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terratin

High Difficulty ECs

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I think I know what a 14 year old level of comprehension is, at least the 14 YO's I geocache with anyway.

 

I easily believe the latter, but not the former. 14 year olds can be quite different, even when restricted to a single country.

I have never ever read that much in my life when in the period 12-18 as I never had as much time thereafter.

 

Cezanne

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I think I know what a 14 year old level of comprehension is, at least the 14 YO's I geocache with anyway.

 

I easily believe the latter, but not the former. 14 year olds can be quite different, even when restricted to a single country.

I have never ever read that much in my life when in the period 12-18 as I never had as much time thereafter.

 

Cezanne

Of corse you are correct. You are well educated. But us less smart geocachers also enjoy EarthCaches, so we just visit them and take photos and enjoy the site for the WOW factor. Just because you never see my user name on a listing, does not mean I have not visited the site.

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I rated one as high difficulty because it requried identifying the layering of the rocks, then measuring the strike and dip of them. I though the concept of visualizing the horizontal and the 3 dimentional plane of the rock beds would be quite difficult for most people.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC1ABZY

 

A nearby one I also rated as high because of the technical jargon I used in the question and having to relate the pictures (that are always drawn so perfectly) to the messy real world example.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC1AAAP

 

Yes! That's pretty much the kind of tasks I was thinking of, TerryDad!

How do people manage to solve them or do people have problems of any kind? I was looking at some kind of mapping exercise before, on the 'back spine' of Qatar, but my stay there was running out and I didn't even start testing how people could measure angles without having any equipment (I thought about providing a plan for building that from cardboard).

 

Being the person that has adopted the first cache on this list, I can vouch for its difficulty. I get many answers from finders, the majority of the answers are way off.

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I think I know what a 14 year old level of comprehension is, at least the 14 YO's I geocache with anyway.

 

I easily believe the latter, but not the former. 14 year olds can be quite different, even when restricted to a single country.

I have never ever read that much in my life when in the period 12-18 as I never had as much time thereafter.

 

Cezanne

Of corse you are correct. You are well educated. But us less smart geocachers also enjoy EarthCaches, so we just visit them and take photos and enjoy the site for the WOW factor. Just because you never see my user name on a listing, does not mean I have not visited the site.

 

I did not make any statement about anyone being smart or not smart. My statement was meant general - it was not linked to how many EC sites you or someone else might have visited. As the wow-factor is regarded, I guess it plays a larger role in areas with many geological attractions than in the area I live in.

 

As the age limit is regarded, may I pose you a question regarding the 14 year olds you are caching with. Is their level of comprehension lower than yours? The intent of my comment above was to state that my level of comprehension did not change that much after the age of 14. Of course, I acquired more knowledge, but I do not think that my reading abilities changed.

 

Cezanne

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I think I know what a 14 year old level of comprehension is, at least the 14 YO's I geocache with anyway.

 

I easily believe the latter, but not the former. 14 year olds can be quite different, even when restricted to a single country.

I have never ever read that much in my life when in the period 12-18 as I never had as much time thereafter.

 

Cezanne

Of corse you are correct. You are well educated. But us less smart geocachers also enjoy EarthCaches, so we just visit them and take photos and enjoy the site for the WOW factor. Just because you never see my user name on a listing, does not mean I have not visited the site.

 

I did not make any statement about anyone being smart or not smart. My statement was meant general - it was not linked to how many EC sites you or someone else might have visited. As the wow-factor is regarded, I guess it plays a larger role in areas with many geological attractions than in the area I live in.

 

As the age limit is regarded, may I pose you a question regarding the 14 year olds you are caching with. Is their level of comprehension lower than yours? The intent of my comment above was to state that my level of comprehension did not change that much after the age of 14. Of course, I acquired more knowledge, but I do not think that my reading abilities changed.

 

Cezanne

Are we talking about reading level, or comprehension levels? At the age of 14 I could read a service manual to disassemble and reassemble a internal combustion engine and make it work again, but I only somewhat comprehended the mechanics of the design.

