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Mills College

Event #4 of 6 in the BAOC 2019 Summer Series

Date: (Sun.) Jul. 21, 2019
Location: Oakland, CA
Event Director: - 510.681.6181
Course Setter: Wayne Staats
Type: C; This event will be part of the 2019 Summer Series — one course for Beginners, who are very welcome, and one "advanced" course — the courses will be "easier" than usual because of the nature of the campus.

Course Setter’s Notes

By Wayne Staats

Mills College is a small, picturesque campus nestled in the hills of Oakland, with interesting, historical architecture. Mills offers opportunities for technical urban navigating plus a few forest sections and some hilly topography. Due to its mix of urban and forest terrain, it serves as an excellent venue for a first foray into orienteering. Mills also offers experienced orienteers a chance to test their skills on a fast, extended Sprint course with some off-trail segments mixed in.


Two courses are being offered: a “beginner” course and an “advanced” course. The course statistics are as follows:

    Course     Length   Climb   Controls
    Beginner   2.0 km    58 m      16  
    Advanced   5.5 km   195 m      28

Beginners should be aware that the lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat longer. For a rough estimate of how far you might actually go, mentally change "km" to "mi" (e.g., for a "2.0 km" course, you might travel up to 2.0 miles). 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.

The start is 300 m from the assembly area, with no climb.


The map scale is 1:4000, with 2.5 m contours, and follows Sprint standards. Please note the following rules that apply to Sprint events:

  • Anything on the map marked olive-green or with red/pink vertical lines is out of bounds, and must not be run through.
  • Linear, dark-green features are hedges, and must not be crossed.
  • As Dennis W. recently pointed out in this BayONet posting (, on a Sprint map, “certain objects (fences, walls, streams, ponds, hedge rows, flower beds) can be designated as uncrossable or impassable. In such instances, it means that you are forbidden to cross it, go through it, climb it, jump over it, crawl under it, reach over or through it, etc.” In other words, you must not cross those objects even if you are physically able to do so.
The International Specification for Sprint Orienteering Maps (ISSOM 2007) that is in effect through December 31, 2019 can be found in this document (PDF/285KB). A new edition of the Sprint Specification (ISSprOM 2019) will take effect January 1, 2020. (The new file on the IOF website is "huge"; a reasonable-size copy is available here (PDF/1.9MB).)

Another feature of Sprint maps is that a light-gray area in a (dark-gray) building indicates a covered passageway going through the building or underneath the edge of the building. Going through a light-gray area is permitted; going through a dark-gray area is not permitted.

Map Exchange for Advanced Course

Because of the small campus size, the Advanced course will be divided in two sections, printed on two separate maps. The first map will show the course from the start triangle to control 15. At control 15, the competitors will switch to the second map, which will show the course from control 15 (again) to the Finish. Competitors need to punch control 15 only once (but make sure that you do punch it!).

The second map will be available in two ways: at the Start (so that competitors can put both maps in the same map case), or at control 15 (if competitors prefer to carry only one map). In either case, it will be possible to discard the first map at control 15 if you want to do that.


Hybrid trail/road running shoes would be ideal footwear; urban running shoes would probably be fine as well. There are a few off-trail legs on the Advanced course, where leaf litter makes the footing a bit slippery and the lugs on a trail shoe would be helpful. Shoes with metal studs are not allowed.

There will not be any water placed on the courses, so if you think you will need it, please carry it with you.

Unfortunately, Mills College does not allow dogs on the campus.