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GeoLog81

How do I ask Groundspeak about guidelines?

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I'd like to ask Groundspeak about guidelines, the question is, how can I do that without referring to specific reviewer action?

 

There are several caches in my vicinity that are rated T1.5 or T2, but are available only for very high people (1.90m or higher), while guidelines state, that T2 should be available for average adult.

 

The lower person can use ladder or other climbing equipment, but in my opinion, caches that require climbing equipment should be rated much higher.

 

The reviewer has written to me in priv they doesn't deal with bad terrain rating to avoid flame wars, and leave that matter freely to the owners.

 

I don't want to start flame wars but I find such practice very rude and disrespectful for taller people. I think it's highly unappropriate to underrate the terrain rating because "it's trivial for me". I could rate the cache requiring climbing on steep muddy slope as T1.5 because it's trivial to me, but it's too hard for the average adult.

 

So I'd like to ask the Groundspeak directly for interpretation, but I don't know, how should I contact them?

Edited by GeoLog81

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Yeah, I know that formular but I can't find any matching category. It's not about hiding my cache and not about an appeal.

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Difficulty and terrain a relative and subjective. You can try, but honestly I don't think anything will happen. Like you said t may be of no issue for a tall person, but it hard for you because you are short. Just like terrain, someone who lives in Alaska may laugh at a snow covered slope, while someone from New York would have difficulty attempting that same slope when it's dry.

 

When your taking about people's height, I don't think 1.9 feet is very high, in fact it seems rather low. Unless it's not feet but meters (you didn't say so it could very well be centimetres or inches.) which would be what? 6 feet? Where I'm from it's not an average height, but it's not unuasual either. Pretty easy to find someone 6 feet or taller. Again it's subjective.

 

And I also don't see how a higher terrain rating means higher cache. It could, but it could also mean other things- under water for example. So in order to truly filter out caches that are high up it would probably be better to put something in the description, or hints. Sometimes you just have to attempt the cache to find out these things- that's part of the fun/challenge.

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It's not a fun if you find out that the cache is available only to very high people and there's no other way of taking it.

 

Climbing on road signs is usually out of options. Even putting a ladder against it could cause it fall, or be considered an efford to damage it, not to mention using rope.

 

Everyone can learn to swim or climb, but not everyone can learn to grow :angry:

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Or stilts...

 

Still, the thing the Groundspeak could make is the extra argument 'high height required' or sth similar...

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I'd like to ask Groundspeak about guidelines.... without referring to specific reviewer action?

....

 

The reviewer has written to me in priv they doesn't deal with bad terrain rating to avoid flame wars, and leave that matter freely to the owners.

 

Aside from "flame wars", there's nothing in the guidelines that reviewers use about D/T ratings. It's not part of what reviewers do.

So feel free to refer to "specific reviewer action", or as I suspect you mean "lack of action". There's nothing for the reviewer to action.

 

We're asked to require the Wheelchair attribute when caches are T 1, and not using it when T is higher than 1. The cache report form now does this as well. We can make suggestions (sometimes strongly) about really absurd ratings - mostly this comes up on events.

 

If you look at the guidelines that reviewers use, there's NOTHING about D/T ratings there. http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

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A person can have other physical characteristics that could make finding a particular cache more difficult than average. The terrain rating is at best a guideline on what to expect.

 

Also, on some hides the CO may not wish to indicate the height of the hide, since that clue may then make the search too easy by eliminating places people would otherwise look.

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Difficulty and terrain a relative and subjective. You can try, but honestly I don't think anything will happen. Like you said t may be of no issue for a tall person, but it hard for you because you are short. Just like terrain, someone who lives in Alaska may laugh at a snow covered slope, while someone from New York would have difficulty attempting that same slope when it's dry.

