Jump to content

5/5 Caches


HowarthClan
Followers 3

Recommended Posts

Ironically the most challenging cache I have done wasn't a 5/5. It was a 3.5/4 - this one Treasure Island Great fun - can highly recommend it. :):D:)

 

I think people often over rate caches. Of the four 5/5's I've done, none needed specialist knowledge or equipment and I honestly don't think any deserved their 5/5 rating. Three or four stars would have been more appropriate. They were fun, and I loved finding them, but they didn't push me even close to the limit.

 

I've actually started searching out 4/4 level caches, because ironically I think they are usually harder. Understandably, lots of people want the status of owning or finding 5/5 ratings (myself included) and so I think they often rate caches more highly than they should (IMHO) :drama:

Link to comment

Ironically the most challenging cache I have done wasn't a 5/5. It was a 3.5/4 - this one Treasure Island Great fun - can highly recommend it. :drama::):D

 

 

In all honesty, I think that should be a 5/5 (I'm sorry, I bore Mouse going on about this cache - I still haven't got around to it but I'm going to have to put a plan together)

 

Terrain wise you have two choices: Either swim for miles and miles or get a boat (but a regular motorboat won't do it so it has to be self propelled). This has to count for dodgy terrain not to mention special equipment.

 

But then again, when you stick it in any of the calculators it comes up as 3.5 so what do I know. The Beast also pops up as a 3.5/4.5 because whilst it's hard and there's no GPS reception, other factors aren't supposedly so tough (for instance, to make a max, the start has to be 2 miles from the road and the elevation has to be terrible).

 

Some 5/5s can be done with only a little planning. This one certainly takes more than that (especially if you want to keep the cost down)

 

Now, to set that event in Norwich next year............

 

Stu

Link to comment

Physically the most challenging we have done is the death of power in scotland alongside waterfall and ruin.

Out of the ten 5/5's we have done only a few deserve the rating

Race the clock (bath) stands out as the best of the lot but its archived now :drama: closely followed by Trek to the Severn (sadly missed)

Treasure Island mentioned above certainly felt more 5/5 than some other 5/5's we have done.

 

markandlynn.MemorableFinds_FiveFives.jpg

Link to comment

Ironically the most challenging cache I have done wasn't a 5/5. It was a 3.5/4 - this one Treasure Island Great fun - can highly recommend it. :lol::):anibad:

 

 

In all honesty, I think that should be a 5/5 (I'm sorry, I bore Mouse going on about this cache - I still haven't got around to it but I'm going to have to put a plan together)

 

Terrain wise you have two choices: Either swim for miles and miles or get a boat (but a regular motorboat won't do it so it has to be self propelled). This has to count for dodgy terrain not to mention special equipment.

 

But then again, when you stick it in any of the calculators it comes up as 3.5 so what do I know. The Beast also pops up as a 3.5/4.5 because whilst it's hard and there's no GPS reception, other factors aren't supposedly so tough (for instance, to make a max, the start has to be 2 miles from the road and the elevation has to be terrible).

 

Some 5/5s can be done with only a little planning. This one certainly takes more than that (especially if you want to keep the cost down)

 

Now, to set that event in Norwich next year............

 

Stu

 

Agree about the terrain rating Stu - you need specialist equipement so it should be a 5. Not so much the difficulty though, as it's a simple multi (which you can bypass anyway!) and then on to the cache which is in full view so it's easily found once you get to GZ. I'd call it a 3.5/5.

Great fun either way though!

Link to comment

The hardest to reach cache I've set is Scotland's Hidden Treasure (Coire Choille-rais) - My brother and his mate, who did the three peaks challenge with me over the following two days didn't manage to reach the location -although they finished the 3PC with me- so that may give you an idea of how hard to get to it is. Perhaps my hardest-to-find cache is Three Peaks Challenge Bonus: Ben Nevis set later the same day. It requires finders to reach the tops of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis to find it... Ouch!

Edited by Simply Paul
Link to comment

We tend not to even attempt the more difficult caches, preferring to just enjoy the scenery but this 4/4 was great for a recent landmark: Monkey Island

Thats harder than some of those 5/5's fun to do as well lots and lots of really deep rock pools on the way or the sea if you misstime it !

