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Shell Ridge Open Space
Date: (Sun.) Feb. 12, 2023
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Course Setter: Jay Hann
Type: B; Standard 7-course event for beginners through advanced
Note to South Bay participants who plan to head north on I-680: Be sure to read the note in the Driving Directions below.
This event is open to the public (i.e., to non-members). We encourage everyone to join us. Free beginner instruction will be available, and there will be courses for beginners. You can find out more about orienteering elsewhere on our website—particularly in the FAQ section.
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!
We will be following the Contra Costa County health ordinance guidelines on the day of the event. That generally means that we can hold the event without social distancing and wearing masks. Nevertheless, we should all be cognizant of the ongoing risk of contracting COVID-19, even for those who have been fully vaccinated. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell in any way. If you are not vaccinated, we ask that you wear a mask while you are in the assembly area, including at the Start and the Finish.
Location In The Park
Note: The event will be at the same location we used last year, on the southwest side of the park, far from the locations we used in past years.
Parking will be at Walnut Heights Elementary School (4064 Walnut Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA), where restrooms will be open. The assembly area will be about a 600-meter walk from the parking lot. (See the directions below for details.)
Note: There is no parking at the assembly area. Please do not park on city streets closer to the park entrance.
Information about Shell Ridge Open Space is available on this website (https://www.walnut-creek.org/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/10/664). A map of adjacent Diablo Foothills Park is available here (PDF/1.6MB) (https://www.ebparks.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=24279).
The standard BAOC event schedule will be followed.
- 9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration is open
- 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginners clinic instruction (free)
- 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts are open
- 2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins
- Note: At on-site 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/12KB]).
You can register and start on courses anytime during the open times above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be “punctual” at 9:00 (you can if you want, but please don't show up early and expect to be served).
Beginner clinics are 15–20-minute, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the Beginner (White) course.
Everyone must check in at the Finish by 2:00 PM, and promptly report to the E-punch table, so we can have everyone accounted for and start checkpoint pick-up on time so those volunteers can get home.
After you finish, stick around and socialize with other participants (at a distance?).
Registration and Costs
The following fees apply at this event:
- $3 for each junior on Beginners (White) and Advanced Beginners (Yellow) courses
- $8 for each adult on Beginners and Advanced Beginners courses
- $5 for each junior on Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (Brown–Blue) courses
- $15 for each adult member on Intermediate and Advanced courses
- $20 for each adult non-member on 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)
- At the event, we are able to accept payment by cash or check. We might be able to accept credit cards, but please don’t count on it.
- Juniors are age 8 through 20 (under age 8 is free).
- There is no charge for a second course (e.g., Yellow after White, Advanced after Beginner, second Advanced, etc.), but you must end up paying for the more expensive course.
- Members of other orienteering clubs can pay the “member” fee. (We hope your club would do the same for our members. 🙂)
More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/12KB), 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.)
Optional Online Registration
Online registration has closed, but you can still register at the event.
- Online registration is not required—you can register at the event.
- You can see who is registered here (https://eventreg.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/shellridge2023) (but keep in mind that others will register at the event.
- Another reason to preregister: Jay Hann, the Course Setter (and E-punch guy for the event?) posted on the BayONet (https://groups.io/g/BAOC) that “the advanced courses will be ready to run at 7:30 AM Sunday, but registration doesn’t open until 9:00. So, if you are preregistered, you can self-start early. Yay!”
There are no facilities near the Start: no tables, no water, and no restroom. Please use the restrooms at Walnut Heights Elementary School (where we ask you to park). Please do not do #2’s in the park.
What To Bring
There might be limited drinking water at the event—possibly none at the assembly area; possibly provided on only the Green, Red, and Blue courses. So you might need to bring your own water. (Check back later on this.)
Comfortable outdoors attire and walking shoes are fine for the Beginner (White & Yellow) courses.
For Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (Brown through Blue) courses, leg cover or gaiters are recommended, as well as shoes with some extra grip on the sole.
A compass is not absolutely necessary, but can be very helpful (especially on the Advanced courses). 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 (note that there’s a significant charge for a lost rental). (Use of the “E-punch” system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)
- Note: The controls will be set up to respond to SPORTident SIAC¹ “touchless” fingersticks. That type of fingerstick might be available for rent at the event, but note that the charge for a lost SIAC stick will be $80, not the amount shown on the entry form.
The final course statistics are below. Be sure to read the Course Setter’s Notes for more information.
