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After tragic death of experienced geocacher - what needs to change?

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Dude, sometimes I am sooooo glad I don't live in the US :huh:

 

I didn't check up on this, it's only an assumption, but I doubt that anyone has been sued yet in the Willimax murder case (please correct me if you know something different).

Edited by Otis.Gore

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Dude, sometimes I am sooooo glad I don't live in the US :huh:

 

I didn't check up on this, it's only an assumption, but I doubt that anyone has been sued yet in the Willimax murder case (please correct me if you know something different).

 

I guess that knowing that someone died under such circumstances at a cache one has hidden is a much stronger punishment than being sued anyway.

 

In my opinion, we rather should try to learn from this case. For example, I have come across several caches that are placed at dangerous locations where one is not supposed to be and where the cache description recommends to come at night and asks for special stealth and sometimes even for not using torches (in order not to attract attention). I do not think that such caches are a good idea on a site like gc.com. The value of human life is higher than the value of a cache container that might get lost or archived because authorities learn about it.

 

Cezanne

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Dude, sometimes I am sooooo glad I don't live in the US :huh:

 

I didn't check up on this, it's only an assumption, but I doubt that anyone has been sued yet in the Willimax murder case (please correct me if you know something different).

 

I guess that knowing that someone died under such circumstances at a cache one has hidden is a much stronger punishment than being sued anyway.

 

In my opinion, we rather should try to learn from this case. For example, I have come across several caches that are placed at dangerous locations where one is not supposed to be and where the cache description recommends to come at night and asks for special stealth and sometimes even for not using torches (in order not to attract attention). I do not think that such caches are a good idea on a site like gc.com. The value of human life is higher than the value of a cache container that might get lost or archived because authorities learn about it.

 

Cezanne

 

This thread is not (or not only) about saving lives. It's about saving geocaching.com, because

this death did cast a bad light on geocaching.

So now, the people screaming so loud for "safety forums" "alerts" and such are afraid that if this gets really public, the government is gonna step in and shut down this peaceful sport.(Or blow it up -> bomb squad)

And the best way to avoid that is to proactively bubblewrap the sport and make it nice, clean and safe enough for even the dumbest nitwit to not get injured anymore.

(I am not saying Willi was one, but some people in this forum seem to think we all are to stupid to tie our own shoes)

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This thread is not (or not only) about saving lives.

 

It is, however, the major aspect the thread opener had in mind when starting the thread.

 

And the best way to avoid that is to proactively bubblewrap the sport and make it nice, clean and safe enough for even the dumbest nitwit to not get injured anymore.

(I am not saying Willi was one, but some people in this forum seem to think we all are to stupid to tie our own shoes)

 

Do you really think that one needs to be stupid in order to end up like Willi? Personally, I think what happened to Willi could have happened to many cachers.

 

I think one of the issues with the cache Willi visited was that the cache did make the impression to be a dangerous one. Of course, every cacher is responsible for his/her actions, but why do you think that mentioning or thinking about potential risks that might not be obvious is a bad idea?

 

I know many cachers that take risks while caching they are not aware of. If someone is aware of a risk and wants to take it, that is fine for me. I do not think, however, that one needs to be stupid to overlook some risks. We should take into account that geocaching motivates many cachers to start activities they have not performed ever before in their life and thus are inexperienced in many regards.

 

In a safety forum one could e.g. make cachers aware of risks they have not thought about before. It is then their decision whether they draw any consequences at all and which ones.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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This thread is not (or not only) about saving lives.

 

It is, however, the major aspect the thread opener had in mind when starting the thread.

 

And the best way to avoid that is to proactively bubblewrap the sport and make it nice, clean and safe enough for even the dumbest nitwit to not get injured anymore.

(I am not saying Willi was one, but some people in this forum seem to think we all are to stupid to tie our own shoes)

 

Do you really think that one needs to be stupid in order to end up like Willi? Personally, I think what happened to Willi could have happened to many cachers.

 

I think one of the issues with the cache Willi visited was that the cache did make the impression to be a dangerous one. Of course, every cacher is responsible for his/her actions, but why do you think that mentioning or thinking about potential risks that might not be obvious is a bad idea?

 

I know many cachers that take risks while caching they are not aware of. If someone is aware of a risk and wants to take it, that is fine for me. I do not think, however, that one needs to be stupid to overlook some risks. We should take into account that geocaching motivates many cachers to start activities they have not performed ever before in their life and thus are inexperienced in many regards.

 

In a safety forum one could e.g. make cachers aware of risks they have not thought about before. It is then their decision whether they draw any consequences at all and which ones.

 

 

Cezanne

 

Well, actually I already wrote IN my post that I didn't refer to Willi, but rather to the people who seem to think we are to stupid to see a risk when it hits us in the face.

 

And though it might have been the initial intention to save lives, during the 21 pages of accusations, rambling and the occasional intelligent argument this thread has lost its point and turned towards protecting caching itself..(to be fair...protecting people means protecting caching, but I am 100% sure that these americans don't care about protecting the german caching population, but rather fear that if the behavior in europe stays like it is and attracts more media attention, they and every other cacher will be stigmatized, thus dooming the sport to go back underground. Wich I would appriciate, but the majority of people in these forums doesn't seem to want to hide and be stealthy when caching.)

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Well, actually I already wrote IN my post that I didn't refer to Willi, but rather to the people who seem to think we are to stupid to see a risk when it hits us in the face.

 

Yes, I know that you wrote that you do not refer to Willi, but it was Willi who died. I do not believe that he was fully aware of the risk before going there which is not surprising as the photos of the location have not been available before his death. I am sure that if he had known about the gap, he would have acted differently.

Note that the cache has not been a high terrain or high difficulty cache.

 

And though it might have been the initial intention to save lives, during the 21 pages of accusations, rambling and the occasional intelligent argument this thread has lost its point and turned towards protecting caching itself..(to be fair...protecting people means protecting caching, but I am 100% sure that these americans don't care about protecting the german caching population, but rather fear that if the behavior in europe stays like it is and attracts more media attention, they and every other cacher will be stigmatized, thus dooming the sport to go back underground. Wich I would appriciate, but the majority of people in these forums doesn't seem to want to hide and be stealthy when caching.)