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Are we talking about reading level, or comprehension levels? At the age of 14 I could read a service manual to disassemble and reassemble a internal combustion engine and make it work again, but I only somewhat comprehended the mechanics of the design.

 

Maybe something in between. I mean reading and understanding a text, but not without being allowed to look up some words or terminology. I only had reading EC descriptions or similar texts in mind, not tasks like understanding the mechanics of a combustion engine or some advanced topic from say theoretical physics or whatever.

 

I asked my question also because some think that the reference to 14 year olds in the guidelines should have implications on aspects like grammar and vocabulary used in EC descriptions. I found this somehow surprising.

 

 

Cezanne

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I find most earthcache logging requirements understandable. I don't care much for ones that I have to take field notes at the site and use other sources of information to come up with the correct answers. If I can't visit the site and log the find with my observation I won't waste my time logging my visit. I have had help in listing and researching my earthcaches, but I have had hands on my listings and learned more while creating them than I would if not attempted. Are there any other 14 year olds out there that have interest in or have developed any earthcache listings?

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There is an EarthCache in New Zealand we noticed on a trip there.

It is a weeks hike in and says it is a 3/5 D/T rating.

The Co has stated if you use a helicopter they will delete your log (as if anyone has a chopper for Geocaching anyway :rolleyes:)

Needless to say no-one has bothered to find it yet.

GC1C31D is it's GC code.

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I hate to mention that old saying again, but some are making mountains out of mole hills.

Has anyone ever heard of averages? If you put the reading level of a average 14 year old right smack in the middle of a 'normal curve' and please accept that's where it (the average or for some, the mean) belongs, guess what? Three standard deviations to the right and to the left would include those who are mentally deficient to genius! Happy? That about covers all of us, but the guidelines only deal with the average!

Good grief, now if you want to write up questions appealing to the third standard deviation to the right hand side of the curve, then have at it, but you would be wrong and certainly not within the spirit of the guidelines.

This started out as a legitimate question, but has deteriorated to the pedantic! :ph34r:

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Has anyone ever heard of averages? If you put the reading level of a average 14 year old right smack in the middle of a 'normal curve' and please accept that's where it (the average or for some, the mean) belongs, guess what? Three standard deviations to the right and to the left would include those who are mentally deficient to genius! Happy? That about covers all of us, but the guidelines only deal with the average!

 

Of course, I am familiar with the notions of average, standard deviation, normal distribution etc. What you seem to talk about is the IQ model where normal distribution is assumed. Reading abilities and also performance at school are, however, known to be not necessarily closely linked to the IQ.

There are sources that claim e.g. that about 1/3 of the US population has to be regarded as functional analphabets. It is probably not too difficult to figure out what consequences this has on averaging. Another example: The majority of young people in Austria which decide to leave school at 14 and to undergo a vocational training is not any longer fulfilling the basic requirements in reading and writing German and in arithmetics. So I still do think that is legitimate to ask whether averaging over all people really is what makes sense for Earthcaches. I never ever said that ECs should focus on some 5-10% minority group whatever that group might be.

 

Most Earthcaches I know are not at the average reading and comprehension level of a 14 year old when averaged over the whole world and all people. I do not think that it is pendantic to mention that fact.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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As geoaware has already stated, the age 14 guideline is simply a way to avoid EarthCaches being written in technical jargon. When I set up my EarthCaches, I try to aim them at a junior high level. In Canada, junior high is grades 7 to 9 (age 12 - 14).

 

Back to the original topic, after reading the comments here, I decided I should increase the difficulty level on one of my EarthCaches. I listed 5 sets of coordinates, 5 photographs of fossils and 5 fossil names. To log a find, visitors need to match the location to the photo and the name. Matching the photos to the location is done on site, but matching the names requires a bit of extra research.

 

It's a bit like a challenging puzzle that is quite satisfying when you manage to complete it. It has received many favourite points and resulted in a few spin-off EarthCaches in other cities. Originally I had it rated with a difficulty of 2, but I changed that to a 3.

 

I'm not sure what a difficulty 5 EarthCache would be, but I suppose it would be possible while still keeping it at a non-technical level. It would likely take more time and some very careful observations to be able to answer.

