To all the participants of the Vision Quest and Counting Coup:
We thank all of you for your support of our Pow Wow Events. So far the long-range forecast looks good after the storm expected this Thursday and Friday. Other updates will be released if conditions change.
This update will answer some questions you may have regarding the events.
In this Vision Quest and Counting Coup Update:
Event Date: Saturday, March 3rd 2007
Starting Location: Black Star Canyon Road – Start: 5:30 AM
End: Trabuco Creek Road and Trabuco Canyon Road
Post-event staging area: O’Neill Regional Park
1. Can Registered Riders pick up their race packets before the event(s)?
2. What about Registered Rider Packet pickup on the morning of the event?
3. Will there be food at the start? What about restrooms?
4. Do I need a light?
5. Will there be any shuttles? What about parking at the start?
6. What are the cutoff times?
7. What will be provided at the Aid Stations? Can I have my own Aid Station bag?
8. What other support will be on the course?
9. What issues / areas on the course should I be aware of?
10. What are you doing to prevent participants from cutting the course?
11. Where can I camp?
12. Can my family or friends meet me at the Aid Stations?
13. When will the awards ceremony start?
14. Will there be “Dog Soldier” hamburgers at the top of West Horse Thief?
15. What about weather? What if rain is predicted?
16. What is the back-up date if the event is postponed due to weather?
17. Will refunds be given if I have to drop out prior to the event or can’t make the make-up date?
18. What about massage after the event and the prize raffle?
19. Will Vision Quest “Finisher” hats will be available for purchase at the finish
1. CAN REGISTERED RIDERS PICK UP THEIR RACE PACKETS BEFORE THE EVENT?
To save everyone time we are encouraging everyone to pre-register at Switchback Cyclery before the event to receive your number plate and event t-shirt. This would save all of us tons of time the morning of the event.
BOTH EVENTS ARE SOLD OUT AND THIS IS INFORMATION IS FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS ONLY.
Registered Rider Packet Pickup for Vision Quest and Counting Coup will be held at Switchback Cyclery from Saturday Feb. 24th thru Friday March 2nd (EXCEPT FOR SUNDAY, FEB. 25TH WHEN THE SHOP WILL BE CLOSED). Participants can designate a friend to pick up their packet if they let our Event Director Sherry Panttaja know by emailing her at:
Switchback Cyclery is located at 3436 E. Chapman in Orange (on the southeast corner of Prospect and Chapman)
2. WHAT ABOUT REGISTERED RIDER PACKET PICKUP ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT?
We will have Registered Rider Packet Pickup on the day of the event at the start at Black Star Canyon Road starting at 4:45 a.m. and ending at 5:15 a.m.
3. WILL THERE BE FOOD AT THE START? WHAT ABOUT RESTROOMS?
Starting at 4:45 a.m. we will be providing instant hot chocolate, instant coffee, instant oatmeal, apples, bananas, Clif Bars and Clif Shot.
We will have two port-a-potties at the start for your last minute bathroom needs.
4. DO I NEED A LIGHT?
It will be dark when the event begins so we do recommend you purchase a small light that you can attach to your helmet or bike. There are several powerful lights powered by regular batteries that will last you until the sun comes up around 30 minutes into the ride. We do not recommend regular bike lights due to the fact you will only use the light for a short period and regular bike lights are heavy and unless you have someone to give it to at the first aid station you’ll have to carry it during the whole event.
5. WHAT ABOUT SHUTTLES? WILL THERE BE PARKING AT THE START?
One of the reasons why we will not be having a shuttle from O’Neill Park to the start is because in the past only 1/3 of the field took the shuttle to the start and our staging area at O’Neil Park is undergoing upgrades to their sewer system and this will limit the available parking.