 

I do not think that Americans fear that tragic events in Europe will influence the way of geocaching over there. They have a different geocaching culture already now.

The countries which will be effected are in Europe. As the willingness to act with extreme stealth is regarded, this is nothing related to these forums. It is simply a fact that the majority of modern geocachers do not care about acting with stealth. They would never have found to geocaching had it been an underground activity. Personally, I think that some locations are not suitable for having geocaches there on a site like gc.com where the logs and descriptions are available to the public. There are separate communities e.g. for bunkers, abandoned structures etc, but those typically do not document their visits that openly than it is done on gc.com, and moreover mainly experienced people visit such locations as it is not always that easy to obtain informations on the locations than it is on gc.com.

 

Personally, I think that what people refer to geocaching has become so diverse that often there isn't anything in common any longer. So one approach that could work is that sites like gc.com concentrate themselves on the mass audience and are family friendly, and activities that are better suited for being followed in the underground, go underground.

 

Cezanne

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I know many cachers that take risks while caching they are not aware of. If someone is aware of a risk and wants to take it, that is fine for me. I do not think, however, that one needs to be stupid to overlook some risks. We should take into account that geocaching motivates many cachers to start activities they have not performed ever before in their life and thus are inexperienced in many regards.

 

In a safety forum one could e.g. make cachers aware of risks they have not thought about before. It is then their decision whether they draw any consequences at all and which ones.

 

 

Cezanne

 

I just counted. There are nearly 100 individual forums on this board.

 

A safety forum would consolidate that important information, for those that wish to participate and read there. No more wading through threads about banning micros, bringing back virtuals, and complaints about why my cache listing was denied.

 

That is not too much to ask of the listing service. It would actually be a pretty smart move on behalf of a listing service that is marching nearer the mainstream event horizon every single day. The bolded portion of your post underlines that need.

 

I can't fathom the opposition to that exchange of information. I can suspect the motive though.

 

Most of my caches if not all, active & archived, are on BLM land (permission implied and specific location restrictions checked) or in city parks with explicit permission of the park director or permission implied because ParkerPlus and I secured that permission by making a geocaching presention to the quarterly Regional and Metro Park Directors meeting for the entire Houston metro area in 2004. That is a HUGE area with literally hundreds upon hundreds of parks. (BTW-ParkerPlus' niece, Annise Parker, is currently the 2 term Mayor of Houston and has attended a geocaching event in that capacity.)

 

The rest of my caches are on public right-of-ways. I am pretty sure they are all kosher, but in hindsight, I'm not 100% sure. I'm no different than anyone else. What I suspect is the underlying fear of educating the community at large on how to follow the guidelines and how to obtain permissions and much more importantly the areas where permission is implied is the fear that the witch burnings will soon follow.

 

I posted a poll on the Houston Geocaching Society board with the full approval of the board owner that is pretty telling even with the small number of folks that have participated in less than 24 hours. Pay specific attention to the 3rd question in the poll. That is the real question I wanted to point out to this culture.

 

There is the water. I assure you (the royal you) it's clean. :anibad:

Edited by Snoogans

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Personally, I think that what people refer to geocaching has become so diverse that often there isn't anything in common any longer. So one approach that could work is that sites like gc.com concentrate themselves on the mass audience and are family friendly, and activities that are better suited for being followed in the underground, go underground.

 

Cezanne

 

This is where your mindset an mine diverges. That statement is subjective censoring. Who would set that standard? GC.com won't and I certainly wouldn't want them to.

 

That is probably the other part of the fear of this type of discussion. The overstepping into censorship. I am totally against that. In a geocaching forum that line of discussion should be moderated.

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Personally, I think that what people refer to geocaching has become so diverse that often there isn't anything in common any longer. So one approach that could work is that sites like gc.com concentrate themselves on the mass audience and are family friendly, and activities that are better suited for being followed in the underground, go underground.

 

Cezanne

 

This is where your mindset an mine diverges. That statement is subjective censoring. Who would set that standard? GC.com won't and I certainly wouldn't want them to.

 

I did not mean that Gc.com has to set that standard. I just meant that each person who wants to offer information about a certain location or a offer an activity to others should make the decision which target audience one has in mind. It is simply not realistic to expect secret agent capabilities from the average cacher (which becomes essential when it concerns visiting locations one is not supposed to visit).

 

Given the already existing guidelines of gc.com, it becomes clear that already know they do not welcome caches with no adequate permission. Otis.Gore likes caches at locations where adequate permission will never be available. One option to keep such activities for those who are interested into is to move them away from gc.com to some other place.

 

 

That is probably the other part of the fear of this type of discussion. The overstepping into censorship. I am totally against that. In a geocaching forum that line of discussion should be moderated.

 

I guess you completely misunderstood what I was trying to say. I neither had anything in the direction of censorship in mind nor did I have in mind any action that Groundspeak has to perform. What I wrote was directed to some part of the community, namely those cachers who like Otis.Gore love caches at illegal, adventurous locations and who wrote that he would prefer if geocaching went underground.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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Personally, I think that what people refer to geocaching has become so diverse that often there isn't anything in common any longer. So one approach that could work is that sites like gc.com concentrate themselves on the mass audience and are family friendly, and activities that are better suited for being followed in the underground, go underground.

 

Cezanne

 

This is where your mindset an mine diverges. That statement is subjective censoring. Who would set that standard? GC.com won't and I certainly wouldn't want them to.

 

I did not mean that Gc.com has to set that standard. I just meant that each person who wants to offer information about a certain location or a offer an activity to others should make the decision which target audience one has in mind. It is simply not realistic to expect secret agent capabilities from the average cacher (which becomes essential when it concerns visiting locations one is not supposed to visit).

 

Given the already existing guidelines of gc.com, it becomes clear that already know they do not welcome caches with no adequate permission. Otis.Gore likes caches at locations where adequate permission will never be available. One option to keep such activities for those who are interested into is to move them away from gc.com to some other place.

 

That clears it up better for me.

