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Everything posted by M&Ms

  1. Drat we have never lost a new recruit that quickly before. You should make a bag here before you go. Otherwise in the years to come you may regret not having one from Saudi Arabia in your quiver. THE HOLE IN THE WALL (Outside old Dirriyah) (C93EF) is a good one with which to start. ... and how about taking a travel bug with you. All too many end up in the UK. M of M&Ms
  2. LORD JIMBO OF AL RAMAISON Jim Stabler first came to Saudi Arabia in 1985 departing 3 years later. He returned in 1993 leaving for what might be the final time early this month. A legendary Desert Warrior of our era, the desert was both his and his wife’s, Lyn, passion and in their Land Rover 110 have visited most parts of the Kingdom. He wrote a book on Desert Driving and contributed the maps to Ionis Thompson book “Desert Treks from Riyadh”. This book is still the definitive guide and many who wish to visit local tourist sites use the maps. The tales he tells of researching this book are fun and led to colloquial naming of some of the popular sites. Jim was a founder member of M&Ms, indeed he christened the group. It is an acronym and the title must remain a secret for now. I think most will agree that M&Ms have made an important contribution to establishing Geocaching within Saudi Arabia and it was Jim who provided the group’s initial impetus and remained a leading member for the rest of his time in the Kingdom. Though not an early fan of Scarinian he came to enjoy his tales in the end. Affectionately known as Lord Jimbo of Al Ramaison we will miss both Lyn and Jim’s contribution to Geocaching. We offer them our very best wishes for the future. M of M&Ms.
  3. Our bid for the title is HADIDAH'S METEORITE (GCAA76). It requires two days off-road driving across the desert in temperatures that can reach 50°C. You need to carry everything with you including fuel and water. We have set a few more that require a proper expedition to bag but this one is the prince of them all. It is likely that someone can beat it but it may take some doing. Of interest is that this cache is at the site of one of the last meteorites to hit the Earth. Given its inaccessibility the site remains almost pristine with the ground strewn with the Pearls of Adze a black glass formed by the intense heat when the meteorite blasted through the sand into the limestone substrata below.
  4. Here is our proposal for openers (which we currently use): Terrain: 1 – Paved road. 2 – Unpaved road accessible to 2WDs. 3 – Easily accessible to 4WDs. 4 – Challenging to 4WDs. 5 – This is not straightforward for some reason. Refer to the text. Difficulty: 1 – Out in the open. 2 – Hidden but its location is obvious. 3- You will have to hunt a bit but you should find it within the hour. 4 – Expect a multiple trip. 5 – This is not straight forward. Refer to the text. The debate we continually return to is this: The hunt in Saudi can be broken into three parts. The drive in, getting to the cache after the vehicle dismount and finally the search. We have decided to grade difficulty exclusively on the search. The counter argument, that we discarded, was to grade difficulty from the moment of vehicle dismount. We discounted it for two reasons. First our grading must be suitable for experienced geocachers new to Saudi. Second it is important to know how hard you have to search particularly if for some reason the cache is no longer available. The counter argument, to include all after the dismount, was promoted to take account of the climate when in summer baggers need to know how to prepare properly for the heat and this differs from cache to cache. Geocaching must be fun for all and the overriding factor is that the bagger must know what to expect and therefore interpretation of gradings is for guidance only. Those caches that demand a mental or physical challenge are fun for some and therefore warrant their place but they are not fun for all. If a bagger is caught be surprise after dismounting from their vehicle then the setter needs to reassess their description. Let me conclude with a final point. This interpreatation is to supplement Clayjar not replace the excellent work done on this subject. Do you agree with both the interpretation of the gradings and the argument? Let your digits dance over the plastic. M of M&Ms
  5. We have been having an interesting debate that we would like to open to a wider audience. The question revolves around whether there is an optimum maximum number of stars when setting a cache. We are not fans of the 5*/5* cache believing that if you have to bust a gut to get to a cache then you should reasonably expect to find it. Similarly if a cache is really hard to find then repeat visits must be viable. This leads to optimum maximum of about 7* i.e. 5* terrain leads to a 1* or 2* concealment for 4* terrain a 3* difficulty to find and so on. Clearly there will be speciality caches that need to breach this guidance. Now for those nations that are flush in caches this debate is nugatory but for the likes of us, getting geocaching off the ground, there is a tendency for setters to try and outdo each other setting caches for the dedicated few at the cost of encouraging newbies and 2WD owners.
