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Signing challenge caches before qualification - and note logs

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There seem to be more and more challenge caches popping up everywhere. And almost always they say in the description that the logs can be signed before qualification and that you can then get the smiley when you do qualify. In these cases what cachers seem to do is go online and log the visit (and non-qualification) with a note log. And then bookmark those caches where they could then get a smiley later. This is what I do.

 

Last week I had a business trip to the midwest that took me to a bunch of really great areas that I've never been to. I found myself in a place that had a bunch of challenge caches some of which you had to solve a puzzle to figure out where the container was. I didn't read the cache page descriptions except to figure out if the cache was at the posted coordinates or if something needed to be figured out. I then logged my visits with a note log.

 

A few days after returning home I got an email from the CO saying that I wasn't supposed to do this as per the cache page description and that if I didn't qualify I shouldn't have visited the caches in the first place. Well, I didn't know that was the 'rule' for these challenge caches.

 

Today, I had all my note logs deleted. Pretty depressing really. I'm used to challenge cache owners saying you can visit the cache at any time and then logging things down the road when you do qualify so this behavior seems very heavy handed and not particularly nice.

 

So is this just me that thinks this CO behavior is strange? I live 2000 miles away from these caches and it's not like I can work on the qualifications and then get back to then get the smiley (not cheaply anyway).

 

I'd be interested in hearing what other cachers think about this log deletion practice. Maybe the California challenge cache owners are just nicer? And what does Groundspeak think about this practice?

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Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile, implementation of the Challenge Stars feature would have let you log a Found It regardless of the challenge requirements, whose completion would be logged separately.

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My guess is that some COs find these notes annoying and some do not. It's similar to the "took it to" log for travelers. Some tb owners like those and some hate them. You did mention that you did not read the entire description. Maybe that will be one of your key skims in the future. The knowledge books state:

8.Cachers may value their DNFs, Notes, and Needs Maintenance logs, don't assume it's okay to delete them. Those logs are part of their caching history.

Not sure if don't assume means you will be successful having the notes reinstated.

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You can still log your "found it" once you meet the challenge qualifications, of course. If the CO deletes that log, you can ask Geocaching HQ to reinstate it.

 

Unfortunately Geocaching HQ does not have the resources to enforce logging etiquette regarding note logs. So, you will need to keep track of these challenges on your own.

 

That's not to say the CO was "right" to delete your note. To the contrary, the challenge cache guidelines make it clear that finding the cache/signing the log and qualifying for the challenge can take place in either order.

 

Something similar happened to me under my player account. I posted my progress to date on a very difficult challenge outside my immediate home area, and expressed my intention to complete the challenge over the coming years. The CO deleted my note to "keep the page clean." Eventually, I did complete the requirements for the challenge. I made a conscious decision not to claim a find on the cache because I did not like the CO's manners. My achievement stood on its own merits and I enjoyed finding the many caches needed to qualify. I did not need one more smiley that badly.

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One reason why a cache owner might delete notes is that sometimes people edit them from notes to finds ---> and the cache owner won't know. No notification is sent when this is done. This can be an issue in some areas, and may be driving this behavior, though I doubt it.

 

Agreeing with what everyone has said already. Deleting your notes was rude.

 

Cache owner CANNOT specify the order of go on Challenges caches - qualify, sign log , verify. All 3 three things need to happen before you log a smiley, but the cache owner doesn't get to specify the order.

 

That said, currently Groundspeak won't get involved in restoring your lNote; they only deal with find count logs these days.

 

This hasn't happened to me, but I'd guess I'd react exactly as Keystone described. I'd go ahead and work the challenge, but I'd never post anything to the listing where my Note had been deleted - phooey on that ;-)

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Good to know you can always sign then qualify as I recall seeing challenges not long ago that did't want allow that per the cache page. It hasn't been a problem yet for me I just know they're out there.

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Re-log with a note as

Courtesy check. The cache is in fine condition.

...and see if they'll delete that.