 

I'd love to see a well done difficulty 5 EarthCache, but not one that was made difficult/impossible just for the sake of making it a D5.

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As a note, I write technical reports for government regulators all the time. The audience for these reports sometimes have PhD and usually have years of experience in the field. Even so, we write to a 6th grade (USA) level. I take the same approach to writing EarthCaches.

 

As geoaware said, that style of writing is just intended to make sure that each scientific concept is explained (or a reference provided to look up the concept if it is not the main focus of your EarthCache) and that any specialized terms are explained.

 

cezanne has a point that different countries have different educational expectations and that each person will have their own abilities. Additionally, a person caching in a different country may not have enough of a grasp of the language to understand the EarthCache description (and bablefish may not translate well). Any description will not be understood by 100% of the visitors, but it should be written such that most of the readers can grasp the concept.

 

All we can do is write to what we think is the intent of the guideline. You will get feedback from the reviewer if you are writing above the guideline.

 

The guidelines also allow for an additional section that is targeted to the more educated visitor or a visitor willing to look up unknown concepts/terms. However, any logging requirements based on concepts/terms not explained in the description of the EarthCache are optional and can’t be used as justification for deleting the log.

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As a note, I write technical reports for government regulators all the time. The audience for these reports sometimes have PhD and usually have years of experience in the field. Even so, we write to a 6th grade (USA) level. I take the same approach to writing EarthCaches.

 

I have looked only at very few of your ECs and mainly looked at the logging requirements. I noticed that your logging requirements are typically much more educational and considerably more challenging as those I am encountering around here. I do know quite a lot of of people who would fail to even understand some of your questions. Please note that I like your questions and that I do not think that they are against the spirit of Earthcaching. I however doubt that the average 6-th grader in the US (the same holds for my country) is able to fully understand your questions if the average is built over all 6-th graders.

 

I certainly agree that you have made a reasonable attempt to explain the key terminology. So your write-ups perfectly meet what geoaware refers to as being behind the reference to 14 year old ones, but I am sceptic about your 6th grade statement. I feel that in most countries there is quite some discrepancy between how the teaching for a certain group looks like and what the average over the whole group is able to achieve. That was one of the points I tried to make.

 

Cezanne

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Well, I can say from experience that my 6th grade son (now in 7th) never had any difficulty understanding TerrDad2's Logging Requirements for the most part. When there appeared to be a gap in understanding, it was usually cleared up by reading the Description more closely.

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I would agree that my expectations are probably on the high side as I have gotten responses to some EarthCaches saying they don't understand the question(s). I'm willing to accept a few responses such as that. But if the responses are consistantly saying it is confusing, I change the question or alter the text. I would also expect that the harder the question/concept, the harder the difficulty.

 

I realize that I won't have a 100% success rate at reaching every visitor, especially on the higher difficulty ones. My writing is biased to my own experience and there is no way around that.

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I have looked only at very few of your ECs and mainly looked at the logging requirements. I noticed that your logging requirements are typically much more educational and considerably more challenging as those I am encountering around here. I do know quite a lot of of people who would fail to even understand some of your questions. Please note that I like your questions and that I do not think that they are against the spirit of Earthcaching. I however doubt that the average 6-th grader in the US (the same holds for my country) is able to fully understand your questions if the average is built over all 6-th graders.

 

I certainly agree that you have made a reasonable attempt to explain the key terminology. So your write-ups perfectly meet what geoaware refers to as being behind the reference to 14 year old ones, but I am sceptic about your 6th grade statement. I feel that in most countries there is quite some discrepancy between how the teaching for a certain group looks like and what the average over the whole group is able to achieve. That was one of the points I tried to make.

 

Cezanne

I failed to thank you for the complement on my questions.

 

I do agree that the educational standards for various countries and regions are different. I would not expect 14-year old Inuit living on tribal lands or a girl in rural Afganistan to have the same educational opportunities as a 14-year old in the Silicon Valley of California or Prince Wiliam of Britain. (Yes I picked hyperbole. And these dichotomies are outside the boundries of this forum). We can only write to what we think is the majority based on our own opinion.