 

When your taking about people's height, I don't think 1.9 feet is very high, in fact it seems rather low. Unless it's not feet but meters (you didn't say so it could very well be centimetres or inches.) which would be what? 6 feet? Where I'm from it's not an average height, but it's not unuasual either. Pretty easy to find someone 6 feet or taller. Again it's subjective.

 

And I also don't see how a higher terrain rating means higher cache. It could, but it could also mean other things- under water for example. So in order to truly filter out caches that are high up it would probably be better to put something in the description, or hints. Sometimes you just have to attempt the cache to find out these things- that's part of the fun/challenge.

 

Are we assuming all cachers are male? Should adult female cachers not be taken into consideration when determining terrain ratings? I looked at the OP's profile. S/he is in Poland. The average adult height in Poland http://en.m.wikipedi...round_the_world is:

PolandMale 178.5 cm (5 ft 10 12 in)Female 165.1 cm (5 ft 5 in)

 

So when considering terrain I think it's fair-minded to consider the average adult height to be the average female height of the country...1.65m, 5ft5in.

Personally I would note the height issue in my log. I might even post an NM suggesting that the terrain needs adjusting and something added to the description that people under 6 feet may need to climb or bring a foot stool.

Edited by L0ne.R

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But what's so special about T1 rating that is not in T1.5 or T2 attribute? I've never seen a geocacher on a wheelchair but a half of geocachers I know (or more) are below 1.80m. And many cache with children.

 

It would be logical to assume, according to guidelines, that T1.5 should be available for children, and T2 for non-handicaped adults (no matter of heights) and leave free ride for other ratings.

 

How to find caches accessible to children or not very fit adults?

Edited by GeoLog81

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But what's so special about T1 rating that is not in T1.5 or T2 attribute? I've never seen a geocacher on a wheelchair but a half of geocachers I know (or more) are below 1.80m. And many cache with children.

 

It would be logical to assume, according to guidelines, that T1.5 should be available for children, and T2 for non-handicaped adults (no matter of heights) and leave free ride for other ratings.

 

How to find caches accessible to children or not very fit adults?

 

Being under 5'5" and having had almost 6 months of serious mobility problems, I understand your frustration. I learned the hard way that terrain ratings are frequently based on the CO's perception and people rarely use the GC rating system. If the CO is spry, fit and tall than a everything seems like a T2 or less to him. Walking uphill for 2km and jumping over 2 streams is easy peasy. Often a cache owner only takes the easiest part of the walk into consideration. And I suspect in some cases, the terrain is down-rated in order to get more visitors.

 

I filtered for T2 and under, when I had mobility trouble. I would push myself to do a kilometer long walk, with a brace on my leg and a crutch for support, on a nice flat gravel trail, only to see the cache hanging in a tree but it required me to descend an 8 foot 45 degree slope with loose rock and hop a 3 foot wide ditch stream.

 

Another problem for not very fit adults is, we have to travel further to get caches. There are not a lot of truly low terrain caches out there (at least in my area). In a day of caching, I travelled quite far (50km+) for maybe 5 caches, only to find 3/5 were really T3 or more (based on the GC rating system). I spent a lot of time and gas money to end up quite frustrated.

Edited by L0ne.R

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Yeah, I know that formular but I can't find any matching category. It's not about hiding my cache and not about an appeal.

 

It could be about "finding a geocache" or "geocacher disagreement".

 

Hopefully someone will read the body of the email and understand what the issue is.

 

You could put a link to this thread in the email.

 

 

B.

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But what's so special about T1 rating that is not in T1.5 or T2 attribute?
T1 has a relatively straight-forward definition: "Handicapped accessible". That definition even corresponds to an attribute:

wheelchair-yes.gifWheelchair Accessible

 

Note that generally all the volunteer reviewers do with the T1 rating and the "Wheelchair Accessible" attribute is make sure they go together. They don't enforce any particular definition of "Handicapped accessible" or of "Wheelchair Accessible". They just point out that the rating and the attribute should go together.

