2011 Vision Quest and Counting Coup update 3/29/11

To participants in the 2011 Vision Quest and Counting Coup events:

A few last minute warnings/reminders:

1. Bring a light – Black Star Canyon Road has suffered tremendous damage from the winter storms with many very narrow sections where the road washed out. You can purchase a cheap, light-weight battery powered light from Big 5 or any sporting goods store. We highly recommend this. Black Star should be nice and dry by the morning of the event.

2. We also recommend you have a whistle and light-weight compact emergency blanket (available at REI and weighs a few ounces). If you are hurt and fall down off the trail a whistle will carry sound better than yelling making you easier to locate and the blanket will provide sun protection or warmth if you are caught out after dark.

3. The finish line has been moved to O’Neill Park – you will be crossing paved Trabuco Canyon Road and vehicle traffic will be an issue. We will have staff directing you across the road and you must obey their direction for your own safety! Once across the road you’ll also cross the creek before you get to the finish line in the park. The creek is running very low so crossing it will not be a problem but you will have to walk/carry your bike across.

Those registered for the event may pick up their packet (number plate, event t-shirt, etc.) on Wednesday, March 30th and Thursday, the 31st from 5-7 pm at Rock N Road Bikes in Irvine.

You may also pick up your packet the day of the event at the start from 4:30 am to 5:00 am

If you have picked up your packet you will still need to check in at the start by 5:15 am

We are no longer offering an early start option. We will have only one start time at 5:30 a.m. WE WILL NOT HAVE SHUTTLES TO THE START — YOU MUST TRANSPORT YOURSELVES. The start will commence at 5:30 a.m. whether you are there or not.

There will be a shuttle running from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm from O’Neill Park to the the start for those that left their cars there in the morning.

56.5+- miles, 11,000 +- ft. of elevation gain

1. Blackstar Canyon Road to the top of and down the Silverado (Trail) Motorway to Aid Station #1 – dirt fire road with many steep climbs and narrow washed out sections until you go down the Silverado (Trail) Motorway, which is technical single track. We recommend you use a light for this section of the course.

2. Aid Station #1 to Santiago Peak – uphill climbing on pavement with stream crossings, then dirt fire road.

3. Santiago Peak to the Holy Jim Trail – steep, technical downhill dirt fire road.

4. Holy Jim Trail to Aid Station #2 – downhill, technical single track with stream crossings.

5. Holy Jim Trail to base of the West Horse Thief Trail – dirt road then technical single track with stream crossings.

6. West Horse Thief Trail to the junction at the Main Divide Road – steep hike-a-bike.

7. The top of West Horse Thief Trail to the top of Trabuco Canyon Trail – dirt fire road.

8. Trabuco Canyon Trail to Trabuco Creek Trail and Trabuco Creek Road – downhill, technical, steep, single track with stream crossings.

9. Trabuco Creek Road to finish line at O’Neill Park: 4 mostly flat miles on a dirt road. You will be crossing Trabuco Canyon Road and we will have personnel to stop you if necessary due to vehicle traffic coming down the road. You will cross Trabuco Creek prior to entering the park and most likely will have to carry your bike across. The water has dropped and should not be an issue.

The ride will begin from the end of Blackstar Canyon Road. You will ride up Blackstar Canyon Road to the Main Divide Road, across the Main Divide Road to and down the Silverado Trail (Motorway) to Aid Station #1 at Maple Springs. At this point you will follow Maple Springs Road to the Main Divide and Modjeska Peak and Santiago Peak and then down to the Holy Jim Trail. You will then ride down the Holy Jim Trail to Aid Station #2 at the parking area at the base of Holy Jim Canyon. You will then continue up Trabuco Road to the Trabuco Trail and the West Horse Thief Junction. You will hike up the West Horse Thief Trail to the Main Divide Road. From this point you will ride across the Main Divide Road to the Trabuco Trail and down the Trabuco Trail to the Trabuco Creek Trail and Road. You will follow Trabuco Creek Road to the finish line at the intersection of Trabuco Creek Road and Trabuco Canyon Road. NOTE: You must make sure the Aid Stations record your number before continuing on. Finishing times will be posted after the event and will be mailed to you at a later date.

Remember the fire roads and trails are still open to vehicles and hikers during the event, also expect the fire roads and single track trails to be rutted and in bad condition if we have a rainy winter. There may also be snow on the course. If you are unfamiliar with the area please use extreme caution). For a more detailed description of the trails, refer to Randy Vogels book, “Mountain Biking in Orange County California.”


Control your speed on the Holy Jim, Trabuco Canyon and Trabuco Creek Trails and ride down in a safe manner. Hikers and bikers will be on this trail and you will be responsible for harm caused to yourself and others. Course Marshals will penalize unsafe riders.

Note: Use extreme caution when riding across the stream crossings, they can be slippery and have pot holes in them which could result in injury if ridden into.

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 (VQ only) is 12:00 p.m. at the bottom of Holy Jim Trail, and the fourth cutoff time (VQ only) is 12:45 at the bottom of the West Horse Theif Trail. 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 your safety.

Clif Bars, bananas, oranges and hydration mix will be provided at each Aid Station.

AID STATION 2 BAGS (VQ only) – If you want to bring your own supplies to Aid Station 2, we must be able to throw way any left over contents and the bag they are in. All bags will be thrown away after the event. No Aid Station bags, disposable or not, will be taken to Aid Station 1. Your Aid Station 2 bag must be dropped off at the registration table the morning of the event.

Shimano is a Founding Major Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society

Rock N Road Bike Shops is a Major Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society

El Pollo Loco is a Major Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society

O’Hara’s Pub at the Orange Circle is a Major Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society

Cannondale is a Major Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society

Switchback Cyclery is a Major Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society

The Silverado/Modjeska Recreation and Park District is a Major Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society

The Warrior’s Society is a Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) affiliated organization

The Warrior’s Society is a Tax Exempt Organization under 501 (c) 4 of the IRS Code

“Far better it is to dare mighty dreams, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take the ranks with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat!”

Theodore Roosevelt


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