Funnily enough that's exactly what we said on the log. :o Brilliant cache. :)

 

Rock Rock who's there? is the most physically challenging cache I've found. Unfortunately there is no demand for this kind of cache, so it was only ever found 3 times. :) It was rated 3/4. ;)

Link to comment

We are not a fans of the 5/5. We believe that if you need to mount an expedition to get to a cache you need a reasonable expectation of finding it. If we are after a challenge we normally target a total of seven stars. Still every searcher worth his salt should have a 5/5 in the bag and so we need some to be set and thankfully a few do not really deserve their rating. And don’t high rating caches make pleasant change to the drive-bys. Drive on those that seek sixty caches an outing and preserve the challenges for we remaining few.

Link to comment

We are not a fans of the 5/5. We believe that if you need to mount an expedition to get to a cache you need a reasonable expectation of finding it. If we are after a challenge we normally target a total of seven stars. Still every searcher worth his salt should have a 5/5 in the bag and so we need some to be set and thankfully a few do not really deserve their rating. And don’t high rating caches make pleasant change to the drive-bys. Drive on those that seek sixty caches an outing and preserve the challenges for we remaining few.

 

Thats a good point - how many 5/5 caches are really 1/5 or 2/5? It could be halfway down the White Cliffs of Dover, but if its in a neon yellow box and not hidden, its not 'difficult' from that point of view...

 

Should a real 5/5 require something more than just hard to get to? Maybe a hard puzzle, or a combination lock to be cracked at the cache site...

 

Just a thought! Maybe I should look back though our 12 5/5 caches and see how many really were!

 

Dave

Link to comment

I think this one is probably as close to a correctly graded 5/5 as we have in UK. Unfortunately it's not do-able at the moment because some of the parts are archived or temp disabled, but news on the caching grapevine says that the owner intends to re-work the whole series and replace the unavailable parts soon.

 

UnderWorld8 (Bonus)

 

MrsB

 

As tricky as it (and the rest of the series) might be, it doesn't require any specialist equipment or training - two conditions I thought were necessary for 5* terrain or difficulty ???

Link to comment

I think this one is probably as close to a correctly graded 5/5 as we have in UK. Unfortunately it's not do-able at the moment because some of the parts are archived or temp disabled, but news on the caching grapevine says that the owner intends to re-work the whole series and replace the unavailable parts soon.

 

UnderWorld8 (Bonus)

 

MrsB

 

As tricky as it (and the rest of the series) might be, it doesn't require any specialist equipment or training - two conditions I thought were necessary for 5* terrain or difficulty ???

 

I understand that caches that require specialist equipment or training should (I think) be graded 5* terrain, but I don't know if that is the sole criterion for a grade 5* terrain.

 

MrsB

Edited by The Blorenges
Link to comment

I think this one is probably as close to a correctly graded 5/5 as we have in UK. Unfortunately it's not do-able at the moment because some of the parts are archived or temp disabled, but news on the caching grapevine says that the owner intends to re-work the whole series and replace the unavailable parts soon.

 

UnderWorld8 (Bonus)

 

MrsB

 

As tricky as it (and the rest of the series) might be, it doesn't require any specialist equipment or training - two conditions I thought were necessary for 5* terrain or difficulty ???

 

I understand that caches that require specialist equipment or training should (I think) be graded 5* terrain, but I don't know if that is the sole criterion for a grade 5* terrain.

 

MrsB

 

And therein lies the biggest problem with grading harder caches.... the ratings are hugely subjective.

If UW8 is worthy of 5 D and T stars, due either to the approach (hahahaha - muddy bums galore), a collective rating for gaining the co-ords, or fear of enclosed spaces/mud/cave spiders * (delete where applicable), how would we rate an equivalent cache using SRT for access, or scuba, or 40 metres up a quarry face?

Link to comment

I think this one is probably as close to a correctly graded 5/5 as we have in UK. Unfortunately it's not do-able at the moment because some of the parts are archived or temp disabled, but news on the caching grapevine says that the owner intends to re-work the whole series and replace the unavailable parts soon.

 

UnderWorld8 (Bonus)

 

MrsB

 

How do you know ?

Have you tried many of them, around the country ?

Correctly graded unfortunately means that if you require a toothpick to extract the cache box then this is a grade 5 as 'Specialist Equipment' is required !!!!

I confess that I have a number of 5/5 caches and you will require rather more than a toothpick to extract them as Purple Pineapple can vouch for !!

I am glad that my caches are not correctly graded in this context !!

