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Indian Valley College

Date: (Sun.) May. 5, 2024
Location: Novato, CA
Event Director: - 415.895.6039
Course Setter: Petra Sundstrom
Type: B; Orienteering returns to the verdant hills around the Indian Valley College campus after a 7-year hiatus, with a new map; there will be the standard 7 (possibly 8) courses; free introductory instruction for beginners, who are very welcome

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

This year we are returning to Indian Valley in Novato after missing several years. Early May should provide plenty of spring flowers, and greenery and wildlife flush from the winter's rains. Petra Sundstrom, our course setter, will provide the standard seven courses (and possibly an eighth course), similar in spirit to previous events.

Please consider volunteering to help at the event. No matter what your skill set or experience, we can use you! We need several people to work on starts, one or two people on registration, any help on E-punch will be gratefully accepted, someone to give Beginner Clinics, and lots of people are needed for control pickup.

Note: Registration and E-punch will be at a new location this year. See the description below.

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! You can read more about orienteering here.


  9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginner-clinic instruction (free)
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts are open for all courses
                  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/12KB)).

Note that 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 (but you can if you want, but please don't show up earlier and expect to be served).

Beginner clinics are short (15–20 minutes), repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the beginner (White) course.

Note that you must return to the Finish by 2:00, and then promptly go to the download table, even if you do not finish your course. If there are unaccounted people after 2:00, we must initiate a search for them.

After you finish, stick around and socialize with other participants! For beginners, this is a good time to ask questions.

Costs and Registration

The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior on Beginner (White) and Advanced Beginner (Yellow) courses
  $8 for each adult on Beginner and Advanced Beginner courses
  $5 for each junior on Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (BrownBlue) 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)  
  • You can register at the event or online before the event (see below).
  • At the event, we can accept payment by cash, check, or credit/debit card (but no electronic payments — e.g., PayPal, Venmo).
  • Juniors are age 8 through 20 (under age 8 is free).
  • There is no charge for a second course (but you must end up paying for the more expensive course​—​i.e., the Intermediate course or an Advanced course after a Beginner 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 will be available closer to the event date. Registering in advance saves you time at the event, and makes life easier for the Registration crew. 😊

  • Online registration is not required​—​you can register at the event.
  • Compass rental cannot be arranged during online registration, but you can register online and rent a compass at the event.
  • E-punch fingerstick rental can be arranged during online registration.

Location at the College

Registration and E-punch will not be at the "normal" spot, adjacent to the old college swimming pool. Instead, they will be next to the "FARM", which is a big, red building with the word "FARM" on it in big letters. The building is next to the ball fields, and close to the end of Parking Lot 6 (look for BAOC directional signs).

Venue Facilities

Piped water and flush toilets are available.

What to Bring

For Beginners courses (White and Yellow), comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

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 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 E-punch 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 course details will be posted here closer to the event. Be sure to read the eventual Course Setter's Notes for more information.


For participants on the intermediate and advanced courses, the park has some poison oak which you will want to avoid. It looks like this. Washing clothes and shoes, and bathing with dishwashing soap or a commercial product such as Tecnu, is recommended to remove the irritant oil. (Note that you can be exposed through clothing, and that stalks without leaves are still a risk.)

Deer ticks are found in this area, and they might carry Lyme disease. So, please be sure to check yourself carefully after the event.

Volunteers Needed

As always, we need volunteers for this event. Please consider volunteering — we have many positions available: early setup, beginner clinics (1 more person needed), starts (early or late), and control pickup. No experience is necessary for any of the tasks — just send email to Gary Kraght, the Event Director ().

Driving Directions

Note: We will be parking at a different lot than in the past.

To get to the Indian Valley campus, take Highway 101 through Marin County to southern Novato, and exit at Ignacio Blvd. Go west on Ignacio Blvd as far as you can go, where it terminates at the College of Marin Indian Valley campus entrance. Follow the campus road to its end, and park in Parking Lot 6 (approximate coordinates 38.07677,-122.58272), with overflow parking in nearby Lot 5.

Note: There are signs about parking fees, but they do not apply on Sunday.