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Terrain 5 stars. Really?


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<disclaimer> This has nothing to to with caches that are intentionally designed to be easy to get to and appropriately rated. </disclaimer>

 

I have been looking for that, "YES!" chache.

You know the I don't care if it is out in the open, I wanna put my physical skill to the test cache. <--- if ya didnt then ya do now.

So I look and I look.

I find a 5 star. I have a look at it. I check out the maps. I read the logs.

Hmmm, half mile of bushwhacking and muck stomping. Maybe 4.5 (maaaaybeee), where does the special skill come in, what equipment would I need?

Another, its on an island 10 yards from shore in a calm lake. I can walk to it in the winter, I understand the time of year can effect the terrain rating but...

Oh hey I know that spot I can walk to it in the summer too.

Here is one, Gotta climb a tree. Oh cool I bet the first branches are too high up to jump to and the trunk is too big to bear shimmy up. Oh, here is a picture of the tree. WHAT? My five year old can climb that.

 

Oh well, whacanya do about it other than BMC in the forums. :laughing:

 

Well you could ask, how many of you get let down when you find out you don't need skill and or equipment?

Heck, how many get let down when you find significantly overrated terrain period?

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<disclaimer> This has nothing to to with caches that are intentionally designed to be easy to get to and appropriately rated. </disclaimer>

 

I have been looking for that, "YES!" chache.

You know the I don't care if it is out in the open, I wanna put my physical skill to the test cache. <--- if ya didnt then ya do now.

So I look and I look.

I find a 5 star. I have a look at it. I check out the maps. I read the logs.

Hmmm, half mile of bushwhacking and muck stomping. Maybe 4.5 (maaaaybeee), where does the special skill come in, what equipment would I need?

Another, its on an island 10 yards from shore in a calm lake. I can walk to it in the winter, I understand the time of year can effect the terrain rating but...

Oh hey I know that spot I can walk to it in the summer too.

Here is one, Gotta climb a tree. Oh cool I bet the first branches are too high up to jump to and the trunk is too big to bear shimmy up. Oh, here is a picture of the tree. WHAT? My five year old can climb that.

 

Oh well, whacanya do about it other than BMC in the forums. :laughing:

 

Well you could ask, how many of you get let down when you find out you don't need skill and or equipment?

Heck, how many get let down when you find significantly overrated terrain period?

 

Not so many on this side of the pond - but the one thing that does frustrate me is the number of people who automatically mark a traditional 5 terrain as 5 difficulty as well...... ;)

If you're given the co-ords for the cache, and in some cases can even see the cache from a distance, why give it a 5 difficulty??? :unsure:

 

I'm not even going to start on the hiders who think a flashlight and boots are "specialist equipment" !!!

Edited by keehotee
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As I'm not totally sure how to post a link, I'll just not try. Look on youtube under impossible cache. It's most definitely a 5 star terrain.

 

Don't think there are any 5's around here. Have a couple 4 and 4.5's, and they seem right to me. I can totally see where the frustration would come in though, I think it's probably similar to a 1/1 being like a 3/2.

 

There's a puzzle cache kind of near here that requires 3 mountian climbs. The first 2 are for caches with the coords for the third, and the last is for the final. When you get to the final, not only is it up a mountain (real mountain, this isn't the midwest) there are two locks you have to pick to get into the cache.

 

I've not done this one yet. I'll see if I can find the GC#...

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As I'm not totally sure how to post a link, I'll just not try. Look on youtube under impossible cache. It's most definitely a 5 star terrain.

 

Don't think there are any 5's around here. Have a couple 4 and 4.5's, and they seem right to me. I can totally see where the frustration would come in though, I think it's probably similar to a 1/1 being like a 3/2.

 

There's a puzzle cache kind of near here that requires 3 mountian climbs. The first 2 are for caches with the coords for the third, and the last is for the final. When you get to the final, not only is it up a mountain (real mountain, this isn't the midwest) there are two locks you have to pick to get into the cache.

 

I've not done this one yet. I'll see if I can find the GC#...

GCQZCV

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Because 5 terrain includes boat caches, and there are lots of them here, I have no particular expectations of 5 terrain. Mostly it's not that hard, if you have a boat (or scuba). Indeed, even in those parts of the world where it might = climbing gear, it's not necessarily hugely demanding, if you're into climbing and have the gear.

 

4.5 terrain is where I expect long (wet) tough 'whacks. And boy, there sure are some.

 

I've also seen horribly over-rated terrain. One day I was near a "4.5" terrain cache (3.5 difficulty); it was about 350 feet off trail. In that part of the world there are short steep erosion gullies , packed with deadfall from the hurricanes. You get to crawl under and through this stuff to the head of the ravine, hunting something in the fallen trees. Snagged, stung, muddy.... but not far. I decided to go for it, because of the relatively short distance. Container was unknown, I feared a bison hanging in the piles o' dead wood.