:unsure::blink::D;)

Link to comment

I think this one is probably as close to a correctly graded 5/5 as we have in UK. Unfortunately it's not do-able at the moment because some of the parts are archived or temp disabled, but news on the caching grapevine says that the owner intends to re-work the whole series and replace the unavailable parts soon.

 

UnderWorld8 (Bonus)

 

MrsB

 

How do you know ?

Have you tried many of them, around the country ?

Correctly graded unfortunately means that if you require a toothpick to extract the cache box then this is a grade 5 as 'Specialist Equipment' is required !!!!

I confess that I have a number of 5/5 caches and you will require rather more than a toothpick to extract them as Purple Pineapple can vouch for !!

I am glad that my caches are not correctly graded in this context !!

:unsure::blink::D;)

 

I think we in the Surrey area have a very specific view of % terrain caches, due to your sensible choices. Namely, if it requires equipment, its 5*, but if it doesn't (even if its hundred feet up a ventilation shaft) then its 4.5 star at most. Its a system I like, but its not to everyone's taste! I may have done some of your 5*s without equipment, but I'm not sure if we were supposed to! :D

 

Many of yours are multis, and can probably justify the 5* difficulty as well, but I wonder your thoughts Andy on an easy to find box on a cliff? Is it 5*Diff?

 

Oh, and I have no knowledge of the cache MrsB mentions, so it may well justify the diff AND the terrain!

 

At the end of the day, many ratings are subjective, although I do think a cache that can be done by wheelchair is unlikely to be a 5* terrain! And yes, I've done one that is...

Link to comment

I think this one is probably as close to a correctly graded 5/5 as we have in UK. Unfortunately it's not do-able at the moment because some of the parts are archived or temp disabled, but news on the caching grapevine says that the owner intends to re-work the whole series and replace the unavailable parts soon.

 

UnderWorld8 (Bonus)

 

MrsB

 

How do you know ?

Have you tried many of them, around the country ?

Correctly graded unfortunately means that if you require a toothpick to extract the cache box then this is a grade 5 as 'Specialist Equipment' is required !!!!

I confess that I have a number of 5/5 caches and you will require rather more than a toothpick to extract them as Purple Pineapple can vouch for !!

I am glad that my caches are not correctly graded in this context !!

:D;):D:D

 

I take your point - Would it have read better if I'd rearranged those first few words to read "I think this is one cache probably as close to a correctly graded 5/5 as we have in the UK... "? :blink:

 

I've done a few of the harder graded caches and chose that UnderWorld Bonus cache as an example because of the effort required beforehand in collecting the necessary letters from the various previous UW caches, the solving of the anagram from those letters, the battle with a Vigenere code puzzle, followed by another final crawl into more darkness for an ammo can that was well hidden within. Mind you... a toothpick was not required... so maybe a 4* would have been enough? :unsure::D

 

MrsB

Link to comment

Many of yours are multis, and can probably justify the 5* difficulty as well, but I wonder your thoughts Andy on an easy to find box on a cliff? Is it 5*Diff?

 

I get your drift Dave- In this case it probably should not be a 5*diff grade.

That said if there are 'other' difficulties involved in gaining access to this luminous 'grab me ' box on a cliff such as stone fall, gas [maybe an underground cliff]

other pollution, insects etc then would this not be considered as 'difficulty ' criteria ?

This is a different kettle of fish grading at this level which I attempted to address on one of my caches [The Beast 666] where in terms of difficulty it is given a seperate classification along the lines used in rock climbing. Given the high degree of danger [regular falling stones] and the high risk of morbidly injuring ones self this cache is somewhat more serious than many other 5/5 caches.

 

I am considering re grading some of my caches but don't wish upset people who have done them if they go down a notch !!

Talk to you at the First Midweek Surrey event /bash eh ?

Link to comment

[

I take your point - Would it have read better if I'd rearranged those first few words to read "I think this is one cache probably as close to a correctly graded 5/5 as we have in the UK... "? :blink:

 

I've done a few of the harder graded caches and chose that UnderWorld Bonus cache as an example because of the effort required beforehand in collecting the necessary letters from the various previous UW caches, the solving of the anagram from those letters, the battle with a Vigenere code puzzle, followed by another final crawl into more darkness for an ammo can that was well hidden within. Mind you... a toothpick was not required... so maybe a 4* would have been enough? :unsure::D

 

MrsB

 

Well thought out reply to my very rude contribution - sorry a long day and all that .

