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“Corona” training course at Las Trampas
Las Trampas Wilderness Regional Preserve, not at the “normal” place
Dates: April 23, 2020 to ??
Location: Alamo, CA
Type: Training; Streamered course for practice/exercise during the shutdown (not at the “normal” place)
- This is not an official BAOC event, and we do not have a park permit for this course.
- Be careful for your safety. Tell somebody where you will be and when you expect to return.
- Please try to maintain a “low profile” while at the park.
- Be mindful of the general COVID-19 restrictions, and any specific restrictions that might apply to the park.
To keep the trend going, another “training” course is available for you to enjoy—this one in Las Trampas (https://www.ebparks.org/parks/las_trampas/), on the east side, accessible from Alamo.
The course is ready now. All the information is available in the Course Setter’s Notes (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dtNdoRp5ZrWViLQH0e77ugH0eZ7kEQ5d/view?usp=sharing).
Here are the key details:
- Trailhead location: 37.834097,-122.025931. The trailhead is on Camille Avenue in Alamo, with adequate street parking.
- Trailhead to Start: 900 m hike with 100 m climb
- No facilities or water.
- Length: 5.2 km
- Climb: 310 m (Yes, it is Las Trampas!)
- Controls: 10
- Map scale: 1:10,000
- Contour interval: 7.5 m
As with the other “Corona” courses, there is a sign-up sheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-jN8c9obVsn86-1cgUgv7IDbpbt90Kru8atlCuHpq_g/edit?usp=sharing). Please use it.
The course map is available here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/17-cwuV7_XZEj1TL-3m3DjzaonVopf91w/view?usp=sharing).
Again, the Course Setter’s Notes are here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dtNdoRp5ZrWViLQH0e77ugH0eZ7kEQ5d/view?usp=sharing). Link to CS notes:
Comments on the course are welcome.
(April 23, 2020)
I had a good time at Las Trampas today. I took the safest reasonable route to each control, as the 7.5-meter contour interval hides a lot of terrain features, and the steep, vegetated reentrants can be difficult to impossible to climb in and out of. You are braver than I am if you opt to go straight on a couple of the legs.
All of the streamers were there, and I found them pretty easily, except for #7, which was low to the ground, and in a dot clearing that I could not distinguish from the rest of the terrain in the area. Spent at least 5 minutes wandering back and forth looking for it, and was about to give up and tie a new one when it suddenly showed up, in exactly the same spot where I had been all along, but not looking in the right direction.
Take Luc's warning seriously about the trails! You will encounter some major new trails that are not on the map, and a couple of the trails that are on the map do not exist anymore, as far as I could tell. So pay attention to the contours and to the vegetation first and foremost (the open fields are certainly all still there and mapped correctly), and consider it to be a bonus if the trail you are looking for is also there.
(April 26, 2020)
I did a “maintenance” run in Las Trampas this morning.
- All the streamers were still there, despite several reports that #2 was missing.
- I’ve added another streamer at #3, about 6 ft from the ground to make it more clear.
- The grass is completely dried out and fairly high, as there are no cows. Strongly recommend gaiters and even extra duct tape, and studded shoes are a must.
- Sorry, Evan, that you had to abort after 2 controls, I should have been more clear about the steepness of the terrain. I’d consider this course to be in the “physical Red” category, so be forewarned.
- Some more tips for those brave enough to tackle the challenge:
- Soil in the area of #1 and going to #2 is extremely loose, having been dug up by a million wild pigs, I suppose. The reentrant between #1 & #2 is passable using unmapped animal trails.
- Reentrants between #5–#6–#7 are impassable—stay high above them. Unfortunately that makes #7 a “dog-leg”.
- Mapped trail in the area of #6 is completely miss-mapped and very confusing.
- As mentioned before, there are many established trails that are not mapped, including, but certainly not limited to, right at the Start, and going from #9 to #10.
- Close to #10, the map shows a trail that is not there, there is a fence with gate at the bottom that is not mapped, gate and fence at top of #10 that are not mapped, etc.
- Going from #4 to #5 can be either very easy or total frustration depending on which contour line you follow. I recommend to keep it rather low—there is a lot of dead-fall if you are too high.
- The base of the fallen tree at #2 is surrounded by waist-high thistles, luckily not the yellow star-thistle type. There are elephant trails, so you can somewhat avoid them.
- The only reliable features are the contour lines and most open areas.
- Don’t do this course in very warm weather, the climb from #2 to #3 is exposed.
- Once you reach #3, you’ve done 75% of the course climb.
- Don’t forget that the hike from the trailhead to the Start is a 100 m climb—a nice warm-up. 🙂
(May 24, 2020)