Edited by Viajero Perdido

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On a side note, when we made the trek to log a find on a local Jasmer, we realized that we had not found the current month and made a detour to be current. Thinking about it now, I don't think we would ever do the early note/find...OCD maybe.

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Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile, implementation of the Challenge Stars feature would have let you log a Found It regardless of the challenge requirements, whose completion would be logged separately.

 

Completely defeats the porpoise of challenge caches. Might as well do away with them Poor idea.

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Cache owner CANNOT specify the order of go on Challenges caches - qualify, sign log , verify. All 3 three things need to happen before you log a smiley, but the cache owner doesn't get to specify the order.

 

That said, currently Groundspeak won't get involved in restoring your lNote; they only deal with find count logs these days.

So, on paper, the CO can't dictate the order, but in reality they can?

 

:blink:

 

...sounds like that clause needs to just be removed from the guidelines if it's never enforced.

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Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile...[i've noticed that this discussion relates to challenge caches, so I'm going to repost my idea in yet another place even though I've already done that dozens of times across these forums. Vote frinklabs 2016!]

:rolleyes:

 

The content of this post was paid for by nobody and was not authorized by any professor or professor's committee.

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Some COs even require pre-approval, and lock the container. Even worse, some don't even respond. <_<

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Some COs even require pre-approval, and lock the container. Even worse, some don't even respond. <_<

Which is why the guidelines were updated to prohibit this for challenge caches (other than existing grandfathered challenges). If you see this on a challenge cache created under the current guidelines, contact your friendly volunteer cache reviewer or write to Geocaching HQ.

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Some COs even require pre-approval, and lock the container. Even worse, some don't even respond. <_<

Which is why the guidelines were updated to prohibit this for challenge caches (other than existing grandfathered challenges). If you see this on a challenge cache created under the current guidelines, contact your friendly volunteer cache reviewer or write to Geocaching HQ.

I don't know when that part of the guideline was added. Do you happen to know and can you share?

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There are some folks who think its so terribly sacrosanct to dare sign a challenge cache that they sent Groundspeak an official appeal to allow the writing in their challenge cache page to say you can't sign this in advance.

 

However, most owners of challenge caches I have seen have no problem with one signing in advance. I mean, if you are in the area already why go there again. A challenge is complete if you sign it and qualify, not sure why anyone cares the order.

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I'd be interested in hearing what other cachers think about this log deletion practice.

I'll start by disclosing that I almost never visit a challenge before I qualify for it, and I have to admit I don't think much about those "found but don't qualify yet notes", and wouldn't file one even if I did visit a challenge before I qualified. (To me, that's like filing a note that says, "I live 1000 miles away and will probably never visit this cache, but I solved the puzzle!!!")

 

Now I'm going to put that aside and imagine I did it all the time, but I'm still going to say that it's not a big deal. It is unusual, perhaps even a little anti-social, for the CO to care enough to complain to you, let along delete the note, but it's his cache, and I don't see that his actions hurt you in any significant way.

 

Maybe the California challenge cache owners are just nicer?

Well, that's certainly true. All California cachers are nicer.

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I have had several notes with the CO in the past day or so. I think he understands challenge caches differently than I do.....but perhaps he was around before the newer rules? Part of his beef with cachers going after his caches is that with increased traffic there is an increase in the chance that the cache will go missing (due to muggles seeing the additional traffic).

 

Here is a snippet of my correspondence with the CO that indicates where his mindset it:

 

"It is not a new thing that you have to qualify for a challenge before finding and logging it. It is the principle in which Challenges were based. When we finish caching in all 50 states, we had to travel back to California to find final to complete the challenge. We made it clear in the description that this is the requirement. I am also sorry you don’t understand our reason to protect the cache hides by limiting excess visits. One of your logs even mentioned running into a muggle at the cache (for with you didn’t qualify). We have already had instances of this cache going MIA."

 

Many, many thanks to everyone that's weighed in on this topic! I really appreciate it!

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I'll start by disclosing that I almost never visit a challenge before I qualify for it, and I have to admit I don't think much about those "found but don't qualify yet notes", and wouldn't file one even if I did visit a challenge before I qualified. (To me, that's like filing a note that says, "I live 1000 miles away and will probably never visit this cache, but I solved the puzzle!!!")