It is important for everyone participating in the Counting Coup and Vision Quest to car pool if they intend to park at the start along Black Star Canyon Road. If you can have a friend or relative drop you off that would be even better. We will have a shuttle bus and truck running from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to transport participants back to the start at Black Star Canyon Road from our finish line/staging area at O’Neill Park. It takes roughly 1 hour for the shuttle to make a round trip from end of the event at O’Neill Park to the start at Black Star Canyon Road and back so we anticipate shuttle times back to the start to be 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and the last shuttle at 5:00 p.m.
The awards ceremony recognizing the top 20 finishers of both the Vision Quest and Counting Coup events will start at 4:00 p.m. so all those who finish by 2:00 p.m. and want to attend the awards ceremony should take the 2:00 p.m. shuttle so they’ll be back in time to attend. Remember that due to the sewer construction at O’Neill Park you may be required to park far from the end of event staging area.
It is important to remember that parking at the start along Black Star Canyon Road is limited to about around 150 vehicles and we anticipate 500 participants and spectators at the start. Do not block the road or your car will be towed. Parking is not allowed between sunset and sunrise on Black Star Canyon Road but we have a permit to allow parking from 4:30 to sunrise.
6. WHAT ARE THE CUTOFF TIMES?
The first cut off time is 9.30 a.m. at the bottom of the Silverado Trail and Maple Springs. The second cutoff time is 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Maples Springs Road and the Main Divide. The third cutoff time (for participants in the Vision Quest) is 12:30 p.m. at the base of the West Horse Thief Trail. For Vision Quest participants, if you reach Aid Station 2 after 12:05 p.m. you will be asked to not continue since it takes a fresh rider 30 minutes to reach the base of West Horse Thief from this point and you will not make the last cut-off time.
If you do not make the cutoff times and refuse to return to the staging area you have violated the terms of your participation and the Warrior’s Society will no longer responsible for your safety. Your emergency contact will be called and notified that they will be assuming all responsibility for your safety.
7. WHAT WILL BE PROVIDED AT THE AID STATIONS? WHERE ARE THEY? CAN I HAVE MY OWN AID STATION BAG?
We will be providing water, Clif Bars, Clif Shot, Cytomax fluid replacement mix, apples and bananas at the Aids Station 1 and 2. Vision Quest Riders can have their own personal supplies transported out to Aid Station 2 at the base of the Holy Jim Trail on the condition that everything in left in the bag, including the bag, can be thrown away. Vision Quest riders can drop off their Aid Station 2 bag at either pre-registration/packet pick up or at same day packet pickup.
The Aid Stations are located at the base of the Silverado Trail and Maple Spring Road and at the base of the Holy Jim Trail.
8. WHAT OTHER SUPPORT WILL BE ON THE COURSE? WHAT PRE-CAUTIONS SHOULD I TAKE?
Support/Medical Crews will be on the course. Any participant requesting either food or water from support crews will be penalized by 30 minutes in their finishing time. This is done to discourage participants from passing the aid stations and relying on the support personnel on the course to supply them with food or water if they run out.
We try our best to keep track of all our participants but due to the dangerous conditions and steep drop-offs adjacent to some of the single track trails we suggest all participants purchase a whistle in case they are injured and go off trail where it is difficult to see them. If you crash off trail the sound of a whistle carries much farther than yelling and will make it easier for search teams to locate you. We also ask that you consider purchasing a “mini-space blanket” a aluminum foil like light weight cover (less than 2 ounces) that will aid you in keeping warm until search crews can rescue you.
9. WHAT ISSUES / AREAS OF THE COURSE SHOULD I BE AWARE OF?
Remember the fire roads and trails are still open to vehicles and hikers during the event. There may be snow on the course if a cold storm develops prior to the event.
The Silverado Motorway, which is the first “drop” and leads to Aid Station
#1 is in pretty good shape with the following notes:
– Because of drilling activity by the water district along the top of the trail is a long (500+ feet) section of 1” hose going to somewhere we didn’t follow.
– The “rocky” section below the first major left switchback is pretty chewed up and rocky with a lot of “babys heads” so people should use caution on this steep section and watch their speed.