 

I would also not expect most people to understand the logging requirements without both reading the description and standing in front of the feature to see what is being referenced. If one already understood the concept before reading the description and seeing the feature, nothing would be “learnt.” :D

Edited by TerryDad2

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Did I mention IQ? I don't think so.

A lot of things in nature are 'normally' distributed. Height, weight, etc. etc. and while reading levels are correlated to IQ, they are distinctly two different but related things (concepts). I have a couple of degrees in psychology and for the record have never heard of the theory that "Reading abilities and also performance at school are, however, known to be not necessarily closely linked to the IQ." Actually, no matter what you think of the IQ concept, the relationship is clear. How do you think IQs are measured? The two components, verbal and performance are distinctly different, but one thing for sure, a high reading comprehension level usually relates to high over all IQ.

All of this is pedantic and as the guidelines say, average 14 year old!, not IQ levels of 130+, not college level reading levels, but that same old 14 year old that has been mentioned over and over. Paint it any way you want and some countries may have deficient earthcaches which do not appeal to the puzzle minded, but the guidelines are clear! :ph34r:

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I have looked only at very few of your ECs and mainly looked at the logging requirements. I noticed that your logging requirements are typically much more educational and considerably more challenging as those I am encountering around here. I do know quite a lot of of people who would fail to even understand some of your questions. Please note that I like your questions and that I do not think that they are against the spirit of Earthcaching. I however doubt that the average 6-th grader in the US (the same holds for my country) is able to fully understand your questions if the average is built over all 6-th graders.

 

I certainly agree that you have made a reasonable attempt to explain the key terminology. So your write-ups perfectly meet what geoaware refers to as being behind the reference to 14 year old ones, but I am sceptic about your 6th grade statement. I feel that in most countries there is quite some discrepancy between how the teaching for a certain group looks like and what the average over the whole group is able to achieve. That was one of the points I tried to make.

 

Cezanne

I failed to thank you for the complement on my questions.

 

I do agree that the educational standards for various countries and regions are different. I would not expect 14-year old Inuit living on tribal lands or a girl in rural Afganistan to have the same educational opportunities as a 14-year old in the Silicon Valley of California or Prince Wiliam of Britain. (Yes I picked hyperbole. And these dichotomies are outside the boundries of this forum). We can only write to what we think is the majority based on our own opinion.

 

I would also not expect most people to understand the logging requirements without both reading the description and standing in front of the feature to see what is being referenced. If one already understood the concept before reading the description and seeing the feature, nothing would be “learnt.” :D

 

Inuit people living in Canada have access to schools and are given the opportunity to attend high schools in larger communities or through distance education. All aboriginal people in Canada get free tuition at university, if they choose to attend.

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How do you think IQs are measured? The two components, verbal and performance are distinctly different, but one thing for sure, a high reading comprehension level usually relates to high over all IQ.

 

I guess we both know that different methods and tests are used to measure the IQ. There are also IQ tests that are not depending on language. For example, some national Mensa organization in Europe offer IQ-tests for people not understanding the language of the standard test they are using and these tests are not using language. There are also IQ tests for young children.

 

Of course there is a positive correlation between IQ and the reading and comprehension level. I only said that they are not necessarily linked. Some people have a high potential, but are not using it and are hindered by their environment. At least in German speaking countries there are lots of high IQ students who terribly fail at school. I need to admit that I am not very familiar with the situation in North America.

 

A lot of things in nature are 'normally' distributed. Height, weight, etc. etc.

 

Indeed the normal distribution can be used as a reasonable approximation in these settings.

I have, however, serious doubts that normal distribution applies to reading and comprehension

levels and I have explained some of the reasons for my doubts.

 

 

All of this is pedantic and as the guidelines say, average 14 year old!, not IQ levels of 130+, not college level reading levels, but that same old 14 year old that has been mentioned over and over.

 

It might appear pedantic to you, but this is not my intent. I am just wondering in what aspects e.g. college reading level is higher than 14 year old reading level. Did you have a higher reading level at college than at 14? (I am not talking about the knowledge that you have acquired in the time in between.)