Yes grading at this level is very subjective.

What we really require is a better definition of how to grade/ classify 'Difficulty'

'Terrain' is self explanatory but difficulty could be divided into a number of different classifications in their own right.

i.e

Mental difficulty - codes/calculations/general or specific knowledge required ...

Subjective difficulty [hazards such as insects,falling rocks, radio active / smelly substances

Really long walks [not specifically of a steep terrain]

See what I mean !!!

Link to comment

Many of yours are multis, and can probably justify the 5* difficulty as well, but I wonder your thoughts Andy on an easy to find box on a cliff? Is it 5*Diff?

 

I get your drift Dave- In this case it probably should not be a 5*diff grade.

That said if there are 'other' difficulties involved in gaining access to this luminous 'grab me ' box on a cliff such as stone fall, gas [maybe an underground cliff]

other pollution, insects etc then would this not be considered as 'difficulty ' criteria ?

This is a different kettle of fish grading at this level which I attempted to address on one of my caches [The Beast 666] where in terms of difficulty it is given a seperate classification along the lines used in rock climbing. Given the high degree of danger [regular falling stones] and the high risk of morbidly injuring ones self this cache is somewhat more serious than many other 5/5 caches.

 

I am considering re grading some of my caches but don't wish upset people who have done them if they go down a notch !!

Talk to you at the First Midweek Surrey event /bash eh ?

 

I can't remember if it was Beast or BeastleyToo, but your point about additional dangers on top of the fact that one is dangling off a rope is very well made. I can absolutely guarantee that i wouldn't be here today if i hadn't had a helmet on, not something itrinsically necessary for abseiling. The 1 foot diameter rock that clobbered me while i was on my way down would have finished me off no problem! Arguably, this isn't part of the terrain, as the same cache on more stable cliffs or a brick wall may not need a helmet... who's to say!

 

I probably have no problems with regrading - i'll check my charts to see if any of yours are the only one of a certain combination! Talk to you on Thursday about it!

 

Dave

Link to comment

 

What we really require is a better definition of how to grade/ classify 'Difficulty'...

'Terrain' is self explanatory ....

 

Even 5*T can mean different things to different people in different places, it rather depends whether you're thinking about a county, a country or globally...

 

bda5c9ee-b62b-4a8f-8556-e1581222a0a8.jpg

 

036f4b52-0527-4b55-bf22-fb88a502289c.jpg

 

86b9b275-0ba6-4eef-ae31-2d4485ae45d5.jpg

 

f92b1731-709b-4447-bdd0-8386ba6280b1.jpg

 

46551_600.jpg

 

BTW, I know a location locally where I would love to see someone put a 5*T cache. Unfortunately there's no way I could place it myself, but it would be a great challenge and I can't imagine it would ever get more than two or three finds a year. So, you rock-climbing and mountaineering types, when you run out of suitable spots near you just PM me and I'll show you the pictures. :unsure:

 

MrsB

Link to comment

 

or specific knowledge required ...

 

Trouble is, at what point does requiring specific skills to access the area start to become a difficulty issue as well as a terrain issue? There's quite a difference between "long walk, mostly up to your waist in water, take a torch as the tunnel is rather dark" type caches and "careful selection of abseil anchor is crucial, don't forget your prusik loops"*. One will be merely highly unpleasant, the other one needs specific knowledge and experience (in this case, the ability to identify and use a suitable anchor which may not be entirely obvious) to mitigate the Messy Death Potential.

 

Both would probably get terrain 5, but I'd suspect that difficulty 5 would be (mis-) used for the second one, the probable argument being that the difficulty is in learning what to do to avoid killing yourself.

Link to comment

Why would " long walk, mostly up to your waist in water, take a torch as the tunnel is rather dark " warrant a 5 Terrain, rather than a 3 or a 4 ???

OK - it's dark, and it's wet......but those are hardly extremes are they?

 

*** Not suitable for small children. (The average adult or older child should be OK depending on physical condition. Terrain is likely off-trail. May have one or more of the following: some overgrowth, some steep elevation changes, or more than a 2 mile hike.)

 

**** Experienced outdoor enthusiasts only. (Terrain is probably off-trail. Will have one or more of the following: very heavy overgrowth, very steep elevation (requiring use of hands), or more than a 10 mile hike. May require an overnight stay.)