– There are three washouts on the trail after it passes under the power lines. The first is a left hand washout is not too bad. The second is a right-hand washout and is somewhat hidden behind some brush and could easily be not seen in time by “fast descenders” and they could get into serious trouble. The third is a left-hand washout and has been there for some time also.
Control your speed on all single track trails, especially the Holy Jim Trail, which is very popular with hikers. For Vision Quest riders there will be two-way traffic on the lower portions of the Trabuco Trail so watch your speed when descending down the trail so as to not hit anyone climbing up the trail. You will be responsible for any harm caused to yourself and others if you hit anyone. Course Marshals will penalize unsafe riders.
Note: Use extreme caution when riding across the stream crossings, especially on the last ride out on Trabuco Creek Road; they can be slippery and have pot holes in them which could result in injury if ridden into.
10. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PREVENT PARTICIPANTS FROM CUTTING THE COURSE
We have a ham communications network covering the whole course. These ham operators will be keeping track of number plates and reporting back to net control reporting any missing numbers. As the event progresses we can determine which numbers have not been recorded in key sections of the course. We can confirm that riders have reached these key ten checkpoints before awards are given out at the finish. Any rider not recorded at key checkpoints will have their finishing award delayed until the discrepancy is resolved.
11. WHERE CAN I CAMP?
You have two choices when it comes to camping. You can camp near the start at Black Star or at the finish at O’Neill Park.
CAMPING NEAR THE START:
If you want to park at the start you can camp out at Black Star RV and Picnic Park AKA the Flying “B” Ranch.
Camping fees at the Flying “B” Ranch are $15.00 a night. The directions to the Flying “B” Ranch from both the 5 and 55 Freeways are below. RESERVATIONS ARE NEEDED FOR MOTOR HOMES OR TRAILERS. For more information regarding Black Star RV and Picnic Park facilities please contact them at (714) 649-9218 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions to the Flying “B” Ranch from the 55 Newport Freeway: Get off on Chapman Ave and go eastbound past Jamboree (not shown on map below). Once you pass Jamboree, Chapman Ave changes names to Santiago Canyon Road. Go up Santiago Road past Irvine Lake to Silverado Canyon Road and turn left. Once you make a left unto Silverado Canyon Rd. about 100 -+ feet up on your left is Blackstar Canyon Road. Turn left unto Blackstar Canyon Road and go down about ¾ of a mile and on your right is the entrance to the Flying “B” Ranch.
You’ll see a sign at the entrance that says “Blackstar RV Park.” It is approximately 10.5 miles from the 55 Freeway via Chapman Ave/Santiago Canyon Road to the Silverado turnoff where Blackstar Canyon Road intersects.
From the 5 San Diego Freeway: Get off on El Toro Road (from the northbound 5 Frwy you will take a right onto El Toro and from the southbound 5 Frwy you will make a left onto El Toro) and head north east. Go up El Toro and once you enter the mountains the road changes names from El Toro Road to Santiago Canyon Road. Continue on until you come to Silverado Canyon Road (on your
right) and turn right unto Silverado Canyon Rd. Once you make a right unto Silverado Canyon Rd. about 100 – + feet up on your left is Blackstar Canyon Road. Turn left unto Blackstar Canyon Road and go down about ¾ of a mile and on your right is the entrance to the Flying “B” Ranch. You’ll see a sign at the entrance that says “Blackstar RV Park.” It is approximately 13.5 miles from the 5 Freeway via El Toro/Santiago Canyon Road to the Silverado turnoff where Blackstar Canyon Road intersects.
CAMPING NEAR THE FINISH:
If you plan on tent camping out at O’Neill Park please consider camping out in our group areas of C and D. If you camp out in a regular campsite you will be asked to pay another $15.00 fee after 12:00 in the afternoon the day of the event even if you don’t intend to camp out another night. RV or trailer camping at our group area will not be allowed except for those supporting the event.