  6. Saudi Sapper states in his comments to Wounded Knee that he considers it overgraded warranting a 3.5* and not 5* for terrain. We justify the 5* grading on the grounds that this cache requires someone to make a small step onto a rock pillar across a very high drop. It is not for the feint hearted or someone not confident of their abilities. The 5* highlights this fact. A 3.5* means slightly testing for a 4WD, i.e. it is possibly one for all the family. We believe this cache to be more challenging than that and dangerous for those that do not know what they are doing.
  7. On carrying out a maintenance visit of a cache I was disappointed to find that it looked nothing like how I had set it in both its concealment (thereby rendering the cache photo of little value) and the protection provided against the elements. It is important that baggers respect the efforts of the setter and leave the cache as found. – Note I have not logged the visit to protect who bagged the cache last.
  8. We have set a cache at a 108 and bagged one in the high 90s. We need to hunt in these temperatures or restrict our geocaching to the winter seasons. As it is in the summer we only go for those that don't demand too much physical exertion in these temperatures relying mainly on our chariots.
  9. Have you seen the number of bags claimed last weekend. A new landmark day for Kingdom Geocaching.
  10. Break. Wild Rover is a not a newbie but a founding father of Geocaching in the Kingdom. M&Ms are in debited for his contribution in this respect. Box on.
  11. On a more serious note M&Ms is set up to promote geocaching and we must therefore cater for the new and the 2WD owners. There is a tendency for most to want to out do the rest setting caches available only to the few. We set easier caches at popular sites so that those visiting, who may never have experienced the hunt, whilst there, can make a bag and it is important that these people are successful to bring them on. Finally we are not fans of the 5*/5* cache. If you need to bust a gut to get somewhere then you should be able to bag the cache. If the cache is hard to find then a return visit must be viable. However though newbies should always find the cache and thereby tickle them on to the hook, the experienced must expect unsuccessful attempts.
  12. Oh dear and without having in your bag: Hadidah's Meteorite, The Mines Of Moria, Stewed Rabbit and Wounded Knee. However it is nice to see a new generation of newbies whilst the previous ones progress, flex their muscles, are full of bravado but have yet to enter the real man’s world.
  13. Hey Walz, Your new print is hardly a picture of Ar-Rub' al-Khali, or is it the latest greening of the desert?
  14. Great news indeed. Have you drawn his attention to these boards.
  15. I suspect Jeremy and his team are overworked. I have learnt that once overlooked always overlooked and so I don't think you will make progress without sending a prompt. It is probably worth having another go, though I would wait until after the (Western) holiday period and let the inevitable backlog subside. M of M&Ms.
  16. Hey Walz, Is the latest version of the Arabic translation on www.geacaching.com your version or the original one still. M of M&Ms
  17. Many thanks Walz. Do you mind popping around this weekend and swapping the ones in our current caches with an updated copy.
  18. If you are interested in the subject of a map for Saudi Arabian caches may I draw your attention to the thread "WHERE IN SAUDI ARE OUR CACHES" that you may find useful.
  19. Another web site has interesting data on Geocaching and maps. Yesterday (15 Dec 02) they uplifted a map specifically for Saudi, up until then we have been included within the Middle East map. The next step is uplift a map for the Riyadh area. The site at http://www.brillig.com/geocaching/saudi_arabia.shtml is well worth a visit. Ed, thanks for the map it is a great asset and contributes greatly to our enjoyment.
  20. You could always set your cache close to a trig point! On a more serious note, if your accuracy is not ideal check to see whether something is obscuring your view of satellites. If so take a fix elsewhere and extrapolate, if not record the poor accuracy. If baggers are unaware of poor accuracy it can lead to ambiguity as to the possible search area. This is not to suggest that you should not set a cache where the accuracy is less than perfect. [This message was edited by M&Ms on December 10, 2002 at 08:38 AM.]
  21. Hey check out the new Walz in the new power pose photo, the chic shades and the surreal desert. Walz is this the new you? Just what happened in Kuwait? Or is it that having set your first cache you have arrived. You are introducing an upmarket tone to the activity.
  22. M&Ms


    Deleted [This message was edited by M&Ms on December 10, 2002 at 06:29 PM.]
  23. You may be unaware that walzuhair has set the first cache in Kuwait (GCB223) but for a lack of page has recorded it on the Saudi Arabia page. Glad to be a host and we wait to see who is first to bag it. M of M&Ms
  24. Regrettably I think it is something we have to live with. A number of vandalised caches I have found (or not found) could only have been victims of genuine geocachers who get some sort of perverse satisfaction from spoiling it for others. It is irritating though, you always spend that little bit longer hoping that your luck will turn. Only later does it transpire that the cache was never there to be bagged. It is particularly so when the opportunity to bag the cache in foreign parts is a diversion from the main business of the day. The lot of a geocacher I am afraid.
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