50 this coming December, as far as orienteering goes, you are 50 right now.
If you're not sure which class you should be listed in, just ask the people working registration for help.

What is Orienteering?

An adventure! Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! You can explore a course by yourself or go as a team with your friends. You will get a highly detailed orienteering map, probably unlike any map you have seen before. The map will have a lot of detail on it, such as fences, boulders, lone trees, vegetation boundaries, and anything else you might see. Your course will be printed on the map.

Orienteering is easy to learn, a challenge to master, and incredibly fun!

The photos on this page show various scenes in Calero Park, which change each time the page is drawn. You can click on a photo to see a larger image, and you can click on that image to see a really large one.

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  9:00 AM – Registration opens
  9:30 AM – Beginners' clinic instruction begins (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open
10:30 AM – Beginners' clinic instruction ends
11:59 AM – Registration closes
12:30 PM – Starts close
 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!

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Venue Facilities

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

Please note that due to Santa Clara County health department restrictions, we will not be offering the post-race refreshments that we typically have at BAOC events. A large water jug will be available.


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.


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Here are the final course stats:

    Course    Length    Climb  Controls  Navigation     Terrain
    White     3.5 km    180 m     11     Beginner       Trails, Easy  
    Yellow    3.2 km    160 m     13     Adv. Beginner  Mostly Trails, Easy
    Orange    3.1 km    260 m     12     Intermediate   Off Trail, Difficult
    Brown     2.4 km    195 m      9     Advanced       Off Trail, Difficult
    Green     3.1 km    260 m     12     Advanced       Off Trail, Difficult
    Red       4.7 km    365 m     16     Advanced       Off Trail, Difficult
    Blue      5.2 km    410 m     19     Advanced       Off Trail, Difficult

Note: There's a 0.65 km (0.40 mi) walk to the remote Start​—​allow at least 10–15 minutes.

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

Beginners should be aware that the lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. The climb numbers represent the amount of ascending that would be done on the "optimum route" (in the Course Setter's opinion), without regard for any descending. Because you won't travel in straight lines, and might not follow the optimum routes, your actual distance and climb will be somewhat more than what is shown above, and will depend on your route choices (and any errors you make).

Yes, the White (Beginner) course is 3.5 kilometers long (plus the walk to the Start). That's longer than usual, but despite the note above, that's close to the actual course distance you will cover (assuming no errors).

The Yellow (Advanced Beginner) course is actually longer than the White course, but appears shorter on the list because those are given as point-to-point distances. The White and Yellow courses follow essentially the same loop, so this is not a good day to do both, i.e., it wouldn't get much variety of terrain.

The Orange (Intermediate) course is shorter, but slightly more technically difficult, than typical, so perhaps you should think twice before moving up from Yellow at this event.

Because this is a National Ranking Event (for Middle-distance), the advanced courses are a bit shorter than at typical BAOC events, to compensate for the higher climb of this terrain compared to national norms.

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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 as shoes with some extra grip on the sole. The courses will be steep!

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.)


The intermediate and advanced courses will traverse some steep areas.

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

This is not a hazard, but you must remember that horses have the right of way. If you encounter a horse, you must stop running and respond to the rider's directions. Also, do not "burst out of the woods" onto a trail if there's a horse nearby.

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National Ranking Event

We've received approval from Orienteering USA to have the results of this event count towards national rankings. This is under a new program, begun last year, where each U.S. club gets to have one "free" national ranking event per year. ("Free" means no additional sanctioning fees are due to OUSA.)

This event will be just like the other high-quality local events we've held at Calero in years past. In particular, entry fees will be exactly the same as for any of our other standard local BAOC events. Hours, registration, starts​—​everything will be just as for any of our standard local events. The only difference will be that everyone gets a chance to have a day that counts towards national rankings. There's no reason for anyone to shy away from this event.

You can see the national rankings here ( You receive a ranking score for each day you participate in a national ranking event (e.g., like Calero, or any of the seven days from COW this past March). Your overall ranking score is then the average of your four highest scores in the preceding 12 months. So, Calero will give you an opportunity to improve your ranking, or, if you don't have four ranking days already, to get closer to the four needed to qualify officially.

Many thanks to Werner Haag (Event Director) and Dan Greene (Course Setter) for organizing the event at Calero!

(BAOC National Event Coordinator)

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Volunteers Needed

If you would like to help with the event, we need many volunteers. In particular, we could use a few people for these tasks:

  8:00–9:00:   Pre-runners
  9:30–10:30: Beginners' clinics
  9:45–11:15: Starts
11:15–12:30: Starts
10:30–12:00: Finishes
10:30–11:30: Parking Guide
  1:00–2:15:   Finishes
  2:00–3:30 (or so): Control Pick-up

No previous experience is needed (except for beginners' clinics). We will train you! And you can do a course before or after your volunteer duties.

Also, if you can't make it to the event, the advanced courses are all streamered & ready to vet.

Sept. 18th addition: We've had a request from the rangers to provide someone to guide parking at the event. Can somebody help with this task from 9:30 to 10:30, which is when most people arrive? It should be quite easy, because the cars just need to be directed to the fence or two rows behind that, and keep them away from the back of the lot.

Please send Event Director an email if you can help.

Driving Directions

The event assembly area is at the usual McKean Entrance Picnic Area in Calero County Park. Because everyone uses GPS for driving directions these days, we will only have one orange/white orienteering directional sign at the junction of McKean Road and the park entrance, about a half mile SE of the Bailey Road junction and about 1.3 miles SE of the Calero Reservoir Boat Launch. For GPS navigation, the address is 23205 McKean Road, San Jose. (The approximate coordinates are 37.174928,-121.761078.)

From the Peninsula, take Highway 85 south to Almaden Expressway. Head south 5 miles to the end of the road. Turn right onto Harry, and then immediately left onto McKean. The main park entrance is 5 miles south on McKean. Go past the boat ramp, and turn instead at the entrance marked "Calero County Park; Park Office; Equestrian Center; All Trailheads".

From the East Bay, take Highway 101 south past San Jose and exit at Bailey Ave. After 3.2 miles west, Bailey ends at McKean. Turn left and go south 0.7 miles to the park entrance.

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

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There's a large parking lot next to registration.

Please note that you must not park in the back of the lot​—​i.e., the part furthest from the road. Horse trailers park there, and we need to give them plenty of room to maneuver.