 

That is probably the other part of the fear of this type of discussion. The overstepping into censorship. I am totally against that. In a geocaching forum that line of discussion should be moderated.

 

I guess you completely misunderstood what I was trying to say. I neither had anything in the direction of censorship in mind nor did I have in mind any action that Groundspeak has to perform. What I wrote was directed to some part of the community, namely those cachers who like Otis.Gore love caches at illegal, adventurous locations and who wrote that he would prefer if geocaching went underground.

 

 

Cezanne

 

Ah okay. That misunderstanding between us still helps me in understanding the icy reception for the message that we need to better educate and police ourselves without the social stigma of the cache cop hanging over our heads.

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Pay specific attention to the 3rd question in the poll. That is the real question I wanted to point out to this culture.

 

I believe that every cache I have found meets listing guidelines and permission requirements.

 

The question is biased to begin with in order to give a result that will support your agenda.

 

You're only offering a yes/no response to a finite question which is either all or none.

 

For example, unlike my wife, I drive the speed limit probably 99% of the time. But if you were to ask me if I always drive within the speed limit, I would have to answer no. But the reality of the situation is that I am a pretty darn safe driver.

 

You could do the same poll here and the results would likely be similar or higher. Repost your poll and change it to "most caches I have found" and you will like see something closer to 70/30 with the 30% being nos due primarily to permission issues. Of that 30% you won't know how many of the caches actually do have permission but it just isn't stated. You also will have no idea of the 70% which ones do not have adequate permission but are believed to have it.

 

But I'm going to grant you that regardless of the results, permission is an issue that really needs to be dealt with. Not from a safety standpoint, but because lack of proper permission is causing problems across the board. It causes some sticky situations with cachers being confronted by the police or security. It causes issues with bomb scares. It sometimes contributes to saftey issues. But overall, lack of proper permission is probably the number one threat to having land owners refuse to allow us to play this game in their domain.

 

Btw, I do not see a feature request for a safety forum. But if you were to submit that request in the Features/Bug section, I would support the idea. Not because I necessarily think it is needed, but because it is something that can be done quickly, easily, and has no negative affects that I can think of. It would not be intrusive on any forum member not wishing to participate and it does not affect cache owners. So other than any hidden liability issues that Groundspeak may have, I do not see a reason for not implementing it.

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I just meant that each person who wants to offer information about a certain location or a offer an activity to others should make the decision which target audience one has in mind.

 

I agree. There is a local cave that is really cool to explore. However, it is a bit dangerous for the uninformed as you can easily get lost if you enter without proper illumination. There have a been a few locals that have died exploring it without proper skills or background.

 

I know the land owner would not have a problem with a geocache being placed close to the entrance. But good conscious tells me that it is better to leave this particular beauty to spelunkers. It's fairly well known among that group anyways.

 

Some places are just not meant to be shared with the general public.

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I was going to share my thoughts, but after reading some of the replies to this thread, and how some have replied to others comments, I felt it better to just move on.

JUST BE SMART FELLOW CACHERS! NO CACHE IS WORTH THE RISK FROM INEXPERIENCE OR STUPIDITY! JUST BE SMART ABOUT IT!

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I am 100% sure that these americans don't care about protecting the german caching population, but rather fear that if the behavior in europe stays like it is and attracts more media attention, they and every other cacher will be stigmatized, thus dooming the sport to go back underground.

 

There are some people who trespass and accept the responsibility for what happens if they get caught.

 

Then there are others that need to have a geocache there in place already holding their hand. They get emboldened reading the logs to do something they would not usually do. Then if they do get caught, they immediately blame geocaching and act surprised.

 

Officer, I didn't know. It's not my fault. There is an official GEOCACHE in there. I thought it was ok to go in, because all GEOCACHES supposedly have permission.
The officer scratches his head, lets them go with a warning, and then later asks that the city council look into having the practice banned..

 

Doing something AT YOUR OWN RISK means that exactly.

 

Putting legal caches, as well as the reputation of the sport at risk does not.

 

Emboldening a culture of illegal activity could have other effects. There are some places where coins get snatched up almost immediately. In other areas they travel without issue. I'd be curious to see if places with lots of illegal caches have corresponding high coin theft rates. Do coins regularly disappear in Austria and Germany? People who trespass don't necessarily steal, but I'd suspect that they are more likely to have a higher general disregard for other peoples property.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool

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Btw, I do not see a feature request for a safety forum. But if you were to submit that request in the Features/Bug section, I would support the idea. Not because I necessarily think it is needed, but because it is something that can be done quickly, easily, and has no negative affects that I can think of. It would not be intrusive on any forum member not wishing to participate and it does not affect cache owners. So other than any hidden liability issues that Groundspeak may have, I do not see a reason for not implementing it.

 

It was posted on December 20th.

 

I have discussed this privatly with a GS lackey. I can't divulge the answer I was given, but the fact that it does not yet exist speaks for itself. I still have faith that Groundspeak will eventually do the right thing to support/facilitate further discussion and awareness of geocaching safety in their own form & fashion and under their own terms. I won't hold my breath until that happens. I will turn to my own circle of influence and try to help there. If Texas drinks the coolaid, maybe there won't be another Willimax in our continuum at the very least.

 

I will continue to address the guideline and permission issue as a matter of safety. I agree with you that there are other facets possibly even greater than safety concerns to the issue.

 

Awareness and education first need to be raised for the culture of silence and the social stigma of the cache cop to go away. A safety forum won't be able to effectively bring about that change, but just maybe something will come from those discussions that will move the listing service to help facilitate it.

 

The TXGA has facilitated the message. At least one other site is considering the addition of a safety forum. I have also been asked by The Online Geocacher Magazine to produce an article and possibly a regular or semi-regular column on the subject of Geocaching Safety.

 

It's a beginning and I will have nothing to do with witch hunts and censorship in geocaching which I think some people are worried about and I believe that there is good reason to fear that. There are always folks that want to take a good idea too far thinking their intentions are good:

 

osha_cowboy.jpg

Edited by Snoogans

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Can I make a request?

 

Would it be possible to allow this particular thread to drift off for a while.