Campsites out side group areas are $15.00 dollars a night and are available on a first come basis – no reservations are taken. The day use fees at the park where we are staging at are $5.00. For more information on O’Neill Park see their web site at:
12. CAN MY FAMILY OR FRIENDS MEET ME AT THE AID STATIONS?
Parking will be extremely limited at the Aid Stations and an Adventure Passes will be required or you will be ticketed. For a location where adventure passes can be purchased in Orange County call the Forest Service at (951) 736-1811.
13. WHEN WILL THE AWARDS CEREMONY START?
Participants in the Counting Coup and Vision Quest will receive their finishing award when they cross the finish line. Vision Quest riders will also have their picture take with their finishing award and the picture will be available to them online after the event.
Because the last Vision Quest finisher finishes the event at 5:30 and most of the participants are already tired from a long day we will start the awards ceremony recognizing the first 20 finishers of the Vision Quest and Counting Coup at 4:00 p.m.
14. WILL THERE BE “DOG SOLDIER” HAMBURGERS AT THE TOP OF WEST HORSE THIEF?
The Warrior’s Society “Dog Soldiers,” will have hamburgers waiting for Vision Quest riders making it to the top of West Horse Thief.
15. WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER? WHAT IF RAIN IS PREDICTED?
If it is raining substantially the week before the event, or rain is predicted the day of the event, visit our “Voices” message board, which you can access via our homepage, for the latest news or call our info line at
(714) 894-8211. We will be sending out email event updates if it does rain during the week before the event to let you know the event statues.
16. WILL REFUNDS BE GIVEN IF I HAVE TO DROP OUT PRIOR TO THE EVENT OR CAN’T MAKE THE MAKE-UP DATE?
Our policy is to not allow refunds two weeks prior to the event per the event release:
“I agree that my entrance fee will not be refunded unless I notify Chris Vargas, the Event Planner, two weeks before the event and no refunds will be given after the original event date. I also understand the event could be cancelled due to weather or other causes and rescheduled at the discretion of the Event Planner. I accept that the course may be changed due to circumstances beyond the Event Planners control.”
The reason for this is in past years we’ve had problems with people wanting to drop out because of prolonged bad weather in the two weeks prior to the event or because they did not train properly.
Although we have a waiting list, we do not fill the dropped out positions during this two week period because we need to finalize the database for pre-registration. Constantly changing the database leads to confusion and extra work for our staff during the busy final two weeks before the event.
We will offer comps to our “The Traverse” event on June 9th to anyone dropping out or the Pow Wow prior to the event.
17. WHAT IS THE BACK-UP DATE IF THE EVENT IS POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER?
Because many of the Pow Wow participants are also entered in Solvang Century (which takes place a week after the Pow Wow), we decided if the event has to be postponed due to weather we would re-schedule it after the Solvang Century to Saturday, March 17th.
If the March 17th back-up is cancelled due to rain the event will be rescheduled for the following Saturday (March 24th).
18. WHAT ABOUT MASSAGE AFTER THE EVENT AND THE PRIZE RAFFLE?
Core Chiropractic will again be doing massage at the end of the event(s).
The DMS massage affectively moves lactic acid and keeps muscles fresh during long races. If you have any questions, check out their website:
Because the last participant in the Vision Quest does not finish the event until 5:30 p.m. the raffle will take place prior to packet pickup and you will be awarded your raffle prize when you pick up your race packet.
19. WILL VISION QUEST “FINISHER” HATS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE FINISH
All participants in the Vision Quest will receive a Vision Quest event t-shirt and all Vision Quest finishers will have the option to purchase a “Vision Quest” finisher hat at the finish of the event. We will have a limited amount of caps at the finish but you’ll be able to order one if we run out.
The hats will cost $20 and if you plan on purchasing one at the event you must bring cash. See the attached jpg graphic files showing the front and back of the hats.
“Vision Quest Finisher” hats can also be ordered by finishers and past finishers of the Vision Quest at Switchback Cyclery. We have a list of past finishers and they must present identification at the time of purchase.