Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Date: (Sun.) Oct. 5, 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 650.941.8251
Course Setter: Derek Maclean
Type: C; Intermediate/advanced courses only (Orange thru Blue); NO BEGINNER COURSES

Skip to the Results

Event Write-Up


We would like to thank everyone who came to the Almaden Quicksilver (AQ) event last week. BAOC's first-ever local event at the park—we've had two Goat events and one A-meet there previously.

Courses were tough physically in some areas, especially in the extremely steep (though downhill) terrain near the finish.

The winning times on all courses were almost exactly as predicted, with Green, Red, and Blue each being won by a time within 2 mins of 1 hr. The spread of times on each course was quite large, however, and there were more DNFs than we would like to see. This terrain is very rugged, and a small mistake can cause a lot of energy to be wasted. We might have liked the winning times to be a few minutes longer, but this would have made the courses even more challenging for many. You can thank the efforts of a strong vetting crew for restraining me. It is tough for a course setter to get the balance right in a park when the course stats don't really convey the true challenge of the terrain.

We quickly identified that a remote start was essential to deliver suitable courses, and the high parking lot offered one of the few accesses to the better terrain. Since just hiking back along trails to the main parking lot was over 3 km, this set a lower limit on course distances. The Brown course, at 3.9 km, was as short as could be achieved while presenting a technical off-trail course. The longer winning time (70 mins), low number of entrants (8), and high DNF rate (4/8) suggests that a number of people thought the stats for Brown looked too easy and moved up a course.

All the courses had to be refined somewhat to accommodate the occasional patchy map quality. We tried to make the controls as technically challenging as the map would support. With map improvements the technical level of courses at AQ could be enhanced. This might also reduce the severe physical cost of minor mistakes, since it would be easier to more reliably relocate. Several quite good controls were eliminated during field checking due to poor map quality on one or more approach routes that would have made them unfair.

One control that seems to have been particularly challenging was #34, which illustrates some challenges of course setting at AQ. This small cliff in a patch of green forest was used on all the advanced courses. It was preceded by a steep downhill approach, which helped some people to overshoot. The vegetation boundaries near the control were more or less accurate—or at least interpretable if close contact was maintained. The contour and rock features were accurately mapped, although smaller unmapped features were reported nearby, which confused some. All in all we were happy with this control (which was also used for the last Goat), but some found it a bit bingo-like for their tastes.

The junior course was enjoyed by those who tried it. It had slightly more technical challenge than a White course, but a much shorter distance. We had a low turnout from the regular juniors, but since there were no White and Yellow courses, we did have a family and some other beginners try the course. David Harrison blasted round the course to take first place as a warm-up for the upcoming Scout Championships in Briones.

There were many people who gave us lots of help for this event and we would like to thank them:

Vetting: Jim Waite, Steve Harrison, David Harrison, Peter Graube, Dean French, Nancy Lindeman
Control Hanging: Jim Waite, Steve Harrison, Peter Graube, Jim Fish
Map Printing and Condes help: Bob Cooley
Control Pickup: Steve Harrison, Werner Haag, Jim Fish, Brad Wetmore, Rex Winterbottom, David Harrison, Long Dam
Shuttle Drivers: Dean French, Steve Harrison, Kent Ohlund, Nancy Lindeman
E-punch: Jim Fish, Peter Graube
Registration: Ev and Jean Bauerman
Junior Course: David Harrison, Rory Maclean

Thanks again,
Steph and Derek Maclean


Almaden Quicksilver County Park

San Jose, CA
Sunday, October 5, 2008

  Pl  Name(s)                        Time

Junior Course   (1.1 km, 13 controls)

   1  David Harrison (COOL)          11:26
   2  Long Dam                       26:05
   3  Eglute Martisiute              29:01
   4  Amelia & Shelby Nugents        46:21
   5  Andrew Houts                 1:13:11

      Gabija Masalkovaite (COOL)     DNF
      Karina Masalkovaite (COOL)     DNF

Orange Course   (3.9 km, 130 m climb, 12 controls)

   1  John Turner                  1:12:55
   2  Tero-Pekka Alastalo          1:18:03
   3  Juho Parkkinen               1:18:24
   4  Ken Considine                1:20:42
   5  Juha & Eemeli Koskenvuo      1:21:58
   6  Ana Herreros                 1:27:32
   7  Terri Hunt, Kevin Hinkley    1:36:05
   8  Scott Novotny                1:42:50
   9  Gwen Juha                    1:43:34
  10  Sung Lee                     1:50:27
  11  John Marold                  1:56:13
  12  Paul & Megan McCandless      2:01:30
  13  Hershey McCorquodale         2:02:33
  14  Fred & Diane Ciaramaglia     2:04:46
  15  Judy Koehler                 2:22:16

      Alex & Nick van Hoff           DNF
      David Dippon                   DNF

Brown Course    (3.9 km, 175 m climb, 11 controls)

   1  Misha Lipatov                1:10:57
   2  David Jorgensen              1:19:47
   3  Oleg Shakhnovsky             1:41:05
   4  Jim Fish                     2:19:26

      Nancy Lindeman                 DNF
      Marina Keating                 DNF
      Hilary Hardcastle              DNF
      Stanton Maddaloni              DNF

Green Course    (4.3 km, 200 m climb, 11 controls)

   1  Kent Ohlund                  1:02:14
   2  Werner Haag                  1:15:38
   3  Bob Cooley                   1:24:03
   4  Evan Custer                  1:41:42
   5  Joe Saba                     1:41:58
   6  Chuck Spalding               1:43:00
   7  Greg Ehrensing               2:00:41
   8  Dave MacLachlan              2:00:42
   9  Maria Hastings               2:11:12
  10  Kelly Wells                  2:21:56
  11  Johanna Merriss              2:33:08
  12  Jeff Lanam                   2:33:58
  13  Mark Rice                    2:43:33
  14  Tom & Judy Cronin            2:55:46

      Rosemary Johnson               DNF
      Bud Laird                      DNF
      Frederick Lee                  DNF

  Second Course

      Mikkel Conradi                 58:53

Red Course      (5.0 km, 265 m climb, 12 controls)

   1  Steve Gregg                  1:02:30
   2  Tapio Karras                 1:03:45
   3  Matthias Kohler              1:08:31
   4  Deron van Hoff               1:17:39
   5  Devin Prouty                 1:24:41
   6  Rich Parker (SDO)            1:25:56
   7  Mark Blair                   1:40:34
   8  Theo Verhoeven               1:41:05
   9  Brad Wetmore                 1:50:20
  10  Parag Gupta                  1:52:16
  11  Bob Strauss                  2:02:20
  12  Luc Poppe                    2:22:31

      Eric Rosenzweig                DNF

Blue Course     (6.0 km, 330 m climb, 14 controls)

   1  Ben Legg                       59:29
   2  Janas Kjall                  1:03:32
   3  Mikkel Conradi               1:05:42
   4  Jon Hovland                  1:14:36
   5  Blas Lopez                   1:32:12
   6  Scott Porter                 1:32:16
   7  Piers Newbery                1:38:19
   8  Penny DeMoss                 1:38:42
   9  Francois Leonard             1:42:31
  10  Greg Khanlarov               1:47:48
  11  Greg Favor                   1:50:35
  12  Rex Winterbottom             1:54:23
  13  Andrejus Masalkovas          1:54:26
  14  Joe Maffei                   2:01:23
  15  Roger Michel                 2:23:53
  16  Andrew Peterson              2:29:16

      Dennis Wilkinson               DNF
      John & Morgan Taylor           DNF


DNF = Did not finish (missed one or more controls)