 

What's wrong with writing a note when you solve a puzzle? Lots of puzzle cache makers say the point of the cache is the puzzle. They purposely hide a boring micro in a boring location like a parking lot so they don't waste good spots for regular cache hides.

 

I have a couple of puzzles - can't say I would mind if someone logged a note. It tells me they enjoyed solving the puzzle. An aside, my caches have interesting cache containers and are in good locations, so the puzzle solver misses out on those. It's no big deal if they want to record that they solved one of my puzzles. Especially if they say something like "Amazing puzzle. You are a puzzle making genius!" laugh.gif

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I'll start by disclosing that I almost never visit a challenge before I qualify for it, and I have to admit I don't think much about those "found but don't qualify yet notes", and wouldn't file one even if I did visit a challenge before I qualified. (To me, that's like filing a note that says, "I live 1000 miles away and will probably never visit this cache, but I solved the puzzle!!!")

I, as a CO of some puzzles, appreciate the feedback from solvers even if they never visit my cache. I see some excitement of the solver from your example, and such notes are actually even encouraging.

 

I understand you never do that, and don't ask you to do either. I just wanted to say that's only one way of doing a thing, and doesn't mean much to the original discussion.

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It is unusual, perhaps even a little anti-social, for the CO to care enough to complain to you, let along delete the note, but it's his cache, and I don't see that his actions hurt you in any significant way.

I always felt logging a note was a courtesy to the cache owner since it's easier to verify the signatures on the physical log in chronological order. I bookmark all my "signed but haven't yet completed" challenges, so it doesn't really matter to me whether or not the owner deletes my note.

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I have had several notes with the CO in the past day or so. I think he understands challenge caches differently than I do.....but perhaps he was around before the newer rules? Part of his beef with cachers going after his caches is that with increased traffic there is an increase in the chance that the cache will go missing (due to muggles seeing the additional traffic).

 

Here is a snippet of my correspondence with the CO that indicates where his mindset it:

 

"It is not a new thing that you have to qualify for a challenge before finding and logging it. It is the principle in which Challenges were based. When we finish caching in all 50 states, we had to travel back to California to find final to complete the challenge. We made it clear in the description that this is the requirement. I am also sorry you don’t understand our reason to protect the cache hides by limiting excess visits. One of your logs even mentioned running into a muggle at the cache (for with you didn’t qualify). We have already had instances of this cache going MIA."

 

Many, many thanks to everyone that's weighed in on this topic! I really appreciate it!

 

Eh, I own a few challenges, and I never had a problem with "found, but don't qualify yet" notes. I absolutely do NOT have any notation on the cache page that it's OK to do this, and I've found that very few challenge cache owners go out of their way to mention that it's OK to post notes. I'd just let this guy be all grumpy, and have his own way. No need to stir anything up. Probably a regional thing in his area. Him "lecturing" me would probably rather annoy me, but I'd still let it go. :lol:

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Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile, implementation of the Challenge Stars feature would have let you log a Found It regardless of the challenge requirements, whose completion would be logged separately.

 

Completely defeats the porpoise of challenge caches. Might as well do away with them Poor idea.

 

Off-topic to the matter at hand, so I posted a response in the relevant thread for Challenge Stars (which I think is a whale of an idea).

 

 

Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile...[i've noticed that this discussion relates to challenge caches, so I'm going to repost my idea in yet another place even though I've already done that dozens of times across these forums. Vote frinklabs 2016!]

:rolleyes:

 

The content of this post was paid for by nobody and was not authorized by any professor or professor's committee.

 

I wish there was a back-link tracking feature in this forum to see if it is really dozens. Wouldn't surprise me if that were the case.

 

Meanwhile, I only try to shill for this feature in a context where it can usefully address an issue being discussed (like this one).

 

Note that I haven't proselytized in the Challenge Cache Too Challenging thread.