 

In it's place, could some of the ideas generated in this thread be moved out into their own individual threads so that they can be discussed on their own merit similar to the way the threads are handled in the Features board?

 

For instance, you could start a new thread to discuss the permission issue. Then perhaps we could elaborate/discuss without feeling as though we are walking on egg shells.

 

No disrespect to Willimax, but most of the ideas would be better debated in the general sense, not being tied to a particular incident, and without the worry of offending his family and friends looming overhead.

 

Just my opinion and just a request.

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Can I make a request?

 

Would it be possible to allow this particular thread to drift off for a while.

 

In it's place, could some of the ideas generated in this thread be moved out into their own individual threads so that they can be discussed on their own merit similar to the way the threads are handled in the Features board?

 

For instance, you could start a new thread to discuss the permission issue. Then perhaps we could elaborate/discuss without feeling as though we are walking on egg shells.

 

No disrespect to Willimax, but most of the ideas would be better debated in the general sense, not being tied to a particular incident, and without the worry of offending his family and friends looming overhead.

 

Just my opinion and just a request.

 

You make a good point. I have been meaning to start a few different topics from the emerging issues here. The mod team might just want to keep it all under one roof though. You saw how quickly your thread was closed even though you asked for it to remain open.

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Can I make a request?

 

Would it be possible to allow this particular thread to drift off for a while.

 

In it's place, could some of the ideas generated in this thread be moved out into their own individual threads so that they can be discussed on their own merit similar to the way the threads are handled in the Features board?

 

For instance, you could start a new thread to discuss the permission issue. Then perhaps we could elaborate/discuss without feeling as though we are walking on egg shells.

 

No disrespect to Willimax, but most of the ideas would be better debated in the general sense, not being tied to a particular incident, and without the worry of offending his family and friends looming overhead.

 

Just my opinion and just a request.

 

You make a good point. I have been meaning to start a few different topics from the emerging issues here. The mod team might just want to keep it all under one roof though. You saw how quickly your thread was closed even though you asked for it to remain open.

 

I did give permission to close assuming the facts were as stated. Since she closed it, I am assuming NA logs do indeed work the way we've always believed the did. I think Sandy just misspoke here.

 

I believe the mods would rather see each idea in its own thread as well. Keystone and Moun10Bike have pointed out a few times that it is less confusing and easier to follow when each idea has it's own thread.

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Can I make a request?

 

Would it be possible to allow this particular thread to drift off for a while.

 

In it's place, could some of the ideas generated in this thread be moved out into their own individual threads so that they can be discussed on their own merit similar to the way the threads are handled in the Features board?

 

For instance, you could start a new thread to discuss the permission issue. Then perhaps we could elaborate/discuss without feeling as though we are walking on egg shells.

 

No disrespect to Willimax, but most of the ideas would be better debated in the general sense, not being tied to a particular incident, and without the worry of offending his family and friends looming overhead.

 

Just my opinion and just a request.

 

You make a good point. I have been meaning to start a few different topics from the emerging issues here. The mod team might just want to keep it all under one roof though. You saw how quickly your thread was closed even though you asked for it to remain open.

 

I did give permission to close assuming the facts were as stated. Since she closed it, I am assuming NA logs do indeed work the way we've always believed the did. I think Sandy just misspoke here.

 

I believe the mods would rather see each idea in its own thread as well. Keystone and Moun10Bike have pointed out a few times that it is less confusing and easier to follow when each idea has it's own thread.

 

I have to sift through my hundred or so posts anyway for the online article I was asked to write. I'll post the threads for the issues/ideas I have raised.

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Again, a figurative lable for the dead kid who can't defend himself.

Sorry about that. I was told that my reply was too trite. I personally didn't view it that way at the time, but someone I trust and respect said it was, so I had to take a closer look, both at what I said, and more importantly, how I said it. "Foolish" was a really bad choice of wording on my part.

 

I would like to try expressing my thoughts, free of snark;

 

There are many ways to prevent accidents and injuries, both on the job and in our favorite pastimes. The most productive of all these measures is accurately reporting an event, and pointing out the poor choices which were made by those involved. This is not assigning blame. It is merely being factual. By listing the actual choices which were made, and pointing out why those choices were not very good ones, we offer that wisdom to those who might be contemplating participating in a similar incident in the future. That is basic safety 101. If you want to keep bad things from happening, it is essential that you know the sequence of events which led up to it happening.

 

This should not detract, in any way, your campaign against all the other factors not involving the deceased, which combined to make this happen. Rather, it should be a part and parcel of any realistic presentation regarding this incident.

 

You pointed out several choices which others had made which may have contributed to this tragedy. I happen to agree with you for the most part. However, I feel that by holding steadfast to one set of facts, (the choices made by others), while stodgily ignoring another set of facts, (the choices made by the deceased), you do your occupation an injustice.

 

I hope you don't think such a stance is callous or uncaring. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I do care, deeply, and I want to prevent future tragedies, as do you. I just think that, to be effective, we need to include all the relevant data.

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...with that 30 day window...

I wondered about that one month timeline. I suspect that the 30 days mentioned refers to the maximum amount of time rather than the minimum. For instance, if you, as someone who lives outside my community, were to post an NA on one of my caches, claiming it lacked proper permission, my local Reviewers would likely give me 30 days to resolve the complaint, rather than simply knee-jerk and archive them. I say this because I work fairly closely with my Reviewers. They hunt my caches and I hunt their's. Our's is not an atmosphere of anonymity.

 

But if you were the senior land manager for a particular patch of woods in which one of my hides resided, and you posted an NA saying it lacked proper permission, my Reviewers would likely archive it immediately.

 

I suspect that the content of an NA, as well as the background behind who posted it, have a great deal of effect on how fast they are acted upon. I suspect this was what you were getting at when you asked Veit to make a first hand report on that Austrian cache. An NA from someone several hundred miles away, containing very few details would probably carry less weight than an NA from someone who has been to the cache, located, talked to the property manager, (including their contact information), and stated, with certainty, that the cache was unwelcome.

 

...but we can make our culture safer.

Should you pull that off, you would have your magnum opus. I think that turning the cultural tides from our current reality, (folks who post NAs on illegal caches are cache cops), to one of mutual respect and care, would be your single greatest accomplishment. The days of every man being an island are over. Our actions and our attitudes do affect others.