 

It was nothing like that, just a moderately dense wood, flat, for maybe 250-300 feet to a clearing. Cache itself a regular tucked against the big fallen tree that created the clearing. 3 terrain, tops. 3 terrain 1 difficulty.

But, hey, I needed that 4.5 terrain 3.5 difficulty combo for the Fizzy grid ;-)

 

I too have seen aboat caches where the cache owner automatically rated the difficulty "5" because the terrain was "5". The true difficulty somewhere in the 1 - 2.5 range.

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OK I am new to Geocaching I have yet to hide one...as far as the diff/terrain rating are concerned is there a guidline somewhere to follow so that I can rate them appropriately?

 

when you go to the online form to submit a new cache, there is a link under both difficulty and terrain that through some questions would aid you in deciding what rating to use

 

http://www.clayjar.com/gcrs/

 

however, sometimes it will result in too low or too high rating, at the end of the day you still have to use your judgment and adjust the rating accordingly

Edited by t4e
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My first cache placement was muggled within a few days of being published, so when I replaced the container I thought for sure that it was going to be tricky to find, so I upped the difficulty to 3. But yesterday, we spent a second chunk of time trying to find a cache that is so tricky it hasn't been found since May of 09...and that one is only 2.5 stars. I'm thinking seriously about dropping the difficulty of mine.

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OK I am new to Geocaching I have yet to hide one...as far as the diff/terrain rating are concerned is there a guidline somewhere to follow so that I can rate them appropriately?

after reading this and reading that I have concluded that.

1 star difficulty = even the most inexperienced catcher can find it relatively easy with the basic tools of the site.

5 star difficulty = having to have a special tool to open the cache, having to have a skill to open the cache, or having to have special a tool to retrieve the cache (not everyone has 6 feet of wire to stick down a PVC pipe for retrieval)

 

1 star terrain = something a wheel chair can travel over, concrete, asphalt, hard packed earth, relativly level firm grass...

5 star terrain = special equipment or skill to get to the cache.

 

If 65% of people in your region can swim 25 yards, then a cache on an island 20 yards from shore would not be 5 star terrain.

 

I fully understand the subjectivity of the ratings, and thats where a CO needs to step back and assess a situation realistically.

I am very experienced in walking on floating bog mats. If I placed a cache in the middle of one that I didn't even have to pause to think about my next move then I may be inclined to give it a 3.5, but I know that people can, do, and will get themselves killed on the things because it takes practice to move as quickly as I do, so I would rate it a 5.

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You are apparently one of the physically-fit who enjoys a challenge, which puts you in the minority of people overall.

 

Why many cache terrains are over-rated is simple! Geocachers are people.

 

Look at the people around you. How many have Dunlap Disease (their belly dun lapped over their belt)?

 

Go to geocaching events and look at the attendees. Most won't fit into any 'athlete' category!

 

Looking at everyone you know or see at work or at the mall, how many of them look like they could walk two miles without falling over?

 

Those are the people who are hiding geocaches. ;) Of course they rate it a 4.5, it took all they could do to get there! :laughing:

 

If you want to find high-terrain caches discover who the physically fit cachers are in your area and look for theirs... No matter how macho you are some of these folks will wear you out getting to where they go! :unsure:

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I have ONE Cache that I have intentionally over rated the terrain. I did this because it's right next the top of a 15 foot wall on the side of a creek, and I don't want people rambling around in the dark and falling in. The real terrain is 1.5-2, but I just want people to be aware when they go. I may have misguided a few people to look in the wrong spots by doing this though.

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You are apparently one of the physically-fit who enjoys a challenge, which puts you in the minority of people overall.

 

Why many cache terrains are over-rated is simple! Geocachers are people.

 

Look at the people around you. How many have Dunlap Disease (their belly dun lapped over their belt)?

 

Go to geocaching events and look at the attendees. Most won't fit into any 'athlete' category!

 

Looking at everyone you know or see at work or at the mall, how many of them look like they could walk two miles without falling over?

 

Those are the people who are hiding geocaches. ;) Of course they rate it a 4.5, it took all they could do to get there! :laughing:

 

If you want to find high-terrain caches discover who the physically fit cachers are in your area and look for theirs... No matter how macho you are some of these folks will wear you out getting to where they go! :unsure:

Well finding and doing 4, 4.5 isnt hard all I have to do are the 5s.

See what I'm saying? That's my personal gripe on over rating.

I'm my opinion, if a person is being realistic about 5 star rating then it is going to take that something extra and I don't mean stamina. Because then any cache I wanted could be a 5, all I would have to do is make sure I start a significant distance away. I did mention I fully understand the subjectivity of the ratings, but just because somebody got to a spot gagging and wheezing ready for a snooze doesn't warrant 5. the whole skill/equipment thing.