 

As soon as you head into the "Suitable for small children" terrain rating, things get fuzzier. For example, if a cache is hard for a 6ft adult to reach, but is easy for a toddler lifted by a 6ft adult to reach, is that cache "Suitable for small children"?

Edited by niraD

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1890.jpgNV1161.jpg

 

Sorry, but the particular cache was so mean that those devices were useless. The cache was accessible only from above, not from below. So jumping was useless as well.

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I had always thought that terrain 1 meant that the cache could be retrieved by a person seated in a wheelchair and the wheelchair accessible attribute meant that GZ could be reached by a wheelchair.

 

So, a concrete path from the parking area leading to a cache 2 metres above ground would be T1.5 and have the wheelchair attribute.

 

In an extreme case the said concrete path leading to a cache which requires abseiling could be T5 and wheelchair accessible.

 

It doesn't seem to make sense to have two ways to show the same thing.

Edited by Gill & Tony

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I had always thought that terrain 1 meant that the cache could be retrieved by a person seated in a wheelchair and the wheelchair accessible attribute meant that GZ could be reached by a wheelchair.

It does now, and has for a while, but it didn't always. Prior to that change, the default cache rating for new hides was 1/1, and there was no prompt requiring cache owners to certify that, if they chose a 1 star rating for terrain, the cache was wheelchair accessible.

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I do remember those caches from Copenhagen. What we usually did, being somewhat vertically challenged relative to the average male Danish cacher was to use our bikes as climbing aid. Often, just standing on the food thingies was enough, at other times one person would need to stand on the frame with the other one holding the bike. But then, biking was our primary means of transport anyway.

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I don't think this is a "T" issue.

 

A cache's "Terrain" rating is a description of the area AROUND a cache and what you have to put up with to get to Ground Zero. The "Difficulty" spec describes how hard it is to find, retrieve and replace the cache once you get there. (Of course, this is true for Traditional caches; for Puzzle/Mystery caches it can also include the effort required to solve the puzzle. The "D" rating means different things for different caches.)

 

So, the fact that a cache is hidden two meters up a signpost is a factor for its DIFFICULTY rating, not its TERRAIN rating.

 

This may seem like splitting hairs (hares?) but it isn't. A cache ten feet up a poll in a parking lot could be rated "T1D5", meaning that you can roll up to it in a wheelchair, but you'll have a hell of a time getting it down. If you give the same cache a "T5" rating, someone might think something entirely different.

 

Subjective? You bet. Use the map and previous logs to plan your trip; your mileage may vary.

Edited by TeamRabbitRun

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I don't think this is a "T" issue.

 

A cache's "Terrain" rating is a description of the area AROUND a cache and what you have to put up with to get to Ground Zero. The "Difficulty" spec describes how hard it is to find, retrieve and replace the cache once you get there. (Of course, this is true for Traditional caches; for Puzzle/Mystery caches it can also include the effort required to solve the puzzle. The "D" rating means different things for different caches.)

 

So, the fact that a cache is hidden two meters up a signpost is a factor for its DIFFICULTY rating, not its TERRAIN rating.

 

This may seem like splitting hairs (hares?) but it isn't. A cache ten feet up a poll in a parking lot could be rated "T1D5", meaning that you can roll up to it in a wheelchair, but you'll have a hell of a time getting it down. If you give the same cache a "T5" rating, someone might think something entirely different.

 

Subjective? You bet. Use the map and previous logs to plan your trip; your mileage may vary.

 

In the GC D/T rating system http://www.geocaching.com/hide/rate.aspx

"Requires specialized equipment" falls under Terrain

If the cache is 6 feet+ up a post and requires the average solo adult female to bring a ladder, footstool, reaching device then I think it's fair to provide information that would help the average adult female cacher. Unless you think the average adult female cacher is not to be considered when determining terrain rating.

