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Ultra 'Extreme' Caching


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You may know I've a reputation for organising cache events 'off the beaten track' and while I'm still planning on returning to the Channel Isles in June to try to clear the islands, I've discovered something else others may wish to join me in at the height of next summer...

 

The thing I discovered is how cheap flights to Tromso - 350Km north of the arctic circle - in Norway from Gatwick and back are. Add a few days car hire and the following caches are well within range:

 

Mainland Europe's most northerly: GC4E279 Norges nordligste - Knivskjellodden - plus lots of others in the area/on the way/in Norway generally.

 

A easy drive-by in Finland: GC4HVT9 565.6 m.

 

A nip across the border into Sweden to find GC29BXC Muotkatakka. I will have Plan B back-up caches in mind for any DNFs, to ensure I/we find at least one cache per country.

 

And then, a bit of a drive (plus paperwork, I suspect. I'll do full research before buying any tickets) to get A LOT of red on my caching map by visiting Russia: GC3T88N Murmansk welcome.

 

Early July would boast 24-hour daylight (so no Northern Lights, sorry) and reliable weather. Warm(ish) and roads not 6m deep with snow and ice. I'm planning a 5-6 day trip, with possible (rough?) camping to reduce costs, a night or two in Tromso and a visit to Murmansk, home of the Russian Northern Fleet. A mix of caching and remote, adventurous sightseeing - abandoned military sites and the like. Apart from unavoidable flight costs, car hire and fuel will be the other main expenses, which is why I'm opening this idea up to other cachers. The bonus of Mainland Europe's Most Northerly Event (TBC. I need to do my research on this) would also be included. Why only Mainland Europe's most northerly? I can't compete with GC2Z130 How far will you go for a cache? - Svalbard islands are £600ish to reach and that's not in my budget for a handful of caches. Perhaps one day though :)

 

If you could be interested on sharing in the adventure (costings are available, but I don't want this post to look commercial), please let me know. Thanks!

Edited by Simply Paul
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Interesting concept. You've out-grown the UK?

 

Just a word of caution: the bureaucracy surrounding getting visas for Russia isn't renowned without good reason. For those attempting to head to Murmansk, I'm sure it will be a great addition to the expedition, but give plenty of time to get your visas in order. You need to give all sorts of crazy information like your parents' full names and dates of birth and if relevant, the precise date you started and graduated from university (or other tertiary education), degree name and result, etc., etc. Quite why they needed to know my qualifications which aren't in the least bit relevant to being in Russia is beyond me! For those living in the northern half of the UK, it may be useful to know that there's a Russian Consulate in Forth Street in Edinburgh which also processes visas (http://rusemb.org.uk/edinburghvfc/)...

 

And I'd highly recommend Svalbard, but don't underestimate the polar bears... There's a number of caches around Longyearbyen, but polar bears roam there too. In reality, I'd definitely be more cautious of mosquitoes further south. At midsummer, they are seriously evil.

 

Other than that, great idea! I look forward to reading of your adventures.

 

B)

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Interesting concept. You've out-grown the UK?
Pretty much. I still have a (short) UK/British hitlist of locations to visit, but this looked like a road trip with great potential, if it can be done on a tight budget :)

 

Just a word of caution: the bureaucracy surrounding getting visas for Russia isn't renowned without good reason. For those attempting to head to Murmansk, I'm sure it will be a great addition to the expedition, but give plenty of time to get your visas in order. You need to give all sorts of crazy information like your parents' full names and dates of birth and if relevant, the precise date you started and graduated from university (or other tertiary education), degree name and result, etc., etc. Quite why they needed to know my qualifications which aren't in the least bit relevant to being in Russia is beyond me! For those living in the northern half of the UK, it may be useful to know that there's a Russian Consulate in Forth Street in Edinburgh which also processes visas (http://rusemb.org.uk/edinburghvfc/)...
So I've discovered. It is possible to get a visa online, but I'm not sure about Ed/London Consulates as the visa process has been outsourced. Either way, it looks long, complex, expensive... What we really need is for someone to hide a cache at the base of a remote Russian marker pole which can be retreved with a 2m pole from the Norweg' side of the border :ph34r:

 

And I'd highly recommend Svalbard, but don't underestimate the polar bears... There's a number of caches around Longyearbyen, but polar bears roam there too. In reality, I'd definitely be more cautious of mosquitoes further south. At midsummer, they are seriously evil.
I'll keep saving and have already packed the midge/mozzy nets. Will need to shop for a rifle before trying for Svalbard... :laughing:

 

Other than that, great idea! I look forward to reading of your adventures.