 

Cezanne

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Why can't these discussions stay on topic? I give up.................next topic to stray from! :ph34r:

 

Contrary to you I feel that what I wrote about is related to answering the question whether really difficult ECs are possible at all. My brain is functioning that way.

However, if it makes you happy, I will stay away from the thread.

 

Cezanne

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I rated one as high difficulty because it requried identifying the layering of the rocks, then measuring the strike and dip of them. I though the concept of visualizing the horizontal and the 3 dimentional plane of the rock beds would be quite difficult for most people.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC1ABZY

 

A nearby one I also rated as high because of the technical jargon I used in the question and having to relate the pictures (that are always drawn so perfectly) to the messy real world example.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC1AAAP

 

Yes! That's pretty much the kind of tasks I was thinking of, TerryDad!

How do people manage to solve them or do people have problems of any kind? I was looking at some kind of mapping exercise before, on the 'back spine' of Qatar, but my stay there was running out and I didn't even start testing how people could measure angles without having any equipment (I thought about providing a plan for building that from cardboard).

 

Being the person that has adopted the first cache on this list, I can vouch for its difficulty. I get many answers from finders, the majority of the answers are way off.

 

OK, thanks for your answer. That gives me an idea of what kind of questions might be a problem after all. Good that I asked even though this ended in an endless discussion of schools worldwide :blink:

 

mrs. terratin

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OK, thanks for your answer. That gives me an idea of what kind of questions might be a problem after all.

 

So, what consequence will you draw? Not to use such type of questions and only use questions that can easily answered by the majority of the visitors?

 

Cezanne

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OK, thanks for your answer. That gives me an idea of what kind of questions might be a problem after all.

 

So, what consequence will you draw? Not to use such type of questions and only use questions that can easily answered by the majority of the visitors?

 

Cezanne

 

And wanting people to find and log the cache is wrong how?????? It doesn't meet your caching aesthetic to have caches that laypeople are able to log but that doesn't mean that others don't want to have caches that laypeople are able to log.

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And wanting people to find and log the cache is wrong how??????

 

No, it is not and I never said anything contrary. I was only asking a question directed to terratin.

 

It doesn't meet your caching aesthetic to have caches that laypeople are able to log

 

Where did I say that? The cache referred to above that apparently many cachers find difficult is not

my cache though I need to admit that it looks interesting to me and I would like to visit it in case it were closer.

The reason why it looks attractive to me is that I feel that I could learn something there which I do not know before visiting

the location.

 

Provide me with any reason why there should not exist the full spectrum from very easy to quite hard Earthcaches (the difficulty based on laymen, not geologists). As with other caches types as well what typically will happen anyway is that there are much more easy caches than hard caches, and I think that's perfectly fine. I think diversity cannot do harm - it is like in school: Providing the same set of assignments to all students will not please all of them: some will end up in despair as the problems are too hard for them while others (in the same grade and of the same age) will get bored.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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OK, thanks for your answer. That gives me an idea of what kind of questions might be a problem after all.

 

So, what consequence will you draw? Not to use such type of questions and only use questions that can easily answered by the majority of the visitors?

 

Cezanne

 

And wanting people to find and log the cache is wrong how?????? It doesn't meet your caching aesthetic to have caches that laypeople are able to log but that doesn't mean that others don't want to have caches that laypeople are able to log.

We're going for Difficulty 6 (genius level), makes it easier to check the two logs a year against given answers...

 

Cheers,

 

Mr. Terratin

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We're going for Difficulty 6 (genius level), makes it easier to check the two logs a year against given answers...

 

Cheers,

 

Mr. Terratin

 

I do not see any reason for this sarcastic type of answer to my question.

 

What is bad about this EC (has been mentioned above by its creator - so I dare to repeat the link)

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC1ABZY ? Do you regard it as directed to geniuses?