 

I have my eyes on a scuba cache for this summer. I'll be awfully depressed if I get there just to find out that a pack a day smoker can do it with a free dive. If I think it can be done, then I'll feel obligated to prove it and waste money on a bribe. Wasted money is always depressing. :(

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Well finding and doing 4, 4.5 isnt hard all I have to do are the 5s.

See what I'm saying? That's my personal gripe on over rating.

I'm my opinion, if a person is being realistic about 5 star rating then it is going to take that something extra and I don't mean stamina. Because then any cache I wanted could be a 5, all I would have to do is make sure I start a significant distance away. I did mention I fully understand the subjectivity of the ratings, but just because somebody got to a spot gagging and wheezing ready for a snooze doesn't warrant 5. the whole skill/equipment thing.

 

I have my eyes on a scuba cache for this summer. I'll be awfully depressed if I get there just to find out that a pack a day smoker can do it with a free dive. If I think it can be done, then I'll feel obligated to prove it and waste money on a bribe. Wasted money is always depressing. :laughing:

Perhaps researching some bookmark lists is a good place to start? You've probably already done that. Contacting previous finders for confirmation on the terrain will help reassure you.

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I don't feel let down all that much because I've come to expect overrated caches.

 

Yes there are lots of overrated for terrain caches in this area, but I'm also seeing lots of terrain 1 caches that are not really handicapped accessible. The only problem this causes for me is in deciding exactly where to search for the cache, but for someone that is truly handicapped it must be frustrating to arrive at the location and find they can not retrieve the cache. So less 4s and 5s but more 1.5s would increase the accuracy of loads of descriptions.

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As I'm not totally sure how to post a link, I'll just not try. Look on youtube under impossible cache. It's most definitely a 5 star terrain.

 

Don't think there are any 5's around here. Have a couple 4 and 4.5's, and they seem right to me. I can totally see where the frustration would come in though, I think it's probably similar to a 1/1 being like a 3/2.

 

There's a puzzle cache kind of near here that requires 3 mountian climbs. The first 2 are for caches with the coords for the third, and the last is for the final. When you get to the final, not only is it up a mountain (real mountain, this isn't the midwest) there are two locks you have to pick to get into the cache.

 

I've not done this one yet. I'll see if I can find the GC#...

 

I resent that! There are plenty of hard mountains around here. Take Cascade mountain. Northeast of provo, utah where BYU is. Most of it is at least a 30-45 degree incline unless you take the nice part of the trail, a.k.a. the bottom half(even then it is still near the incline of the rest of the mountain) and goes up about 6000 feet above the valley, ending at about 10,800 feet. And for those of you who don't hike a lot, that is actually pretty steep. It is actually harder to climb by a good length than Mt. Timpanogos next to it is, even though Timp is about 1000 feet higher.

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I resent that! There are plenty of hard mountains around here. Take Cascade mountain. Northeast of provo, utah where BYU is. Most of it is at least a 30-45 degree incline unless you take the nice part of the trail, a.k.a. the bottom half(even then it is still near the incline of the rest of the mountain) and goes up about 6000 feet above the valley, ending at about 10,800 feet. And for those of you who don't hike a lot, that is actually pretty steep. It is actually harder to climb by a good length than Mt. Timpanogos next to it is, even though Timp is about 1000 feet higher.

Sounds like an M Class 2 close to an M Class 3 but that's only going on your description. Any rock scrambles and what percent of the climb would you estimate you have to use your hands?

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i have found that terrain ratings are often "locally adjusted". meaning that a cache that's rated say 3.5 in an area that's mostly flat (extreme example: the netherlands) would be rated only maybe 2.0 in an area that has lots of mountains (let's say switzerland or austria).

 

so yeah. a 5.0 terrain cache might not be very challenging in an area that doesn't offer a lot of terrain challenges.

Edited by dfx
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Well finding and doing 4, 4.5 isnt hard all I have to do are the 5s.

See what I'm saying? That's my personal gripe on over rating.

I'm my opinion, if a person is being realistic about 5 star rating then it is going to take that something extra and I don't mean stamina. Because then any cache I wanted could be a 5, all I would have to do is make sure I start a significant distance away. I did mention I fully understand the subjectivity of the ratings, but just because somebody got to a spot gagging and wheezing ready for a snooze doesn't warrant 5. the whole skill/equipment thing.

 

I have my eyes on a scuba cache for this summer. I'll be awfully depressed if I get there just to find out that a pack a day smoker can do it with a free dive. If I think it can be done, then I'll feel obligated to prove it and waste money on a bribe. Wasted money is always depressing. :laughing:

Keep in mind that a 5 rating simply means the special equipment is required. That can mean a set of water wings so you can swim 50' to an island.