 

The question is biased to begin with in order to give a result that will support your agenda.

I think that's true with every question, in every poll. Pollsters generally do not ply their trade in an attempt to gather data, Rather, they manipulate verbiage carefully, so the end results can be used to "prove" whatever point it is they wanted to prove. They can point to the poll, saying, "See? I told ya!"

 

It's just the nature of the beast.

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The question is biased to begin with in order to give a result that will support your agenda.

I think that's true with every question, in every poll. Pollsters generally do not ply their trade in an attempt to gather data, Rather, they manipulate verbiage carefully, so the end results can be used to "prove" whatever point it is they wanted to prove. They can point to the poll, saying, "See? I told ya!"

 

It's just the nature of the beast.

 

i would call that deceit, which is why polls are highly unreliable

Edited by t4e

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The question is biased to begin with in order to give a result that will support your agenda.

I think that's true with every question, in every poll. Pollsters generally do not ply their trade in an attempt to gather data, Rather, they manipulate verbiage carefully, so the end results can be used to "prove" whatever point it is they wanted to prove. They can point to the poll, saying, "See? I told ya!"

 

It's just the nature of the beast.

 

i would call that deceit, which is why polls are highly unreliable

Of course it's deceitful.

But only to those who aren't in on the secret.

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...but we can make our culture safer.

Should you pull that off, you would have your magnum opus. I think that turning the cultural tides from our current reality, (folks who post NAs on illegal caches are cache cops), to one of mutual respect and care, would be your single greatest accomplishment. The days of every man being an island are over. Our actions and our attitudes do affect others.

 

I'm not looking for a personal accomplishment. I can't pull anything like that off alone. All I did was point out a problem and it's my personal ethic to offer a possible solution.

 

It would take Groundspeak's participation, the volunteers, local leaders, geocaching organizations, and time. With the turnover rates and the flood of new cachers, it would take maybe 3 years (optimistic guesstimation) for anything to be realized.

 

Groundspeak has to come forward to facilitate a community effort or it will not happen for many more than 3 years if ever.

 

It would require a paradigm shift that I don't think GS is ready for, because with folks more aware of when NOT to hide a cache, their listing database growth will probably slow.

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You pointed out several choices which others had made which may have contributed to this tragedy. I happen to agree with you for the most part. However, I feel that by holding steadfast to one set of facts, (the choices made by others), while stodgily ignoring another set of facts, (the choices made by the deceased), you do your occupation an injustice.

 

Willi is beyond our help. I did address his actions. I believe he displayed complacency as a contributing factor to his death. I stand behind the totality of my posts on this thread and I'm sorry if what I have said is hurtful to his family and friends.

 

I have shied away from directly addressing (picking apart) the CO other than to say the cache should never have been hidden.

 

The CO is alive, could have knowledge of this thread, and is dealing with psychological impact possibly greater than that of Willi's family who almost certainly know of this thread. You are a LEO and should have been trained on psychological impact if you carry a gun. I have had the same training as a Law Enforcement Classroom & Firearms instructor. You KNOW what that implies and I won't try to shame you by posting the assumption that you have forgotten it. I recently received a different facet of that training in achieving my Advanced Accident Investigation certification. This thread is NOT an official investigation nor is it tied to my professional conduct or I would lend weight to my words by advertising my employer and scope of duties.

 

There is no injustice on my part to be considerate. The job of assigning blame is for the local authorities. What's left are the contributing factors after looking at the facts.

Edited by Snoogans

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The job of assigning blame is for...

Again with the "B" word...

This is not about assigning "blame", regardless of how many times you insert that into your statements. This is about trying to prevent future incidents of a similar nature. Including all the facts surrounding this incident is the only way to accomplish this. Listing some facts as important, whilst claiming some facts should not be posted because they assign blame will not, ultimately, make our playing field a safer place to be.

 

Only by being honest with ourselves, as a community, can we have any hope of achieving the change you envision. When the topic is keeping folks alive, there should be no facts which are off limits.

 

You are a LEO and should have been trained on psychological impact if you carry a gun. I have had the same training as a Law Enforcement Classroom & Firearms instructor. You KNOW what that implies and I won't try to shame you by posting the assumption that you have forgotten it.

Sorry, Brother. You lost me on that one. Incidentally, I am a Range Instructor. I'm just not sure where you are going with that statement. We do occasionally have unintentional discharges at the range, with a bullet going somewhere, (or some-when), it shouldn't. Sometimes these lead to significant injury. Conceivably, these could just as easily lead to death, but that hasn't happened yet. Since we would like to prevent future injuries, we gather up all the facts surrounding each unintentional discharge and point them out to the masses. If someone suggested we not include certain relevant facts because of how stating such facts might be perceived, we, (the whole law enforcement community), would take great exception to that. One of my favorite training aids is a ceiling tile with a shotgun hole in the middle of it. As a visual tool, it demonstrates that the shooter violated some of the range rules. It also demonstrates that the shooter followed one of the most basic rules.

 

Am I aware of the psychological impact my presence as an armed representative of the community has? Of course. All cops are, or they don't last very long. Sometimes that impact can be a bad thing. I'm one of those guys that believes there can be too many cops at a scene, and I can often be found telling unnecessary officers to return to duty. But there are also times when that impact can be a good thing.

 

I'm just not sure how it applies to this thread. :unsure:

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Riff,

 

I have addressed Willi's behavior and what we can learn from it in a previous post. When I get time I'll dig it up and quote it. Sorry for going back to the blame game. I was tired posting. :tired:

 

This accident happened so Willy was the last clear chance to avoid the accident. I believe that is what insurance companies consider first. Last clear chance. I do not have specific details for what Willi did while hunting but I have covered the facts that are available. If you have more facts you should post them as I did. I've seen you posting a lot of assumptions though. I.E. The weather. I don't really know the exact date or time of his death, so I didn't bother looking up the conditions. I countered your comment by pointing out Willi's stats clearly show he was familiar with winter caching. Complacency is what I am seeing.