 

Did you ever encounter an EC that taught you something interesting and which is of the type that it cannot happen that someone gets an answer wrong? It appears to me that ECs with more difficult questions produce a higher working load for the creators than easy ones as one need to explain why answers are wrong, how one can obtain correct answers etc. I am aware of one local EC which originally had more challenging questions (not questions for experts) than it has at the moment and where the creator changed the questions as he/she did not want to invest the extra time needed (the creator told me this).

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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We're going for Difficulty 6 (genius level), makes it easier to check the two logs a year against given answers...

 

Cheers,

 

Mr. Terratin

 

I do not see any reason for this sarcastic type of answer to my question.

 

What is bad about this EC (has been mentioned above by its creator - so I dare to repeat the link)

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC1ABZY ? Do you regard it as directed to geniuses?

 

Did you ever encounter an EC that taught you something interesting and which is of the type that it cannot happen that someone gets an answer wrong? It appears to me that ECs with more difficult questions produce a higher working load for the creators than easy ones as one need to explain why answers are wrong, how one can obtain correct answers etc. I am aware of one local EC which originally had more challenging questions (not questions for experts) than it has at the moment and where the creator changed the questions as he/she did not want to invest the extra time needed (the creator told me this).

 

Cezanne

 

That Earthcache looks engaging and challenging. The terrain and difficulty rating are both high, so it's no secret that it's going to take more effort than a "how big is this rock" Earthcache. What's the problem?

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That Earthcache looks engaging and challenging. The terrain and difficulty rating are both high, so it's no secret that it's going to take more effort than a "how big is this rock" Earthcache. What's the problem?

 

The point is that personally I do not think that there is a problem at all. I would very much enjoy visiting that EC. However, it has been reported above by the adopter of the cache that people frequently get some answers wrong. terratin then replied that this information gives her a feeling for which questions might be a problem (posting 72). In posting 73 I then asked the simple question whether she plans to avoid questions where it is not guaranteed that the majority will get them all right. The replies I got for my answer speak for themselves, but did not address my question.

 

When I am writing about ECs that look interesting and attractive to me I am not having in mind caches directed to geniuses and/or geologists (unlike TerryDad and mrs terratin I have no geology training whatsoever), but exactly caches of the type like the one I mentioned above by TerryDad and the Got vinegar cache of terratin. I am not even saying that all Earthcaches should be like these examples. I just feel that ECs which ask questions that are more challenging than the standard questions and need more effort for answering them (something not everyone will enjoy) should have their place as well.

 

Cezanne

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Hullo,

 

during our vacation we came up with some ideas for new EarthCaches, and then got really wild with logging tasks for those, and for things we don't know if we ever find a suitable location. :P

 

I wonder, are there EarthCaches with a high difficulty rating that work? I guess our 'Got Vinegar?' caches is a bit more difficult than most, but the question is how far can you really go without asking for specialist knowledge. What would a D4 or D5 EC look like?

 

Cheers,

Mrs. terratin

 

Here is what a 5/5 Earth cache can look like: Rainier Summit Earthcache http://coord.info/GCPZBX

 

Difficulty ratings are a measure of mental or physical challenge. While the requirements of this cache are very easy to complete (no need to be a genius or a geologist), just reaching the location is beyond the abilities of most people.

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THat cache is probably a 5 for terrain but those logging requirements are certainly not 5. If you refer to the knowledge book here the logging requirement of that cache (feel the mud and describe the feeling) would easily fall into the 1 star category. To get there the terrain might be a 5 but once there locating ground zero and performing the logging task is certainly more like a 1 star activity. If one got there and needed special equipment, specialized knowledge or needed to dig to to get to the mud then sure it would be a 5 difficulty. But just squishing some mud around is not hard.

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THat cache is probably a 5 for terrain but those logging requirements are certainly not 5. If you refer to the knowledge book here the logging requirement of that cache (feel the mud and describe the feeling) would easily fall into the 1 star category. To get there the terrain might be a 5 but once there locating ground zero and performing the logging task is certainly more like a 1 star activity. If one got there and needed special equipment, specialized knowledge or needed to dig to to get to the mud then sure it would be a 5 difficulty. But just squishing some mud around is not hard.

 

By that definition there would be no cache with a difficulty higher than one because how hard is it to sign your name on a piece of paper or email some information to a CO?