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It is unusual, perhaps even a little anti-social, for the CO to care enough to complain to you, let along delete the note, but it's his cache, and I don't see that his actions hurt you in any significant way.

I always felt logging a note was a courtesy to the cache owner since it's easier to verify the signatures on the physical log in chronological order. I bookmark all my "signed but haven't yet completed" challenges, so it doesn't really matter to me whether or not the owner deletes my note.

I do that too. I created a bookmark list of any I signed. And like Keystone said you can log it after you qualify. They can't really delete your found log just because it was signed before you qualify. You found it, you signed it, that is all that really matters. I know a lot of cachers who sign a logsheet on puzzles when they were with others and don't log it as a found until they have solved them. Hardly different.

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At first I thought this is straightforward. Just read the guidelines. Unfortunately, it states, rather ambiguously :

 

A challenge geocache requires that geocachers meet a geocaching-related qualification or series of tasks before the challenge cache can be logged.

 

No specific mention that a physical log can be signed before the requirements are met. It also doesn't mention what constitutes logging (signing the physical log or logging online), or even what is the log type.

 

I have heard it mentioned that the physical log can be signed before the requirements are met, but now I can't find evidence of it. If this is indeed Groundspeak's position, can they clarify this in the knowledge base?

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My achievement stood on its own merits and I enjoyed finding the many caches needed to qualify. I did not need one more smiley that badly.

Makes one wonder what the point of a challenge 'cache' is then.

 

Deleting the notes is not cool.

 

Meanwhile, implementation of the Challenge Stars feature would have let you log a Found It regardless of the challenge requirements, whose completion would be logged separately.

 

Completely defeats the porpoise of challenge caches. Might as well do away with them Poor idea.

Some challenge cache owners view finding the challenge cache, and not the smiley for logging it, as the reward/incentive for doing the challenge. Finding a challenge cache when you have not completed a challenge is a burr under the saddle [saving knickers for later ;) ] of some cache owners. They simply have to delete that note because they can't imagine anyone would find a cache that was meant only for those who qualify.

 

Frinklabs' suggestion simply recognizes that some people will find the cache and then complete the challenge for the smiley. Rather than making the smiley the reason for the challenge, the suggestion is to find a way to recognize those who found the cache and have also completed the challenge.

 

Cache owner CANNOT specify the order of go on Challenges caches - qualify, sign log , verify. All 3 three things need to happen before you log a smiley, but the cache owner doesn't get to specify the order.

 

That said, currently Groundspeak won't get involved in restoring your lNote; they only deal with find count logs these days.

So, on paper, the CO can't dictate the order, but in reality they can?

 

:blink:

 

...sounds like that clause needs to just be removed from the guidelines if it's never enforced.

Not really. Once upon a time there were challenge caches (mostly just Delorme and county challenges) where you had to email the cache owner to get the coordinates, and ALR caches where you had to do something in addition to finding the cache to log it online.

 

The guideline were changed to allow ALR cachse if they were listed as mystery/unknown type and the coordinates could be determined from information on the cache page and without mailing the cache owner. Usually this meant the cache was at the posted coordinates. At this point reviewers began publishing challenges if they complied with these same rules. I don't know if there was a 'memo' from Groundspeak or if the reviewers simply on their own decided that completing a challenge could be considered an ALR.

 

This forever changed the nature of challenge caches. First because you could now find the cache before you completed the challenge, and second because it allowed for many new kinds of challenges to be published.

 

Then one day, TPTB decided to not only stop publishing ALR caches but to render all the existing ALR restrictions on logging null and void. Of course TPTB at the same time declared that doing a challenge was not an ALR so the new guidelines didn't apply to them. Magic!!

 

This later required TPTB to specifically state that challenges could not require you to complete the challenge before finding the cache, only that could not log a find online until you both completed the challenge and found the cache. Sounds a lot like an ALR. But TPTB say it isn't, so it must not be. At the same time COs are given a lot of leeway in deleting notes, and apparently a CO can delete a note saying you found the cache but haven't yet done the challenge.

 

Maybe the California challenge cache owners are just nicer?