 

I'd be interested to know how many people actually use the Clayjar rating page when they submit a difficult cache. I do - and the only 5 rated cache I've set I deliberately manipulated just to up the rating - to the extent that I removed a stage and added one in that required specialist equipment (albeit specialist equipment that many people would have at home). I never count a torch or wellies as specialist equipment, for the simple reason that if I'm going out to do any cache, regardless of rating, after dark or in the wet, those are items I'm likely to have with me.

 

Is it the case that when people create a cache that they assume warrants 5 stars based purely on their own subjective feelings about the cache, they will rate it based on feeling - rather than a benchmark or agreed standard?

Edited by keehotee
Link to comment

 

Is it the case that when people create a cache that they assume warrants 5 stars based purely on their own subjective feelings about the cache, they will rate it based on feeling - rather than a benchmark or agreed standard?

 

Some people will use the Clayjar rating wossname, and some will guess based on their experience of similar rated caches. Even using the rating thingy, there's still room for interpretation when the terrain problems are due to something other than steep bits or impenetrable vegetation.

 

I'd suspect that the source of a fair few over-rated 5/5s is the "Finding this cache requires very specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment. This is a serious mental or physical challenge" bit. What, exactly, constitutes a serious mental challenge? For some it could be a total sod of a puzzle, for others it could be one of those "You want me to go in *there*??!!!? You are joking, right? No ****ing way!" moments.

 

I don't think it's possible to create a rating thingy that covers every last possibility, so there are always going to be some caches where the rating may be a bit skewed based on what the CO thought when he placed it.

 

It's a shame we don't have a means for people to vote on what they think the D/T rating should be when they log a find . . . that might be a way of getting the ratings to end up being more or less correct even if the CO was having an off day and got things a bit wrong in the original listing?

Link to comment

 

Is it the case that when people create a cache that they assume warrants 5 stars based purely on their own subjective feelings about the cache, they will rate it based on feeling - rather than a benchmark or agreed standard?

 

Some people will use the Clayjar rating wossname, and some will guess based on their experience of similar rated caches. Even using the rating thingy, there's still room for interpretation when the terrain problems are due to something other than steep bits or impenetrable vegetation.

 

I'd suspect that the source of a fair few over-rated 5/5s is the "Finding this cache requires very specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment. This is a serious mental or physical challenge" bit. What, exactly, constitutes a serious mental challenge? For some it could be a total sod of a puzzle, for others it could be one of those "You want me to go in *there*??!!!? You are joking, right? No ****ing way!" moments.

 

I don't think it's possible to create a rating thingy that covers every last possibility, so there are always going to be some caches where the rating may be a bit skewed based on what the CO thought when he placed it.

 

It's a shame we don't have a means for people to vote on what they think the D/T rating should be when they log a find . . . that might be a way of getting the ratings to end up being more or less correct even if the CO was having an off day and got things a bit wrong in the original listing?

 

I tried the Clayjar ratings a couple of times and wasn't happy with the result. Specialist equipment wil often skew the ratings dramatically, and I think its a real shame that there is no where to distinguish between 'specialist equipment' and 'special equipment'. The first will often require training to use, and may or may not be inherently dangerous (ropes, scuba, etc) the second does not, but is something that probably wouldn't be in a cache sack. For example, a screw driver, socket set, coat hanger, large volume of water, arguably a torch, and so on. All of these pull the rating up of a simple cache under the current system.

 

At the end of the day, I'm not sure how much it really matters. I always assume that the ratings could easily be 2-3 stars adrift in any direction, and don't rely on them to hunt caches, and the only one I feel is important is 1* terrain rating indicating wheelchair friendly. I could say that some of the 5/5s we've done are much more difficult than other people's 5/5s, but there's no actual prize for getting one, and my feel good factor comes from having thrown myself off a cliff to get a cache, not from the rating combination I got at the end!

Link to comment

 

Some people will use the Clayjar rating wossname, and some will guess based on their experience of similar rated caches.

 

But unfortunately, if their similarly rated finds are rated high because of the "ooh, I wouldn't want to go in there" factor, we're going to see actual difficulties spiralling downwards, while ratings spiral upwards.