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I'm in the camp that if a cache is 25 feet up a pole in the middle of a paved, flat, level parking lot, the Terrain is rated as the easiest - 1. The difficulty of retrieving and replacing the cache would be pretty high, likely 4.5 or 5. If it'e only 10 feet up the pole, I would rate that one about 3 or 3.5 difficulty, as it could likely be reached and replaced with a grabber tool.

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I'm in the camp that if a cache is 25 feet up a pole in the middle of a paved, flat, level parking lot, the Terrain is rated as the easiest - 1. The difficulty of retrieving and replacing the cache would be pretty high, likely 4.5 or 5. If it'e only 10 feet up the pole, I would rate that one about 3 or 3.5 difficulty, as it could likely be reached and replaced with a grabber tool.

 

I thought the D rating relates to FINDING the cache, while the T relates to ACCESSING the cache. To me, your hypothetical would not be a T1; the cache is not wheelchair/handicap accessible. Note that the link cited above says "Answer the following questions based on the most difficult parts of the cache." When you have arrive at the base of the flagpole you still have an additional 25 feet to go so you are not yet at GZ.

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The terrain rating should reflect the cache placement. A 25 foot height gets a 4 to 5.

If it is above your reach it gets a 2 or better depending on how you get to it.

A hanger will use a TOTT to get it down (2-3) Need to climb due to attachemnt, again

height vs density of tree will determine terrain. 12 feet up a thick pine (2.5-3.5).

The main thing is it is all subjective to the hider. We just had a 1.5 terrain archived due to

poor terrain rate. It should have been a 3.5. The tree was taking damage due to poor placement.

Wired to a branch (DNA vial) 12 feet up real thick tree.

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I've seen elevated caches rated both ways. Some are designed for seekers to stay safely at ground level, and retrieve the cache with a tool of some sort; these have had higher difficulty ratings. Others are designed for seekers to climb or otherwise convey themselves up the tree/cliff/whatever; these have had higher terrain ratings.

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Hi GeoLog81,

 

Thanks for writing in to us. The cache owner is ultimately responsible for the Terrain and Difficulty rating of a geocache. The only time when we or a Reviewer might intervene is if the cache is listed as a Terrain 1 but is not wheelchair accessible. However, in this case the CO's Terrain 2 rating is not something we would object to. Typically the community's response to a mis-rated cache, if widespread enough, is enough to convince the cache owner to adjust it. Unfortunately we're not going to intervene if that's not the case. You're free to lodge your terrain/difficulty rating in a cache log, which may suffice to let other know that there's some debate about the accessibility

 

So the cache placed on 2 meters height can be T5 and Groundspeak finds it OK, but it can't be T1... It's an absurd

 

Maybe I should place some T5 under the bench in park just to make the point...

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Hi GeoLog81,

 

Thanks for writing in to us. The cache owner is ultimately responsible for the Terrain and Difficulty rating of a geocache. The only time when we or a Reviewer might intervene is if the cache is listed as a Terrain 1 but is not wheelchair accessible. However, in this case the CO's Terrain 2 rating is not something we would object to. Typically the community's response to a mis-rated cache, if widespread enough, is enough to convince the cache owner to adjust it. Unfortunately we're not going to intervene if that's not the case. You're free to lodge your terrain/difficulty rating in a cache log, which may suffice to let other know that there's some debate about the accessibility

 

So the cache placed on 2 meters height can be T5 and Groundspeak finds it OK, but it can't be T1... It's an absurd

 

Maybe I should place some T5 under the bench in park just to make the point...

I see what you did there ;)

 

Now that you're on a crusade to *fix* the rating system on the site, you might want to become familiar with a different portion of the Guidelines:

 

Geocaching is intended to be an enjoyable, family-friendly hobby, not a platform for an agenda.

 

It might be easier on the blood pressure just to take Groundspeak's advice on this one:

 

Typically the community's response to a mis-rated cache, if widespread enough, is enough to convince the cache owner to adjust it.

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