Well, that's certainly true. All California cachers are nicer.

It's just that we don't wear knickers, so we can't get them in a twist.

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I, as a CO of some puzzles, appreciate the feedback from solvers even if they never visit my cache. I see some excitement of the solver from your example, and such notes are actually even encouraging.

 

I understand you never do that, and don't ask you to do either. I just wanted to say that's only one way of doing a thing, and doesn't mean much to the original discussion.

I'm not surprised to hear that COs don't mind Solved notes, and I understand why some might even like them. It's just that, since I've solved thousands of puzzles all over the place -- and I think you have, too -- I can't imagine what it would be like if everyone filed a note when they solved a puzzle.

 

To get back on topic, I agree with the CO's position on challenges, but at the same time, my understanding is that that's old school, and the current guidelines require allowing pre-qualifying signatures on new challenge caches.

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I normally don't make the trip to sign a challenge cache until I qualify for it. In part because many of the ones we do are grandfathered, so I may not even have access to the true final coordinates and/or lock until all the criteria are met. That said, not sure why the cache owner felt the need to delete notes. Part of the fun with challenge caches used to be seeing who I knew was in the running and who was having issues getting them done. I guess that's not part of the fun for everyone.

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I normally don't make the trip to sign a challenge cache until I qualify for it. In part because many of the ones we do are grandfathered, so I may not even have access to the true final coordinates and/or lock until all the criteria are met. That said, not sure why the cache owner felt the need to delete notes. Part of the fun with challenge caches used to be seeing who I knew was in the running and who was having issues getting them done. I guess that's not part of the fun for everyone.

I was 2000 miles from home....and just happened to notice the challenge caches as I was caching nearby. I still sign challenge caches as I come across them in my local area......but when I'm so far away from home I'd especially want to sign the logs because I may never make it back to those areas.

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To get back on topic, I agree with the CO's position on challenges, but at the same time, my understanding is that that's old school, and the current guidelines require allowing pre-qualifying signatures on new challenge caches.

 

Personally, pre-qualifying signatures that are later turned into finds or where finds are added without visiting the cache again also seem somehow odd to me (though this is now allowed). However, I do not think that writing notes is against old school and never has been.

Even when the challenge coordinates were not known, one could find such a cache by chance.

 

As the guidelines are right now, challenge caches are not a protection for the cache to limit the number of visits. A long hike or a difficult puzzle could serve this purpose.

 

I do not have the slightest issue to visit a challenge cache without qualifying and to log a note. If I ever happened to qualify and cared, I would come again. The reason for the note is just the visit. I post notes also when I revisit caches where I have been before.

The logic of such cache owners would then say that I'm not allowed to do so because this also increases the number of visits.

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At first I thought this is straightforward. Just read the guidelines. Unfortunately, it states, rather ambiguously :

 

A challenge geocache requires that geocachers meet a geocaching-related qualification or series of tasks before the challenge cache can be logged.

 

No specific mention that a physical log can be signed before the requirements are met. It also doesn't mention what constitutes logging (signing the physical log or logging online), or even what is the log type.

 

I have heard it mentioned that the physical log can be signed before the requirements are met, but now I can't find evidence of it. If this is indeed Groundspeak's position, can they clarify this in the knowledge base?

 

The language you're looking for is in the Logging of All Physical Geocaches section of the listing guidelines.

 

Physical caches can be logged online as "Found" once the physical log has been signed.

 

An exception is Challenge Caches, which may only be logged online after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented to the cache owner as per instructions on the published listing.

To log a challenge cache online, the seeker needs to sign/qualify/document.... the order cannot be stipulated.

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In order to log my challenge caches you must visit the site, sign the log book and have completed the challenge. I don't care what order you do them. You may leave a note log, I say so on the cache page, if you haven't completed the challenge yet and post a found when you have.