 

The high difficulty is a reflection of what it takes to get to the cache location.

 

*****Extreme - A serious mental or physical challenge. Requires specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment to find cache.

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The high difficulty is a reflection of what it takes to get to the cache location.

 

I respectfully disagree with this statement. The terrain rating should be a reflection of what it takes to get to a cache location. The difficulty rating should reflect how challenging it is to find the cache once you get there, or in the case of an EarthCache, how difficult it would be to perform the logging tasks. An EarthCache with easy logging tasks in a hard to reach location should therefore be a 1/5.

 

Your quote of the definition of Difficulty 5 Rating from the Knowledge Books is interesting though. I'm surprised they have "physical" included in there.

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The "physical" challenge on difficulty could be in manipulating some sort of puzzle, perhaps. Just spitballing here.

 

Either way, I think it's poor word choice in the knowledge book, because whatever physical challenges are entailed in approaching the cache are covered by terrain rating -- it's a rating of what it takes to arrive at the cache location. Difficulty normally entails whatever it takes to discern the cache's (or the log book's) actual location (solve a puzzle, detect a camouflaged container).

 

I think most 5/5 caches aren't accurately rated, and whenever the terrain is the dominant factor, the difficulty just gets bootstrapped in there. Taking the Mount Rainier earthcache as an example -- I'm very ready to agree that getting to the summit is very physically challenging. But once you're there, how difficult are the logging requirements?

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But once you're there, how difficult are the logging requirements?

 

We do have to factor in the diff between an EC and a geocache on the rating system. I think that just about any EC is harder to log than a standard geocache of the same rating, since it requires some kind of measurement or assessment above and beyond merely signing your name. The arguments made concerning difficulty (when compared to a standard geocache) don't take into account what is required to log the cache, it has more to do with the steps before being able to log the cache. Since a standard geocache is loggable once the log is signed, isn't all the effort that goes into retrieving the log what the difficulty is all about?

 

I could see a set of logging reqs that has a cacher take an average at the same time for a long period of time (a week, a month, maybe even a season) and averaging the stats for all those visits as a method for incorporating a very high Difficulty rating, maybe even a D5. Or the common technicality of requiring a tool/specialized equipment is another way.

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But once you're there, how difficult are the logging requirements?

Not difficult at all. Based on the photos on the cache page, I could log this earthcache as found from my desk.

 

The arguments made concerning difficulty (when compared to a standard geocache) don't take into account what is required to log the cache, it has more to do with the steps before being able to log the cache. Since a standard geocache is loggable once the log is signed, isn't all the effort that goes into retrieving the log what the difficulty is all about?

I'm pretty sure that would all be covered by the terrain rating. Taking rocks from GZ, heating them to be pliable and then creating a smiley face out of the rock would be a 5-star difficulty logging requirement. Just feeling them up is no more than a 1 star, no matter how treacherous the journey was to get to the rocks.

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We do have to factor in the diff between an EC and a geocache on the rating system. I think that just about any EC is harder to log than a standard geocache of the same rating, since it requires some kind of measurement or assessment above and beyond merely signing your name.

 

I do not agree. A standard geocache first needs to be found - that often causes me much more trouble than writing down some words or estimating the size of a rock.

 

The arguments made concerning difficulty (when compared to a standard geocache) don't take into account what is required to log the cache, it has more to do with the steps before being able to log the cache. Since a standard geocache is loggable once the log is signed, isn't all the effort that goes into retrieving the log what the difficulty is all about?

 

That only applies to traditionals.

 

I could see a set of logging reqs that has a cacher take an average at the same time for a long period of time (a week, a month, maybe even a season) and averaging the stats for all those visits as a method for incorporating a very high Difficulty rating, maybe even a D5.

 

Agreed. It would be interesting to know whether ECs with such logging requirements are feasible. Do you know any EC of that type?

I do not know any, but that does not mean a lot as logging requirements in my area are mainly of the type "prove your visit".

