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6 To 9 Months A Year Covered With Snow

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I say "no", but others may feel differently. Who decides if a search is "unsuitable"? Shouldn't that decision be left to the searcher?


The way I look at it, geocaching is a year-round sport. Anybody searching for a cache obviously would know if they are going to an area with heavy snow cover. While many wouldn't bother, others may look forward to the extreme challenge. I've found a number of caches under snow, although admittedly only 6-8". It adds a whole new dimension, since the "unnatural pile of rocks" or "unnatural pile of sticks" doesn't look nearly as unnatural under a foot of snow! :laughing:


But make it inactive? No. Perhaps adjust the terrain/difficulty ratings up during the "bad" season, but let the cacher decide if they want to attempt it in the conditions at the time.

Edited by 4x4van
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This was my first winter caching and after the first big snow decided to archive (probably a hastey move) a cache that was enjoyable in the non snowy season, but truly unsearchable in the winter. I couldn't even find it!!!


In retrospect, I should have disabled it in the snow. That's part of cache maintenance, right?


Also, I could've used the icon for "not available in the winter". After all, there are caches that are underwater and ice-bound in the winter. I didn't see any of them found, but I didn't see them DNFed or diasbled in the winter either. They just included the icon in the cache description.

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Ok , in my area of colorado, there is over 150 caches in a 50 mile radias unatainable in the winter by normal means... some are rated as low as 1 terrain and 1 dificulty .....but 10 avalance danger but nothing is mentioned in original log.... My father in law was killed on a valentines day in an avalance many years ago(rating 1 terrain 1 difficulty if there was a chache where I am going to a memorial cache to him. but I am going inactive with it in the winter....

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My question would be...


When a cache is hidden knowing that for 6 to 9 months in avaerage years the cache is unsuitable to search for. Should the owner either in the discriotion of cache, or by volunteering inactivity during such months of heavy snow, snowslides Ice and such????


We own two backcountry wilderness geocaches (in the WY/ID area) that, due to extreme weather conditions, such as snow and ice accumulations (and also very low temperatures) that are common to that area, are essentially unavailable for 6 or more months per year. OF course, this is true of many backcountry caches in that area! When I contemplated placing a warning to that effect on the cache listing pages, I realized that everyone who lives within 150 miles of those sites is already intimately familiar with the weather there and is already well aware that most backcountry caches in those areas are inaccessible in winter! And, the locals with whom I consulted felt that it was unnecessary for me to add such an explicit warning, largely due to the above reasons (i.e., locals are already familiar with the weather and trail conditions), but also because the situation is immediately obvious even to any outsider who might be visiting the area. If I recall correctly, I finally chose to mention the matter briefly in the cache descriptions, and to mention it again in a log note on each listing page. Why did I bother mentioning it? It was not for the benefit of the locals, but rather I did it largely just to cover those rare situations where a cache hunter unfamiliar with weather conditions in that area might have been contemplating flying into the area from far away - perhaps from a warm climate such as Florida or Southern California - to seek these caches, and might therefore not have any way of knowing that these caches are unavailable in winter.


As for whether I should consider issuing even heavier warnings, well, gee, the caches are already rated 5/5!

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I live in canada so therefore snow is just a given, but I usually list in the description of my caches that access may or may not be an issue with snow but I wouldn't advocate making them inactive as there is just nothing more exhilarating than tunnelling around in 60 - 90 cm of snow at -20*c looking for tupperware. It's what defines a man and a dedicated Cacher :laughing:

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I agree with the general sentiment of this thread. The only time I'd consider disabling a cache that isn't available in winter is when it might not be immediately obvious that there was some significant danger in seeking the cache in such conditions (I'm talking over and above 'typical' winter hazards). Those who seek caches in the snow know that there is a good chance that they will be buried when they get there, and typically they really don't care. Its about the hunt.


I remember one cache I went looking for in the snow. It was an urban cache, so I figured I'd be safe as far as 'hazards' went. It wasn't my city though, so I didn't know it very well. Anyways, long story short, I came up on the wrong side of a gully. Not a big deal I thought, I'll just go down one side and up the other (after all at the time I didn't know if it was at the bottom of the gully or the top on the other side). Turns out all the snow had been drifting down in the gully, and there was now about 5' of snow at the base (litterally up to my arm pits). After wading through the gully with the and up the other side, with the patient dog in tow (snow was *well* over his head, he followed my 'tunnel') I eventually did find the cache, under about a foot of snow.


Great adventure.


Where I might disable the cache, is if there are maybe some nasty avalanche hazards in the winter that might not be obvious from the trailhead, but the trail remains 'open' year round. Normally though around here, if there was significant risk, the trail will be closed anyways (and if you're too stupid to look at trail closures in the winter, well.... I don't have a huge amount of sympathy for you if you get hurt)

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