 

I did have one cacher leave a note when they had completed the challenge and didn't think they had, so I emailed them telling them they can log a find. They emailed me back, said thanks and changed their note to a find. :P

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I normally don't make the trip to sign a challenge cache until I qualify for it. In part because many of the ones we do are grandfathered, so I may not even have access to the true final coordinates and/or lock until all the criteria are met. That said, not sure why the cache owner felt the need to delete notes. Part of the fun with challenge caches used to be seeing who I knew was in the running and who was having issues getting them done. I guess that's not part of the fun for everyone.

I was 2000 miles from home....and just happened to notice the challenge caches as I was caching nearby. I still sign challenge caches as I come across them in my local area......but when I'm so far away from home I'd especially want to sign the logs because I may never make it back to those areas.

 

I could easily have the same situation and or a different reason. I may, over time qualify for a variety of challenge caches, however unlike some areas that whole challenge craze just hasn't caught on in my area. I doubt that there are more than 5 challenge caches within 50 miles of where I live but if I traveled about 3-4 hours to the northwest there are probably more than 100 within a 30 mile radius. If, for some reason, I find myself in Ontario, Cananda for a few days I could "find" a lot of challenge cache finals but might not get back to the area for years and there just aren't any closer if I find that I meet the criteria for some. I've been caching for almost 8 years and even though I live about 3.5 hours from Ontario and haven't managed to make it across the border. If a CO for those challenges decides that I can't find the cache first, then complete (if I have not already done so) the challenge there could be a lot of caches I could "find" (and are also taking space where a traditional cache could be placed) but I wouldn't be able to log as a find. If I had any interest in doing challenge caches the simple fact that the challenge cache crazy hasn't caught on in my area (I am definitely not complaining about that) kind of makes it difficult to participate in an aspect of the game that has become very popular in some areas.

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12. Geocachers may sign a challenge geocache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented.

1.19. Challenge Geocaches

 

[updated 12/19/14 to add Additional Point #12]

Edited by Isonzo Karst

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12. Geocachers may sign a challenge geocache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented.

1.19. Challenge Geocaches

 

[updated 12/19/14 to add Additional Point #12]

Corrected link (i.e. you have http://http://... in your link):

 

Challenge Geocaches

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I normally don't make the trip to sign a challenge cache until I qualify for it. In part because many of the ones we do are grandfathered, so I may not even have access to the true final coordinates and/or lock until all the criteria are met. That said, not sure why the cache owner felt the need to delete notes. Part of the fun with challenge caches used to be seeing who I knew was in the running and who was having issues getting them done. I guess that's not part of the fun for everyone.

I was 2000 miles from home....and just happened to notice the challenge caches as I was caching nearby. I still sign challenge caches as I come across them in my local area......but when I'm so far away from home I'd especially want to sign the logs because I may never make it back to those areas.

 

After reading the various replies, i still can't for the life of me, understand why a cache owner would care if someone signed the physical log before qualitfication. Of course there could be a challenge which requires the cache be found at a certain time (milestone maybe) so a person shouldn't log until then. For the majority of challenge caches though, it shouldn't matter at all.

 

I'm always amazed when i hear of COs deleting notes and DNFs. Can only imagine how clean and sterile they keep their surroundings. :blink:

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12. Geocachers may sign a challenge geocache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented.

1.19. Challenge Geocaches

 

[updated 12/19/14 to add Additional Point #12]

 

From earlier discussion in this thread, I was under the impression that all challenge caches could have their physical logs signed before their requirements were completed. With the new addition to the guidelines, however, I'm not so sure that I can sign older challenge logs any time I want:

 

Note: Challenge geocaches published prior to the guideline update 3/12/12 are grandfathered into the game and do not need to comply with current guidelines.

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12. Geocachers may sign a challenge geocache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented.

1.19. Challenge Geocaches

 

[updated 12/19/14 to add Additional Point #12]

 

From earlier discussion in this thread, I was under the impression that all challenge caches could have their physical logs signed before their requirements were completed. With the new addition to the guidelines, however, I'm not so sure that I can sign older challenge logs any time I want:

 

Note: Challenge geocaches published prior to the guideline update 3/12/12 are grandfathered into the game and do not need to comply with current guidelines.