 

Cezanne

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I have seen a couple of EarthCaches that required two visits. Typically associated with the tides - you need to visit at high tide and again at low tide. I've never seen an EarthCache that required visits over a series of days or weeks, but that is an interesting concept. It would more closely resemble the research that a scientist may perform. I could see that being a D5 EC just for the time involved to complete it.

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I have seen a couple of EarthCaches that required two visits. Typically associated with the tides - you need to visit at high tide and again at low tide. I've never seen an EarthCache that required visits over a series of days or weeks, but that is an interesting concept. It would more closely resemble the research that a scientist may perform. I could see that being a D5 EC just for the time involved to complete it.

 

I have been lurking on this thread for the most part and have been trying to think of an approach that would not be beyond the educational requirement and yet still pose a substantial challenge. I find that ECers are conscientious about experiencing the cache to the full and as such this might be a neat way to address a high difficulty logging req while still making it feasible for most learning levels. I think, lol! :ph34r:

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Let's face it, ratings have guidelines but are highly subjective and heavily influenced by the individual qualities of the CO. Ain't individuality and freedom grand? I find it much more worthwhile to put my energy into selecting and visiting ECs than into scrutinizing and debating what I consider to be trivialities.

 

I recently completed what I would class as a true 5/5 EC, Rim to Rim.

 

At any rate, take a look. Careful and thoughtful observation is required under great physical challenge over days. Anyhow, it was epic. Believe it or not, a nearby virtual was the purpose of this 50 mile walk. This EC was a bonus.

 

Hope to see many of you at the Mega!

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I agree Rim to Rim would be a true 5/5. The 5 difficulty being a result of the advance research and planning that would need to be done. Looks like an EC that should be added to the list of "1000 EarthCaches to see ..." I doubt that I will ever do it though. I have already hiked to the bottom of the canyon and back (nearly 10 years ago now), and it is unlikely that I will do it again.

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I recently completed what I would class as a true 5/5 EC, Rim to Rim.

 

At any rate, take a look. Careful and thoughtful observation is required under great physical challenge over days.

 

I can't look at it. If what you write is true, then 5/5 or something comparable (it is hard to distinguih 4.5* and 5*) should be ok.

 

Cezanne

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Let's face it, ratings have guidelines but are highly subjective and heavily influenced by the individual qualities of the CO. Ain't individuality and freedom grand? I find it much more worthwhile to put my energy into selecting and visiting ECs than into scrutinizing and debating what I consider to be trivialities.

 

I recently completed what I would class as a true 5/5 EC, Rim to Rim.

 

At any rate, take a look. Careful and thoughtful observation is required under great physical challenge over days. Anyhow, it was epic. Believe it or not, a nearby virtual was the purpose of this 50 mile walk. This EC was a bonus.

 

Hope to see many of you at the Mega!

 

Hmm... Missed this one by 30 years. Great hike, but I doubt that I'd do it again. Lots of planning, true. Even 30 years ago, it was difficult getting the reservations at the campgrounds. "Great physical challenge"? Oddly, I don't remember it as such. Long hike, yes. We took four days. Extreme temperature ranges: 105 at the bottom, and snow on the North Rim. Toughest part was carrying the necessary water. And the endless climb up the North Rim. Sounds like a great one!

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Even 30 years ago, it was difficult getting the reservations at the campgrounds. "Great physical challenge"? Oddly, I don't remember it as such. Long hike, yes. We took four days. Extreme temperature ranges: 105 at the bottom, and snow on the North Rim. Toughest part was carrying the necessary water. And the endless climb up the North Rim.

About 20 years ago, I did the two-day hike down and up the South Rim trail. Last May, my 50-year-old brother was unable to get camping reservations at the bottom, so (despite a bad knee) he decided to make a day-hike out of the North Rim trail, a 45 km. (28 mi.) round trip with 1,600 m. (6,000 ft.) of climbing.

 

I tried to dissuade him and pointed out the National Park Service's strong warning: "Under no circumstances should you attempt to hike from the [North] rim to the river and back in one day!"

 

He went anyway. He said his knee was in pain for most of the way but the hike wasn't all that difficult. Of course, he used to run marathons before his knee sidelined him.

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