 

The cache terrain and difficulty could well be 1.5 but having to use a floatie makes it a 5.

 

The hard ones will be 4 and 4.5

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<disclaimer> This has nothing to to with caches that are intentionally designed to be easy to get to and appropriately rated. </disclaimer>

 

I have been looking for that, "YES!" chache.

You know the I don't care if it is out in the open, I wanna put my physical skill to the test cache. <--- if ya didnt then ya do now.

 

As a premium member you have access to some of the hardest caches in Geocaching. Any of these will give you a run for your money....

 

Psycho Urban Cache Series

 

Specifically the Vinny & Sue Team ones.

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<disclaimer> This has nothing to to with caches that are intentionally designed to be easy to get to and appropriately rated. </disclaimer>

 

I have been looking for that, "YES!" chache.

You know the I don't care if it is out in the open, I wanna put my physical skill to the test cache. <--- if ya didnt then ya do now.

 

As a premium member you have access to some of the hardest caches in Geocaching. Any of these will give you a run for your money....

 

Psycho Urban Cache Series

 

Specifically the Vinny & Sue Team ones.

 

Holy

Freakin

Crud

 

Psycho Urban Caches. I gotta make it to Maryland. :laughing:

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...not only is it up a mountain (real mountain, this isn't the midwest)...

I resent that! There are plenty of hard mountains around here. Take Cascade mountain. Northeast of provo, utah where BYU is. Most of it is at least a 30-45 degree incline unless you take the nice part of the trail, a.k.a. the bottom half(even then it is still near the incline of the rest of the mountain) and goes up about 6000 feet above the valley, ending at about 10,800 feet. And for those of you who don't hike a lot, that is actually pretty steep. It is actually harder to climb by a good length than Mt. Timpanogos next to it is, even though Timp is about 1000 feet higher.

I don't understand the source of your resentment. :laughing: You do realize Utah isn't in the midwest, right? In fact it's a full state removed from the midwest. And the midwest is much more flat than Utah.

 

Having a pretty diverse sampling of cache finds by location myself, I have to say I have also noticed a strong regional bias to ratings. Terrain especially depends on the overall terrain of the area as another poster described. Identical actual terrain caches in very flat region would be given a higher rating than it would in a more hilly/mountainous area. I've similarly noticed regional difficulty rating differences too, but mostly that Seattle area people all think their caches are much easier than people in other places who rate their similar caches as much more difficult.

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...not only is it up a mountain (real mountain, this isn't the midwest)...

I resent that! There are plenty of hard mountains around here. Take Cascade mountain. Northeast of provo, utah where BYU is. Most of it is at least a 30-45 degree incline unless you take the nice part of the trail, a.k.a. the bottom half(even then it is still near the incline of the rest of the mountain) and goes up about 6000 feet above the valley, ending at about 10,800 feet. And for those of you who don't hike a lot, that is actually pretty steep. It is actually harder to climb by a good length than Mt. Timpanogos next to it is, even though Timp is about 1000 feet higher.

I don't understand the source of your resentment. :laughing: You do realize Utah isn't in the midwest, right? In fact it's a full state removed from the midwest. And the midwest is much more flat than Utah.

 

Having a pretty diverse sampling of cache finds by location myself, I have to say I have also noticed a strong regional bias to ratings. Terrain especially depends on the overall terrain of the area as another poster described. Identical actual terrain caches in very flat region would be given a higher rating than it would in a more hilly/mountainous area. I've similarly noticed regional difficulty rating differences too, but mostly that Seattle area people all think their caches are much easier than people in other places who rate their similar caches as much more difficult.

 

Word.

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As a premium member you have access to some of the hardest caches in Geocaching. Any of these will give you a run for your money....

 

Psycho Urban Cache Series

 

Specifically the Vinny & Sue Team ones.

HAHAHAH

Had a trip planned to the Carolinas planned.

My wife double checked my rout (because of geocaching) and went ballistic.

I had tacked on an extra day, just because I wanted to check out PUC #14.

If I was going to make us camp for one night then forget it. $100 motel room, fine, $20 camp, and mommy aint happy.

Not that she doesn't like camping, she just doesn't like my single night set up.

And I took a 12 hour drive and had already made it 15 hours on the road because I insisted on taking the kids to Mammoth Caves National Park.

Oh no she wasn't happy with me doubling the one way.

Man when I was a kid, the rout deviations where the awesome part of the trip.

Oh well, I'm the only one that would miss it anyway, them with their portable dvd players and gameboys.

 

HAHA listen to me.

Why when I was your age we had to bur a gallon of fossil fuel just to get the car to the station when we ran out.

Now you're complaining that I made you buy 3 liters of ethanol instead of 100 milliliters? Your tank is only 3 liters!

 

I can sooo see it.

 

And we return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

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