 

When it reaches the stage that a cache in a hedge is rated 5/5 because you have to wear wellies to cross a puddle - to reach a nastily hidden film pot in a prickly bush - it'll be time to throw the whole rating system away :D;):DB)

Link to comment

 

But unfortunately, if their similarly rated finds are rated high because of the "ooh, I wouldn't want to go in there" factor, we're going to see actual difficulties spiralling downwards, while ratings spiral upwards.

 

the only answer is to put some 'proper' 5/5 caches out, to make all the 'fake' 5/5s look silly and inferior! Talking of which, I lugged all my climbing gear to Weston in August cos you said it 'might' be useful - where was my climbing cache?! B):D

Link to comment

 

But unfortunately, if their similarly rated finds are rated high because of the "ooh, I wouldn't want to go in there" factor, we're going to see actual difficulties spiralling downwards, while ratings spiral upwards.

 

the only answer is to put some 'proper' 5/5 caches out, to make all the 'fake' 5/5s look silly and inferior! Talking of which, I lugged all my climbing gear to Weston in August cos you said it 'might' be useful - where was my climbing cache?! :P;)

:DB):D Might be ready next August at the rate I'm managing to get out and about at the moment.........

Link to comment

The Clayjar ratings were probably correct to start with, but working with them, let's look at (now archived) GCP7JV

 

Bear in mind this cache is at the top of Mount Everest and the first sentence on the cache says

 

Once you get to Tibet, acclimatize for 4-5 weeks, be able to handle crampons, ice tools and jumar - wait for good weather conditions. Best is in april/may or september.

 

According to the Clayjar ratings, this cache is a 1.5/5

 

And before someone points out a 5 difficulty says "Requires specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment to find cache." if you were placed at the point, it's not a difficult cache to find.

Link to comment

In the past I've consulted the Clayjar descriptions but they are not entirely transferable to the UK. You can sense the US wilderness treks in them. (Does a Travelodge count as an overnight stay?) B)

 

For all those who think it's a vitally useful system, I think you should get together and produce a UK equivalent with UK specific descriptions. As well as individual cachers' own take on ratings there are noticeable regional and national differences.

 

I don't think ratings matter much. They will only ever be a rough guide - reading the cache page will usually give a better indication. (now there's a novel idea) :D

 

I also don't think that really really extreme caches have a lot of point as they will get very few visits because they take most folk into a different sport than caching. Caching is like scrambling - as the terrain gets tougher scrambling overlaps with the easiest climbing grades, beyond this it becomes climbing not scrambling. Same with caching - it can overlap with easy climbing (eg Jake's Rake) but there isn't a lot of point in making it even harder for most folk. If you're into climbing - go climbing, do you really need a plastic box to encourage you to pursue your hobby? Same with Scuba or technical caving - you're already doing your adventuresome hobby. Therefore the cache rating scale only needs to just overlap the bottom of these activities, which is the point of 5* isn't it? Achievable by 'normal' folk with significant effort (mental or physical) maybe with some technical knowledge but without being experts in a completely different hobby?

 

I've nothing against folk sticking a cache half-way down an abseil if they want to, but don't be surprised if very few 'normal' people visit, and don't expect the rating system to reflect the real extremes. So Scafell would be 5*, but so would Everest. Just my thoughts on the issue.

(Looking at the profile of cachers at the Mega events, there's a lot of 'normal' middle-age walkers, with a touch of the nerd about them!! "Ramblers with attitude and GPS"!!? Only a few 20-something rock athletes!) :D

Link to comment

The ratings also seem to be used to justify placing caches in dangerous locations.

The underworld series were hidden by an experienced caver. I’d hazard (did you see what I did there) a guess and say that most if not all climbing caches were placed by people with at least the skills and experience you’d need to find them. In these cases equipment and training would alleviate some of the risk attached to finding the cache –and this could be reflected in the rating.

However, caches hidden in disused train and canal tunnels – and to a lesser extent mine workings – carry a risk that no amount of training, experience or equipment will reduce.

In the case of The Beast of Crimson Hill – the tunnel has not been maintained since the second world war, it was dug through soft ground, not bedrock, and has already suffered three collapses along it’s length. Manmade structures are funny like that – if you don’t look after them, they fall down, and I don’t remember shoring timbers, lifelines and air supplies being listed on the cache page. I would hope that to be on a par with other caches they were hidden by – at the least – somebody competent to assess the condition of the structure before others were invited in to find the box!