 

It is an imortant thing to point out for others to learn from it. Has been pointed out many times.

 

The bigger lesson is that the cache shouldn't have been hidden and failing that it should not have been allowed to live the 30 or so days before Willy showed up. This is where our culture needs to take notice. That is the larger lession beyond personal accountability and the one that we can all apply to prevention of another death.

 

Sorry, Brother. You lost me on that one. Incidentally, I am a Range Instructor. I'm just not sure where you are going with that statement.

 

When I spoke of psychological impact, I wasn't referring to range safety or the path to accident prevention you went down. I was refering to the internal conflict the CO must be having for being involved in hiding an unlistable cache (and the details of which are self evident) that was directly related to the death of a young cacher that appears to have been greatly liked and respected in his community. We should be considerate of that.

 

I know of cases where the person who caused the death of another got off scott free because their deadly action was justified and the family did not respond with a civil lawsuit. Yet, they took their own life later on because they couldn't deal with the guilt of having taken a life. That is why most if not all LEO's involved in shooting death or other professional involvement that ends in the death of another person have to see a shrink in the aftermath. I hope the CO seeks help if they are having trouble dealing with this.

 

I know I would be a wreck if I got an unlistable cache published and then someone died hunting it. I would banish myself from this community that means so much to me and never cache again at the very least. Geocaching is a very positive aspect of my life. May have even saved my life. Is directly involved in the sequence of events that led to meeting my wife and having a son. How hard would that be for me to give up and that's not even scratching the surface of the guilt I would have over the person that died. Do you think the CO might be feeling at least some of that. I haven't lurked their profile to see how involved in the caching community they were. But I can't help but believe I am partially right as to what they must be going through.

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I hope the CO seeks help if they are having trouble dealing with this.

 

I think that not only the CO, but perhaps others in the local community might need some CISM. At least as far as monitoring their status goes. That is only based on the fact that most people in real need of intervention are often the LAST people to know it.

I can only think of a few times where the person was not spotted by family, friends or someone with appropriate training FIRST.

Would like to think that the local authorities there would have taken that action in some form. But it does not always occur.

 

Up here in incidents involving serious consequences, they almost always receive contact from someone from what is called Victims Services as part of the police contact. Locally we had a really big search event that had everyone emotionally involved, and had a whole team of CISM trained people quite busy. They literally had to order people to take a break and rest. Fortunately the event was favourably resolved before people started to break seriously.

 

The whole matter of CISM is seriously underrated in some places. It's not too bad in North America now, but not everywhere.

 

Doug 7rxc

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Complacency is what I am seeing.

I don't think you'll get much argument on that point. I suspect that the complacency you and I perceive is what led to Willi making what others would see as poor choices. That is one thing you could hopefully target with your hypothetical safety forum. The other thing, as you've pointed out, is the cultural attitudes many of us display toward those folks who do the right thing and report illegal caches.

 

I suspect you'll have a tough challenge on your hands addressing either of those issues, especially in light of all the "Mind Your Own Business" type postings we've seen in the last 20 pages.

 

To clarify one point: I wasn't making assumptions regarding the weather. I operated on the principle that Willi's tragic accident occurred sometime between sunset and sunrise, over two possible dates. I then looked up the ambient temperature for that area, over those two time frames. The results were between 40 and 33 degrees, if memory serves, which is "close to freezing", as I stated. If I knew exactly what time this tragedy occurred, I could give you a better temperature assessment than "close to freezing", but for the purpose of my statement, that range is close enough. We lose our fine motor skills at around 55 degrees. Having experience in cold weather caching doesn't change basic physiology. It just ensures we'll be prepared with proper clothing.

 

This is where our culture needs to take notice.

That is the key to your success.

 

I was refering to the internal conflict the CO must be having... We should be considerate of that.

Has anyone not been considerate of that?

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I suspect that the content of an NA, as well as the background behind who posted it, have a great deal of effect on how fast they are acted upon. I suspect this was what you were getting at when you asked Veit to make a first hand report on that Austrian cache. An NA from someone several hundred miles away, containing very few details would probably carry less weight than an NA from someone who has been to the cache, located, talked to the property manager, (including their contact information), and stated, with certainty, that the cache was unwelcome.

 

I appears to me that you overlook some aspects. When I brought up this cache I did it for a single reason, namely that there has been a NA log from a local more than two years ago which has not received any attention at all. An accident like Willi's could also have happened at that cache and it would not have been prevented by the mechanism of NA logs.

The cache itself is not that special and there exist many similar ones, however not many similar ones for which negelected NA logs exist because there is no local culture for NA logs in such cases for many reasons.

 

Moreover, I think it is pretty unrealistic to expect from cachers to invest more work than I would expect reviewers to put into such issues. Personally, I would not be willing to invest hours of my spare time to contact the manager of a shopping mall just to prove what is evident to anyone local anyway. All in all, it is the site of Groundspeak and not mine. They are free to do whatever they want with the information they are provided with. I would not want to take over the work of Groundspeak. If I were willing to do so, I could come up with my own caching site to my own liking.

 

Why do you believe that those who were at the location when the police happened to be around had to wait quietly until the police left? The first level of the tower where the climbing can start is not reachable without tools from the ground. You might imagine that lots of lialibity issues are involved and certainly noone is invited to climb up this object. That is known to everyone local, those who decide to climb up and those who decide to ignore such caches alike. The special thrill of such caches also comes from knowing that one is doing something which is not allowed.

 

Cezanne

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I suspect that the content of an NA, as well as the background behind who posted it, have a great deal of effect on how fast they are acted upon. I suspect this was what you were getting at when you asked Veit to make a first hand report on that Austrian cache. An NA from someone several hundred miles away, containing very few details would probably carry less weight than an NA from someone who has been to the cache, located, talked to the property manager, (including their contact information), and stated, with certainty, that the cache was unwelcome.

 

I appears to me that you overlook some aspects. When I brought up this cache I did it for a single reason, namely that there has been a NA log from a local more than two years ago which has not received any attention at all. An accident like Willi's could also have happened at that cache and it would not have been prevented by the mechanism of NA logs.