That's pretty standard, with a few exceptions (i.e. ALR's). Changes (aka *tweaks*) of this nature are almost always considered "moving forward" in nature.

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12. Geocachers may sign a challenge geocache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented.

1.19. Challenge Geocaches

 

[updated 12/19/14 to add Additional Point #12]

 

From earlier discussion in this thread, I was under the impression that all challenge caches could have their physical logs signed before their requirements were completed. With the new addition to the guidelines, however, I'm not so sure that I can sign older challenge logs any time I want:

 

Note: Challenge geocaches published prior to the guideline update 3/12/12 are grandfathered into the game and do not need to comply with current guidelines.

That's pretty standard, with a few exceptions (i.e. ALR's). Changes (aka *tweaks*) of this nature are almost always considered "moving forward" in nature.

Yes, but back in Post #30, the rationale for "order doesn't matter" was in the ALR section of the guidelines. If the new "clarification" language had been applied to that section, then it would have applied to all challenge caches (old and new):

 

The language you're looking for is in the Logging of All Physical Geocaches section of the listing guidelines.

 

Physical caches can be logged online as "Found" once the physical log has been signed.

 

An exception is Challenge Caches, which may only be logged online after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented to the cache owner as per instructions on the published listing.

To log a challenge cache online, the seeker needs to sign/qualify/document.... the order cannot be stipulated.

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Isn't the reason for the existence of challenge caches so that cache owners can have a cache that can only be found by those who have completed the "Geocaching related task or accomplishment"? If people that haven't qualified are logging them as notes, it seems to do a disservice to both sides.

 

The people who have "found it" but haven't "really found it" don't get a smiley, which is fine if they're not in it for the smileys, but at best their "found it count/containers found/smileys on the website" amounts are going to be inaccurate.

 

The CO's who have made their cache a challenge cache in an effort to minimize it's impact on the location are still getting visits from the non-qualifiers that they hoped to prevent from finding them.

 

If everyone can find them and the smiley count doesn't matter, why not just make them traditionals? If the smiley count doesn't matter, then everyone who finds it can get one. Otherwise people should be told what I was told in another thread about not being able to log a cache that I can find because I hadn't yet qualified for it: "What are you doing looking for a cache you don't qualify to 'find' ?"

 

Being allowed to "find" them ahead of time with a note just seems to really mess with both sides... Either take a stand and make it that non-qualifiers aren't allowed to seek them or outlaw them altogether. This straddling both sides of the fence is serving neither purpose.

Edited by TopShelfRob

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If cache owners didn't want people to sign the logs before completing the challenge could they not only provide the final coordinates to people who can prove they qualify for the challenge?

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If cache owners didn't want people to sign the logs before completing the challenge could they not only provide the final coordinates to people who can prove they qualify for the challenge?

 

If the CO is "providing the coordinates" via email or private message, no, they can't. It would actually violate two guidelines:

 

"The information needed to find the geocache must be available to the general caching community. For example, a puzzle that requires research on public websites may be acceptable, while a puzzle that requires email to the geocache owner with the solution to obtain the coordinates, or for other information necessary to the solution will not be."

 

and

 

"Geocachers may sign a challenge geocache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented."

 

 

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If cache owners didn't want people to sign the logs before completing the challenge could they not only provide the final coordinates to people who can prove they qualify for the challenge?

 

Link for reference:

 

Challenge Geocaches

 

Item #10

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Then it is clear that the cache owner has no reason to delete notes from finders who have signed the log but not completed the challenge so why do they do it,

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If a CO wants to limit the number of visitors due to the sensitive environment, they shouldn't place a cache there in the first place.

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The people who have "found it" but haven't "really found it" don't get a smiley, which is fine if they're not in it for the smileys, but at best their "found it count/containers found/smileys on the website" amounts are going to be inaccurate.

It's inaccurate in the same sense that rejected selfie photos at Webcam caches are inaccurate. People have all sorts of ideas of what constitutes a legitimate "Found It." If their ideas don't match Groundspeak's guidelines, then sometimes they will have to live with those "inaccuracies."