Link to comment

Without studying every posting on this topic may I suggest something that might not have been touched upon,but can significantly effect the grading,which is the seasonal weather,a climb to the top of Scafell Pike for instance,in the pursuit of a cache can be a long but relatively easy undertaking in the middle of summer,the summit is attained by hundreds every such weekend,and most but not all are properly equipped for the "challenge",however this same walk in winter conditions can be a whole different kettle of fish,where specialist equipment Will be needed,along with the ability to use it,therein lies the dilemma,do we as cache setters constantly alter the cache grading as the seasons change,or do we set them on the higher side for such inevitable eventualities, and at the same time risk being classed as someone who over rates their caches.

Edited by fellsmanhiker
Link to comment

 

But unfortunately, if their similarly rated finds are rated high because of the "ooh, I wouldn't want to go in there" factor, we're going to see actual difficulties spiralling downwards, while ratings spiral upwards.

 

 

The "ooh, I wouldn't want to go in there" factor is in itself subjective.

 

The hardest one - from my point of view - I've done to date is GCWK44. That isn't (very) dangerous - the worst that's likely to happen is that you get very cold and wet and end up needing stitches and a tetanus jab. It isn't hard to find either - it's a big box in a well-described pile of rocks.

 

For me, it still felt harder than GC39E4 (which I did in pitch darkness and pouring rain), and GC1XVM2 (which I set with the aid of a helmet-mounted torch). With both of these, if you get it wrong you are talking about a hospital visit as a bare minimum. But, as a climber, they weren't hard.

 

However, the vast majority of cachers aren't climbers, and they aren't cavers/scuba divers/extreme pogostick riders either.

 

If everyone logs their take on the "ooh, I wouldn't want to go in there" factor, then we'd end up with an average take on it from the point of view of the average cacher. And yes, it does mean that some caches will end up looking easy from the point-of-view of whose of us who are lucky enough to have "specialist" skills already.

 

(Interestingly, climbing routes in the Uk are starting to get a bit of consensus grading going on via the Rockfax voting system and UKC logbooks. Funnily enough, the grades don't seem to be "spiralling upwards" - they seem to be mostly averaging out at - with the exception of the well-known long-standing arguments like Three Pebble Slab - the grade they started with. These would be classical cases of "I don't wanna go there" . . . but there doesn't seem to be huge amounts of upwards grade creep going on.)

Link to comment

... and GC1XVM2 (which I set with the aid of a helmet-mounted torch)...

 

 

That explains why you left a strop (?) and carabiner behind then :)

 

They're in my caching bag now if you want them back. :)

 

The three levels of "ooh, I wouldn't want to go in there" factor were interesting when we did that cache.

 

1) MrsD said that there was no way she would go and get the cache

2) I was a bit apprehensive as I hadn't been abseiling since leaving scouts 25+ years ago

3) For Iain (who provided the kit and Belayed for me) it was no big deal at all and said that if he could have parked his Dakar closer we could have used the winch instead! :)B)

 

 

Mark

Link to comment

Sorry to jump in here late, but I've found this thread very interesting. To me, the "bottom line" is there are areas where the definition of difficulty, and keeping it separate from terrain is not so obvious.

 

I've seen some (not on this thread), define terrain (for a trad at least) to be anything to do with getting to GZ, and difficulty is the difficulty to find and retrieve once you get to GZ. But I don't think it can be that simple in all cases, mainly:

 

1. Cases like the Mt. Everest cache, where the terrain overshadows all aspects of the caching experience. Common sense (to me) says a cache on Everest is difficulty 5 - "Finding this cache requires very specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment. This is a serious mental or physical challenge". Even if the cache is in a giant box with a solar powered neon sign pointing to it.

 

2. Cases where the terrain itself is flat, not a long walk etc, but getting to GZ is a difficult navigational challenge, due to things like multiple paths, fences, rivers etc. I did one recently which was a short walk, could just about be done in a wheelchair, as long as you start in the right place and take the right path. Otherwise you may find yourself on the wrong side of a fence, river, etc. An extreme case could be a maze with paved paths and the cache in the maze. Terrain could be 1 in terms of the normal terrain attributes, but it is difficult to get to GZ. Is this high difficulty or high terrain?

 

One can argue specific interpretations of the guidelines, but I don't think there is a clear right and wrong answer.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 3
×
×
  • Create New...