The cache itself is not that special and there exist many similar ones, however not many similar ones for which negelected NA logs exist because there is no local culture for NA logs in such cases for many reasons.

 

 

It only serves to prove that Geocachers and Groundspeak are unable and unwilling to police themselves in some areas.

 

Nobody likes it when an outside authority has to be called in to moderate actions. Most people would prefer problems would be better handled amongst themselves. There would be no need for any police department in any town if that were the case. However, there often are calls handled by local agencies. If the local agencies become unable and unwilling to correct an issue, then the state agencies are called in. If the state agencies become unwilling and unable to correct issues, then federal agencies take over. None of this would be necessary if it was able to be settled at a local level.

 

In this example, the game serves as an example to openly break laws. Eventually it will rise to a level where many other people will hear about it. Many of those people will not like it, and may try to put a stop to it.

 

It is rather odd to see forum posts being so heavily moderated while openly illegal caches are overlooked. Reviewers receive e-mail notifications on NA logs. In this case, the local reviewers decided to overlook them. Now that Groundspeak has been notified and has not acted, it appears that the problem will fester until another agency independent of Groundspeak will eventually discover it. This is not something which should happen, or that any Geocacher would want to happen.

 

I like the idea of libertarianism, which emphasizes freedom, individual liberty, and respect of property rights. When property rights of others are violated and common laws are ignored, that creates a environment in which individual freedoms are risked. In this case, it is the freedom of an outside agency needing to babysit geocachers like a bunch of kids.

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I suspect that the content of an NA, as well as the background behind who posted it, have a great deal of effect on how fast they are acted upon. I suspect this was what you were getting at when you asked Veit to make a first hand report on that Austrian cache. An NA from someone several hundred miles away, containing very few details would probably carry less weight than an NA from someone who has been to the cache, located, talked to the property manager, (including their contact information), and stated, with certainty, that the cache was unwelcome.

 

I appears to me that you overlook some aspects. When I brought up this cache I did it for a single reason, namely that there has been a NA log from a local more than two years ago which has not received any attention at all. An accident like Willi's could also have happened at that cache and it would not have been prevented by the mechanism of NA logs.

The cache itself is not that special and there exist many similar ones, however not many similar ones for which negelected NA logs exist because there is no local culture for NA logs in such cases for many reasons.

 

 

It only serves to prove that Geocachers and Groundspeak are unable and unwilling to police themselves in some areas.

 

Nobody likes it when an outside authority has to be called in to moderate actions. Most people would prefer problems would be better handled amongst themselves. There would be no need for any police department in any town if that were the case. However, there often are calls handled by local agencies. If the local agencies become unable and unwilling to correct an issue, then the state agencies are called in. If the state agencies become unwilling and unable to correct issues, then federal agencies take over. None of this would be necessary if it was able to be settled at a local level.

 

In this example, the game serves as an example to openly break laws. Eventually it will rise to a level where many other people will hear about it. Many of those people will not like it, and may try to put a stop to it.

 

It is rather odd to see forum posts being so heavily moderated while openly illegal caches are overlooked. Reviewers receive e-mail notifications on NA logs. In this case, the local reviewers decided to overlook them. Now that Groundspeak has been notified and has not acted, it appears that the problem will fester until another agency independent of Groundspeak will eventually discover it. This is not something which should happen, or that any Geocacher would want to happen.

 

I like the idea of libertarianism, which emphasizes freedom, individual liberty, and respect of property rights. When property rights of others are violated and common laws are ignored, that creates a environment in which individual freedoms are risked. In this case, it is the freedom of an outside agency needing to babysit geocachers like a bunch of kids.

 

q.e.d

thank you <_<

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I suspect that the content of an NA, as well as the background behind who posted it, have a great deal of effect on how fast they are acted upon. I suspect this was what you were getting at when you asked Veit to make a first hand report on that Austrian cache. An NA from someone several hundred miles away, containing very few details would probably carry less weight than an NA from someone who has been to the cache, located, talked to the property manager, (including their contact information), and stated, with certainty, that the cache was unwelcome.

 

I appears to me that you overlook some aspects. When I brought up this cache I did it for a single reason, namely that there has been a NA log from a local more than two years ago which has not received any attention at all. An accident like Willi's could also have happened at that cache and it would not have been prevented by the mechanism of NA logs.

The cache itself is not that special and there exist many similar ones, however not many similar ones for which negelected NA logs exist because there is no local culture for NA logs in such cases for many reasons.

 

 

It only serves to prove that Geocachers and Groundspeak are unable and unwilling to police themselves in some areas.

 

Nobody likes it when an outside authority has to be called in to moderate actions. Most people would prefer problems would be better handled amongst themselves. There would be no need for any police department in any town if that were the case. However, there often are calls handled by local agencies. If the local agencies become unable and unwilling to correct an issue, then the state agencies are called in. If the state agencies become unwilling and unable to correct issues, then federal agencies take over. None of this would be necessary if it was able to be settled at a local level.

 

In this example, the game serves as an example to openly break laws. Eventually it will rise to a level where many other people will hear about it. Many of those people will not like it, and may try to put a stop to it.

 

It is rather odd to see forum posts being so heavily moderated while openly illegal caches are overlooked. Reviewers receive e-mail notifications on NA logs. In this case, the local reviewers decided to overlook them. Now that Groundspeak has been notified and has not acted, it appears that the problem will fester until another agency independent of Groundspeak will eventually discover it. This is not something which should happen, or that any Geocacher would want to happen.

 

I like the idea of libertarianism, which emphasizes freedom, individual liberty, and respect of property rights. When property rights of others are violated and common laws are ignored, that creates a environment in which individual freedoms are risked. In this case, it is the freedom of an outside agency needing to babysit geocachers like a bunch of kids.

 

So well written ...

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I suspect that the content of an NA, as well as the background behind who posted it, have a great deal of effect on how fast they are acted upon.

 

1 ) I appears to me that you overlook some aspects.

 

2 ) Moreover, I think it is pretty unrealistic to expect from cachers to invest more work than I would expect reviewers to put into such issues. Personally, I would not be willing to invest hours of my spare time to contact the manager of a shopping mall just to prove what is evident to anyone local anyway.