 

The CO's who have made their cache a challenge cache in an effort to minimize it's impact on the location are still getting visits from the non-qualifiers that they hoped to prevent from finding them.

Cache owners don't have a whole lot of control over finders' behaviors. If a cache location cannot stand much traffic, perhaps they should find a better location or use a better way to reduce traffic (e.g., premium members only, add a puzzle for the final coordinates).

 

If everyone can find them and the smiley count doesn't matter, why not just make them traditionals?

Because, as you noted above, challenge caches have a different purpose than traditionals: to challenge people to complete a "Geocaching related task or accomplishment."

 

Otherwise people should be told what I was told in another thread about not being able to log a cache that I can find because I hadn't yet qualified for it: "What are you doing looking for a cache you don't qualify to 'find' ?"

If you're going to be greatly annoyed by signing a challenge cache's physical log and not being able to log an online "Found It" because you haven't yet qualified for the challenge, then that advice might make some sense.

 

Being allowed to "find" them ahead of time with a note just seems to really mess with both sides... Either take a stand and make it that non-qualifiers aren't allowed to seek them or outlaw them altogether. This straddling both sides of the fence is serving neither purpose.

As we've seen so frequently on these forums, it's often not possible to adopt policies that make everyone happy. A few people get annoyed that signing a challenge cache's physical log doesn't count as an online "Found It." But many geocachers are quite happy with challenge caches.

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Then it is clear that the cache owner has no reason to delete notes from finders who have signed the log but not completed the challenge so why do they do it,

 

I completely agree!

Edited by Geokashers

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The people who have "found it" but haven't "really found it" don't get a smiley, which is fine if they're not in it for the smileys, but at best their "found it count/containers found/smileys on the website" amounts are going to be inaccurate.

 

When I'm out and on the road caching.....and far away from home....I typically cache. I don't spend all day reading cache page information to know if I qualify for a challenge cache or not. I sign the log and save the reading for a day when time is not quite so precious. Using the notes allows me to 'see' what I needed to check out later. I typically add these challenge caches to a bookmark now so it's easier to see the additional work I still have: either to figure out if I already qualify or to see what else I need to do to qualify.

 

I find it hard to believe that a cacher wouldn't want to sign a challenge cache log when they're hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home.....as the chances are probably pretty slim that they'll get back there when they do qualify.

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If a CO wants to limit the number of visitors due to the sensitive environment, they shouldn't place a cache there in the first place.

It wasn't an environmental issue the CO was worried about. It's a maintenance issue. With more visits there are more chances muggles will see people at those sites and the caches will go missing. He's had to replace lots of containers apparently and so this is his way of trying to prevent that from happening. And he used me as an example.....because a muggle stopped to ask me if I needed help while I was at one of his caches. I said I was ok....and the muggle asked me if I was geocaching. We had a long conversation about it. This is what the CO is trying to prevent.

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I think the CO could still have just placed it in a better place if there's a maintenance issue there. I totally agree with you about the reason you want to sign the log and post a note for challenges you may not quality yet. I do that all the time.

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Then it is clear that the cache owner has no reason to delete notes from finders who have signed the log but not completed the challenge so why do they do it,

 

A cache owner may feel that they have a reason to delete notes from finders who have signed the log before completing the challenge even though the guidelines allow finders to sign first, then complete the challenge, but the guidelines support the finder. . The support pages have a general page about Log Deletion which includes the following:

 

Cachers may value their DNFs, Notes, and Needs Maintenance logs, don't assume it's okay to delete them. Those logs are part of their caching history.

If a CO is deleting notes, posting a complaint to GS using the www.geocaching.com/help form may result in the note being re-instated.

One of the reasons why a CO may feel that they can delete those notes is that they simply haven't read and understand the guidelines. If, when they attempted to have their challenge cache published they stated in the description that finders must complete the challenge first and "found it" notes would be deleted, the cache would (should?) not be published. If they don't mention anything about find/completion order and deleting notes the issue isn't going to come up until they attempt to enforce their beliefs and someone complains about it.

 

 

 

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