 

B)

Thank you for the advice. It's still a Maybe at this stage, but there does seem to be interest in it and while Russia might have to be dropped (car hire may exclude a border crossing even if the high cost/agro of a visa for a fancy 'day trip' doesn't) I still think it'd be a memorable expedition :)
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Interesting concept. You've out-grown the UK?
Pretty much. I still have a (short) UK/British hitlist of locations to visit, but this looked like a road trip with great potential, if it can be done on a tight budget :)

 

Just a word of caution: the bureaucracy surrounding getting visas for Russia isn't renowned without good reason. For those attempting to head to Murmansk, I'm sure it will be a great addition to the expedition, but give plenty of time to get your visas in order. You need to give all sorts of crazy information like your parents' full names and dates of birth and if relevant, the precise date you started and graduated from university (or other tertiary education), degree name and result, etc., etc. Quite why they needed to know my qualifications which aren't in the least bit relevant to being in Russia is beyond me! For those living in the northern half of the UK, it may be useful to know that there's a Russian Consulate in Forth Street in Edinburgh which also processes visas (http://rusemb.org.uk/edinburghvfc/)...
So I've discovered. It is possible to get a visa online, but I'm not sure about Ed/London Consulates as the visa process has been outsourced. Either way, it looks long, complex, expensive... What we really need is for someone to hide a cache at the base of a remote Russian marker pole which can be retreved with a 2m pole from the Norweg' side of the border :ph34r:

 

And I'd highly recommend Svalbard, but don't underestimate the polar bears... There's a number of caches around Longyearbyen, but polar bears roam there too. In reality, I'd definitely be more cautious of mosquitoes further south. At midsummer, they are seriously evil.
I'll keep saving and have already packed the midge/mozzy nets. Will need to shop for a rifle before trying for Svalbard... :laughing:

 

Other than that, great idea! I look forward to reading of your adventures.

 

B)

Thank you for the advice. It's still a Maybe at this stage, but there does seem to be interest in it and while Russia might have to be dropped (car hire may exclude a border crossing even if the high cost/agro of a visa for a fancy 'day trip' doesn't) I still think it'd be a memorable expedition :)

 

Tourist VISAs are obtained via the internet. Don't know what happens in Edinburgh, but if you turn up at the London Consulate to get a VISA you're wasting your time. (Unless you want a business VISA or similar).

 

Western European car hire companies don't seem to like their cars being taken into Eastern Europe. Driving in Russia is probably going to be a lot more aggro than it's worth. (Have you ever considered the land locked bit of Russia around Kaliningrad?).

 

As for wanting to know about degrees and the like.........I can hazard a guess. :D

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Sounds like a great trip! I went to Harstad several years ago with the military (only right at the dawn of geocaching, many years before I took it up). We did some Norwegian caches whilst on a cruise last year and loved the style - they tend to use these black tape covered zip lock bags with magnets attached. They become very effective when behind a grill or in a dark place as they're black on black and incredibly thin. We found them in all three of the towns we stopped at, so I imagine you'll see them when you go out there.

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Update on this!

 

I've booked the following with a company with rhymes with 'Borwegian Pair' for less than £100 return, including taking a bag in the hold (£6 each way)-

 

Outbound: LGW - TOS 4. Jul 2014 16:05 Flight DY2470 - Each way takes 3h30min

Return: TOS - LGW 11. Jul 2014 21:05 Flight DY2471 - Norway is an hour ahead of us

 

The plan is to spend a night* in Tromso and pick up the hire car the following morning. After the multi-country, extreme-location caching trip, it'll be returned on the 10th (6 days hire), giving another night* and pretty much a full day in Tromso before catching a flight back that evening. My brother is coming too, so I'm looking for 2-3 others to share a car (splitting hire and fuel costs!) or if more are interested, I'll look at a minibus. Please let me know if you're interested. In the meantime, I'll keep planning for Mainland Europe's most Northerly Event :)

 

*Not much of a night when the sun doesn't set, but you know what I mean.

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Hi,

 

being a "local", dunno yet whether I'm able to join. 2000 miles round trip by road from here.. I'm intrigued, though.

 

However, a small hint - there is going to be a Mega event in Finland on July 12th. You could possibly extend the trip by a week... wink.gif

 

The event has not been published on geocaching.com yet, but major details have been made public both on Facebook and on a local Finnish geocaching forum.

Here's a banner with just date and location: https://fbcdn-sphoto...477541772_n.jpg

 

Oh, and one way to get to the northernmost point could be also flying to Finland (in practice Helsinki), and then travel northwards - there are plenty of caches and relatively good roads.

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Thanks ekhoc. I've added that banner to the cache page and will update it with a link once the Mega is live. I have driven 2,200miles (3,500Km) for an event before now (Home->Shetland->Home) and even further for a Mega in Austria in 2010 (including caching in Eng, Fr, Lux, Bel, Net, Ger, Switz, Lict and Aust; a busy 72 hours!) but I know it's a long way... I hope you feel like taking your own crazy trip :)

 

I won't be able to attend the Finnish Mega as I have to work, but I hope it goes very well. Since you'd be much better with the language, would you mind putting a link to my event on any forums/facebook pages where readers might be interested? It'd be very kind of you B)

 

I now have three confirmed from the UK, so if anyone else is interested in car share, please let me know ASAP as I'm down to two spare seats (max) at the moment.

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