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Everything posted by M&Ms

  1. The rewards for climbing up a hill to bag a cache are stunning views, totally absorbing as you sit with a well-earned drink scoffing the odd samosa and schwarma. The rewards are not quite the same when sitting in a wadi bottom and this is the time to turn thoughts towards GPS accuracy. Why is it that the caches on wadi walls or wadi bottoms will inevitably attract ye olde comments on coordinate accuracy when logging a bag. Well as a none expert let me postulate a theory. A reading at the bottom of a wadi with say 16m horizontal accuracy may well include the top of the wadi. When bagger-the-next comes strolling along he may get to the top of the wadi and receive a very accurate reading and be delighted on the prospect of a quick find. If he puts his GPS away before starting the hunt he may not appreciate that as he descends the wadi side the accuracy drops off which leads to the possibility of the cache being outside his original boundary for the hunt as the possible area gets larger. Indeed as he drops down the wall, the area in which the cache could be located begins to take on a decidedly pear shaped appearance, well sort of. So what? Well its my old theme of when setting a cache consider it from the bagger’s point of view. If the accuracy with which you set a cache is less than perfect then it should be included within the write up so that when bagger-the-first arrives at the wadi top and obtains an accurate reading he should immediately become suspicious. Ok, ok, I accept that he will carry on has he always did before but any grumbles he makes on the cache page will be his fault rather than that of the setter.
  2. Welcome o new geocacher. Are you worried about format type?
  3. The Lawrence Travel Bug Hotel The Lawrence 5* Travel Bug Hotel, serving Riyadh Airport, is reset and once again open to guests.
  4. HOLE IN THE WALL On a maintenance visit I found the wall in which the cache had been set, replaced and the cache gone. Regrettably the new wall has no suitable hole and believing that a maintenance check did not involve rebuilding a new wall I have no choice but to take the cache out of use. That said it is such a cracking cache for beginners that I will replace it with something in the immediate area.
  5. Several lateral metalled roads in Wadi Al Ammariyah have been washed away by the recent rains. What appears to be a dip in the road could be a half metre drop. The washed away sections are not yet marked. This is of significance to those attempting The Cut and McCache. Access is still possible using other lateral roads.
  6. So it is true that those in the east are more technically advanced than those in the centre.
  7. There are six caches in the Rub, nine if your count the Mundafin and ten if you include the virtual one though I suppose that may fall outside the boundary. We did have two in Dammam but one did walk about one of only three we have lost and one of those may be attributable to baboons. Geocaching has only really taken off in the last year when we have increased from two caches to seventy-three but we are still trying to spread the word. It is fast approaching M&Ms first anniversary a group that took over from where the original setters left off to promote responsible geocaching in the Kingdom. The progress that has been made in that time is excellent. We have one keen bagger from Dammam who is prepared to travel to Riyadh to participate and that says a lot in itself. Perhaps Bahrain proves too much of a distraction to those in the East.
  8. I am not an Aramcon as may be seen by my lack of a Rolex. I don't believe we have any and if we do they are keeping a low profile. Geocaching here is great, we are very lucky. We have all types of caches to bag from those that require two days across the sand to get to, those in which you have to descend into the bowels of the earth, those that require superb athletic prowess to bag and those that are an easy diversion from a picnic. Most caches are in marvellous settings and some have absolutely stunning views. In most others countries these would be on private land or you would have to pay to get to, certainly you would need to force your way through the crowds. Not here it is free for all with just enough people to stop you getting lonely. Confirm what I say is true by looking at some of the photographs on the cache pages.
  9. M&Ms