Navigation Course Length Climb Controls Map Scale Beginner White 1.7 km 40 m 2.4% 11 7,500 Yellow 3.4 km 140 m 4.1% 8 7,500 Intermediate Orange 4.2 km 290 m 6.9% 12 10,000 Advanced Short Brown 2.7 km 155 m 5.7% 6 10,000 Brown 4.0 km 225 m 5.6% 9 10,000 Green 5.6 km 255 m 4.6% 12 10,000 Red 7.4 km 395 m 5.3% 15 10,000 Blue 8.8 km 475 m 5.4% 20 10,000
- 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” (i.e., 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).
A photo of what the hills looked like Saturday, January 14, is here (https://jayhann.smugmug.com/Orienteering/BAOC-2023/Shell-Ridge/i-3gS9gNh/A).
Note: Horses always have the right of way. If you encounter a horse, you must stop running and respond to the rider’s direction.
As noted above, the controls will be set up to respond to SPORTident SIAC¹ “touchless” fingersticks. Of course, they will also respond to regular insert-the-stick usage.
Safety & Hazards
Poison oak is currently not very visible. It is in the naked-twig stage, but should still be avoided. (Washing clothes and shoes and bathing exposed skin with dish-washing soap or a commercial product such as Tecnu is recommended to remove the irritant oil.)
Mud is slippery. Grass is not slippery, and is fairly short, so footing off trail is excellent and fast.
No ticks have been found yet, but always check yourself “just in case”.
Did we mention that horses have the right-of-way? If you encounter a horse, you must stop and say something to the rider (i.e., so the horse knows you’re a person), and follow their directions.
Request for Volunteers
As usual, we need many volunteers at this event. In particular, we will need people for these tasks:
- Set up Registration and E-punch tents: Before 9:00
- Help in the parking lot: 9:00–11:00 (two 1-hour shifts?)
- Registration: 9:00–noon
- Beginners clinics: 9:30–10:30
- Set up Start & Finish: Before 10:00
- Starts: 9:45–11:00 and 11:00–12:30
- Control pickup: 2:00
Please contact Wayne Staats (), the Event Director, to reserve your spot before they're all taken! 😉
Directions to the Event
The approximate coordinates of the parking lot are 37.8941,-122.0375. The approximate coordinates of the assembly area are 37.8945,-122.0325.
Driving Directions to the Parking Lot
Please do not park on city streets closer to the park entrance.
Parking will be at Walnut Heights Elementary School, 4064 Walnut Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA.
Note that the parking lot is on the west side of the park, far from where we've parked in past years!
- The following directions might not be the most efficient. For example, Google Maps would have you take different routes through Walnut Creek. However, those routes are too hard to describe. 🙂
- Traveling north on I-680:
- Take the Ygnacio Valley Road exit (#46B, just north of the Hwy 24 interchange). Turn right onto Ygnacio Valley Road and go 0.8 miles to Walnut Blvd (not Walnut Ave as in past years). Turn right onto Walnut Blvd (not Walnut Ave), and continue about 1.4 miles to Walnut Heights Elementary School on your left. Turn left into the school and park.
- Note: About 3 miles of northbound I-680 might be closed for repaving work between Sunol (just north of Highway 84) and Pleasanton (Sunol Blvd). Pleasanton Sunol Rd will be available as a detour, but it will probably be crowded and slow. Up-to-date details of the closure plans, and a map of the affected area, can be seen here (https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-4/d4-projects/d4-680-paving-project).
- Traveling south on I-680:
- Take the N Main Street exit (#47), and head south on N Main St. Turn left onto Ygnacio Valley Road and go 0.6 mile to Walnut Blvd (not Walnut Ave as in past years). Turn right onto Walnut Blvd (not Walnut Ave), and continue about 1.4 miles to Walnut Heights Elementary School on your left. Turn left into the school and park.
- Coming from the east:
- Take Ygnacio Valley Rd to Walnut Blvd (not Walnut Ave as in past years). Turn left onto Walnut Blvd (not Walnut Ave), and continue about 1.4 miles to Walnut Heights Elementary School on your left. Turn left into the school and park.
You will have to walk about 600 meters from the parking lot to the Registration/Start area.
From the parking lot entrance, turn left onto Walnut Blvd and walk about 300 meters to Sutherland Dr. Turn left onto Sutherland Dr, and walk about 300 meters to the park entrance.
¹ SIAC = SPORTident ActiveCard; also known as an “AIR+” E-stick or fingerstick.