 

3 ) Why do you believe that those who were at the location when the police happened to be around had to wait quietly until the police left?

 

1 ) I don't think so... I was fairly careful in my consideration of all aspects of which I am aware, and compared those to my personal experience. Since my statement was both based on that experience, and stated as a generalization, singling out one exception doesn't really mean my thoughts are invalid. That's the nature of generalizations. They apply in general, not across the board.

 

It is my belief that, all things being equal, generally speaking, an NA from someone who had actually been there, and is able to post a factual assessment of conditions, carries more weight to those who receive the NA notices than an NA from someone halfway across the globe who is just making assumptions. I further believe that an NA from a local, which includes specific contact information detailing who specifically stated that the hide was unwelcome, carries more weight than one without such information. Perhaps someone with experience dealing with incoming NAs could comment to either confirm or dispute my belief?

 

I can't speak toward the local culture, as I am not a member. I can opine that such a culture as you describe should be challenged, for the long term health of the game. So long as the local Reviewers are willing to pacify those who think illegally placed caches are worthy of protection, by ignoring NAs and/or vilifying those who post them, then the game is inherently flawed.

 

2 ) I think you are exaggerating. When I wanted to hide a cache at a big box store, it took me all of 2 minutes to locate a manager who was willing to offer an opinion. Not several hours. If an issue is important to a local, I have little doubt that the local would be willing to take a couple minutes, if doing so would add a bit of credibility to their message.

 

3 ) I didn't have an opinion on that, since I was not on hand. The most obvious answer would be that those who were there believed that law enforcement would intervene in their hunt, with anything from a polite warning to an arrest, and they wished to avoid such interaction. But we'd really need to ask them what their motivation was.

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Someone a few pages back mentioned: "This hobby can be dangerous and individuals have to take responsibility to back out when uncomfortable."

 

It's unfortunate that the young man died while hunting a cache, but in the end we are responsible for our actions. Look at the the terrain and difficulty level on a cache, read the logs. There is a cache near where I live that requires you to climb out on a steep rocky embankment. One misstep and you could potentially fall into the river, which has a very fast current in that area. The cache is not marked difficulty 4.5 for nothing. I've also seen cache listings which require a boat to reach.

 

Bottom line is, when we go out cache hunting we need to be as prepared as possible for whatever we might encounter.

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What a very sad story. My thoughts with his family.

 

Whenver e wake up and go out that door, it is a risk. But risks shou;d always be calculated. There is a reason there are attributes (and it looks like the cache lists a difficult climbing attribute). This was the risk the cacher took.

 

However, there are many cache owners who deliberatly under rate and hold back attributes and warnings. We have a couple in my local area. One guy is nortorious for it and thinks it is funny and cute. Sadly, it will take someone getting seriously hurt or killed on one of his caches for something to be done. It is always the case of reactivity. I have complained to the "brass" on our area before and the response I got "well, you KNOW if it is hidden by him, its going to be dangerous" which is fine. Yes *I* know this and other regulars know it too, but new cachers, casual cachers, out of area cachers do not. This is irresponsible and dangerous. Again, owners should realize not everyone has their sense of what is hard and dangerous and look at it from an objective approach - rate, attribute and warn.

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Whenver e wake up and go out that door, it is a risk. But risks shou;d always be calculated. There is a reason there are attributes (and it looks like the cache lists a difficult climbing attribute). This was the risk the cacher took.

 

However, there are many cache owners who deliberatly under rate and hold back attributes and warnings. We have a couple in my local area. One guy is nortorious for it and thinks it is funny and cute. Sadly, it will take someone getting seriously hurt or killed on one of his caches for something to be done.

 

It is unfortunate that there isn't a damaged structure attribute. There is a dangerous area attribute, perhaps that should've been used. Great to know that there was food nearby though...

 

The guy you mention sounds very irresponsible. I guess it will remain funny and cute until someone is seriously injured. Hopefully that never happens.

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I suspect that the content of an NA, as well as the background behind who posted it, have a great deal of effect on how fast they are acted upon. I suspect this was what you were getting at when you asked Veit to make a first hand report on that Austrian cache. An NA from someone several hundred miles away, containing very few details would probably carry less weight than an NA from someone who has been to the cache, located, talked to the property manager, (including their contact information), and stated, with certainty, that the cache was unwelcome.

 

I appears to me that you overlook some aspects. When I brought up this cache I did it for a single reason, namely that there has been a NA log from a local more than two years ago which has not received any attention at all. An accident like Willi's could also have happened at that cache and it would not have been prevented by the mechanism of NA logs.

The cache itself is not that special and there exist many similar ones, however not many similar ones for which negelected NA logs exist because there is no local culture for NA logs in such cases for many reasons.

 

Moreover, I think it is pretty unrealistic to expect from cachers to invest more work than I would expect reviewers to put into such issues. Personally, I would not be willing to invest hours of my spare time to contact the manager of a shopping mall just to prove what is evident to anyone local anyway. All in all, it is the site of Groundspeak and not mine. They are free to do whatever they want with the information they are provided with. I would not want to take over the work of Groundspeak. If I were willing to do so, I could come up with my own caching site to my own liking.

 

Why do you believe that those who were at the location when the police happened to be around had to wait quietly until the police left? The first level of the tower where the climbing can start is not reachable without tools from the ground. You might imagine that lots of lialibity issues are involved and certainly noone is invited to climb up this object. That is known to everyone local, those who decide to climb up and those who decide to ignore such caches alike. The special thrill of such caches also comes from knowing that one is doing something which is not allowed.

 

Cezanne

 

 

It's been disabled since the same time as this discussion (January 19th) presumably so that the owner could obtain permission. After 9 months there has been yet another Needs Archived log posted, and appears to be from a local cacher. It doesn't appear that the owner is deleting the NA.

 

d771d0e4-e982-41ae-a53a-b28318f17d52.jpg

 

63a6c8f2-04a7-466a-a783-5646054f2c60.jpg

 

Looks like fun, if it was legal.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool

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Closing improvidently bumped thread. If there's a desire to discuss the situation with the cache featured in the bump post, please start a new thread.

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