    TOP TIPs

    Now that the heat is upon us it may be worth setters looking once again at their cache descriptions to ensure that seekers are aware of what to expect and can prepare accordingly particularly gauging how much drink needs to be carried. I think the important criteria are how long and how far will seekers be from their vehicles and how much physical effort is required.
  10. The days of the Mines of Moria being located in a remote part of the Summan appear to be close to an end. During a maintenance check we discovered that a road is being built within 20m of the entrance.
  11. ….. oh the doubting Thomases. There is plenty of evidence as you descend to the Tomb of Lord Jimbo that this was once a camel trail. However if you go on past the tomb and drop to the wadi bottom then you will have all the evidence you need. This lower part is second only to Camel Trail 1 in demonstrating the ancient engineering prowess of those that lived here in the times of yore. Perhaps I am not telling the entire truth. If you look hard on Camel Trail 2 you will see what must have been an immense structure that in its time must have been very impressive, though now it is derelict and not very obvious particularly if you don’t know where to look. M of M&Ms
  12. quote:However, I wonder how you came to this point from North West of Riyadh and not from the typical Makkah Road? When you reached the point where the pylons descend the escarpment (which, by the way, are the original Longships of Zenda) you were very close to the End of the World (GC6CA7) cache. I think you will find that the routes to which you refer from Al Ammariyah go to the escarpment but do not descend it (one is paved for a lot of its length). The first descent by vehicle beyond the Mekkah road is the tap line road that passes the Edge of the World. This starts below the escarpment at N24° 48.267 E45° 51.963 and above the escarpment at N24° 57.358 E46° 13.699. Regrettably you can’t reach it by travelling along the escarpment because you cannot drive down into Wadi Al Ammariyah as you found out (not quite true you can drive along the top of the wadi and then descend but you need to drive back half the way to Al Ammariyah). There are of course other routes down the escarpment if travelling by foot, The Tomb to Lord Jimbo (GCD88C) being on one of them. M of M&Ms
  13. On a maintenance visit to the Crack of Doom I was impressed by the quality of swap-outs it contained. It is nice to people swapping upwards. Thank you. In the approach wadi, the pools are full and contain many Triops. Certainly the first time I have seen them in their natural environment. The vegetation is green and comprises a remarkable amount of barley. M of M&Ms
  14. A board to let you comment on particular caches.
  15. The route from the metalled road to the approach of Crack of Doom has been graded. What a change from the days we set the cache not so long ago when we needed to carry: sand ladders, tow ropes and shackles. We will adjust the grading of Crack of Doom to reflect the change.
  16. The Walz version of the geocache letter is now the official one. Well done.
  17. This is all very interesting and helpful. Thank you. M of M&Ms
  18. Hey Walz, Jeremy asked for a copy of geocaching letter. I have sent him a copy with all due credit to yourself of course. I await for your confirmation that it has been accepted as the official version. Does the Arabic-only version require a similar overhaul. M of M&Ms
  19. I have not checked Mexico but it is worth noting that the map feature does not support every country. You cannot zoom into those countries that are not yet supported and need to rely on that other site (I understand Jeremy and they are not best of friends). If you have the map feature, enjoy. We are really looking forward to it. Finding local caches by other means is not an easy and a tad trying. M of M&Ms
  20. Your graph is very interesting. Thank you. An assumption is that the ratings are accurate and consistent. Do things need to change, well that is a matter of opinion but it needs people to sit and think what we are about. A group who want pleasant trips out geocaching has recently approached us. The factors they are after is caches than are fun to find, can be done so safely and provides a good day out for none participants. The reason for the approach is that they have had some experiences that have unnerved them and it is understandable why. We intend to target caches aimed at the family. This is not to suggest that caches need to be easier but safer, ones where parents can feel reassured that they need not supervise the hunt too closely and where thay are confident to allow youngsters to take the GPS and lead. We feel there are two gaps in the market. The first is caches that are challenges in themselves and that do not rely on: athletic prowess, driving ability, physical courage or that require baggers to spend excessive time looking under rock ledges. The second is for cache sites where geocaching forms only part of the fun. We hope by filling these gaps we can maintain the broad based appeal of the activity rather than concentrate on satisfying the specialist. Soon there will be enough caches for all but not yet and we must be careful to maintain a balance in order to invest for the future.
  21. And an Eid Mubarrak to you. Walz, Is your translation reflected in the offical version yet. If not would you like us to lobby on your behalf? M of M&Ms
  22. ... but a score of 6 means that a cache requiring a 5 for travel has to be out in the open. How long would a cache survive the Bedu at Ice Station Zebra or Haddith Meteor Crater. That is not meant as a slight to the Bedu but acknowledging that they are regular visitors who have little experience of what geocaching is all about. M of M&Ms
  23. I am sure M&Ms are not alone in monitoring geocaching activity within the Kingdom and as we check our caches we are aware of an increasing number of baggers that do not record their successes or failures on the web pages. This is a shame because it gives the Kingdom increased wastha when dealing with the geocaching authorities. The Kingdom is steadily climbing up the geocaching league table and the more grist we can add to reflect this the greater our influence, particularly now as we are now trying to get the map facility extended to include the Kingdom. I know of one bagger that does not record their finds through ignorance. If you know of anyone in a similar situation it would be helpful to explain the process to them. M of M&Ms
  24. M&Ms

    TOP TIPs

    An appeal to setters if I may. The summer is coming along with very high temperatures. M&Ms normally issue a warning when we expect a bagger to be outside of their vehicle for more than twenty minutes or exceptional physical activity is required. I am aware of three cases of people suffering from heat during hunts last year and there may be many more. I do believe setters should consider this when writing up their cache. Perhaps now is the time to re-examine write-ups with summer in mind. M of M&Ms
  25. We have been around this buoy before with a consensus of a total maximum score of 7. You must however set some at the extremes on one of the scores to add to the fun for the geocaching purists. I would like to disagree with you on low end scores. An increasing number of people are taking up the activity in the Kingdom and the proportion of children is growing. We must set caches to suit all experience and ages, and as you admit, there is nothing better for hooking the newbie than a successful bag. It is generally true to say that it is only the experienced that tend to relish the thought of a return visit to get that special bag that presents an allusive challenge. On the other hand I disagree with Steve on the 5*/5*. To bag an M&Ms 5* for travel, you must undertake some extraordinary challenge to get to the cache that may involve carrying additional fuel and drinking water, specialist equipment or a physical challenge. After this type of activity looking for a grain of sand in a rock field is a waste of time and quite frankly unnecessary. Let me be controversial, a 5*/5* lacks imagination. M&Ms have been mischievous with Scorpion’s Sting a total of 5.5*s. All you need to do to find the cache is go to a co-ordinate, accessible by a straight forward 4WD trip, and then travel along a bearing for a distance of less than 200m. The type of travel along the bearing demands nothing more than a fairly simple rock scramble. What could be easier. However we are braced for the torrent of abuse from those that fail and hopefully the humble apology when they finally succeed. This 5.5* total presents a real challenge to anyone who wishes to take it on without them needing marine or special forces training, why then set a bloody-minded 10*s total for which the Kingdom is not yet ready. M of M&Ms [This message was edited by M&Ms on February 19, 2003 at 10:12 PM.]
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