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Geocaching Etiquette 201: cache ownership comments

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8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

It can have an impact the other way too. I'd initially limited my PQ to T3.5 and lower as it's a short holiday and I won't be really prepared for what I'd consider a genuine T4, let alone a T4.5 which ought to be at the epitomy of those physically challenges that can be done without special equipment. It was only that I knew there was an EC on that mountain and saw that it wasn't in my PQ that I realised it was a T4.5.

 

There's another peak in the area (at 550 metres) which the park management says is only for very experienced and fit climbers, with warnings of falling rocks and debris, steep exposed rock faces and slabs, strong winds and frequent mist. Climbers are warned to always stay in pairs and never attempt it alone. There's no cache up there, though if there was it would definitely be a T4.5, but then how would you differentiate it from the other one where tourists take their kids to look at the views? Making everything with a bit of a climb a T4.5 just makes that rating rather useless.

 

Yes, I see how you missed out on getting that cache on your list of finds. But if had you visited that location, you would have had no trouble with those stairs, the 4.5 rating would not have stopped you from attempting it because you are physically fit to tackle high terrain (even if it turns out that it's not that difficult).

 

Compare that to the lady with bad knees. She filters for caches that are T1-2.5. She might have a couple of hours to cache while on her once-in-a-lifetime-trip to Australia, so she picks a low terrain cache with a lot of favourite points. She drives her rent-a-car  there only to stare up at a wall of rocky stairs she can't do. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 2:30 PM, thebruce0 said:

 

Right, there was that...

I think the vast majority of cases, true, but it's certainly not an absolute.

 

Sure but it works for a 201 level class. Not until you get to your senior year, the 401 level, do we discuss No Absolutes. 

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23 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

There's another peak in the area (at 550 metres) which the park management says is only for very experienced and fit climbers, with warnings of falling rocks and debris, steep exposed rock faces and slabs, strong winds and frequent mist. Climbers are warned to always stay in pairs and never attempt it alone. There's no cache up there, though if there was it would definitely be a T4.5, but then how would you differentiate it from the other one where tourists take their kids to look at the views? Making everything with a bit of a climb a T4.5 just makes that rating rather useless.

 

This:

14 hours ago, AuQu said:

Yes, I see how you missed out on getting that cache on your list of finds. But if had you visited that location, you would have had no trouble with those stairs, the 4.5 rating would not have stopped you from attempting it because you are physically fit to tackle high terrain (even if it turns out that it's not that difficult).

 

Compare that to the lady with bad knees. She filters for caches that are T1-2.5. She might have a couple of hours to cache while on her once-in-a-lifetime-trip to Australia, so she picks a low terrain cache with a lot of favourite points. She drives her rent-a-car  there only to stare up at a wall of rocky stairs she can't do. 

 

I understand your concern with the fact the one T4.5 is nothing like the other T4.5, and if you take it to extremes then I have said "to a reasonable degree" (and the arbiter of 'reasonable' would essentially be a local reviewer if you were to report a cache as badly off its rating).  But that's really as far as the concern goes - a technicality that can be cleared up.  Being overrated is less 'harmful', as it were, than being underrated.  A person putting themselves in unexpected danger is more significant than not having the cache show up in a search of targets because it was incorrectly rated 'too hard'.

Edited by thebruce0
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8 hours ago, AuQu said:

Yes, I see how you missed out on getting that cache on your list of finds. But if had you visited that location, you would have had no trouble with those stairs, the 4.5 rating would not have stopped you from attempting it because you are physically fit to tackle high terrain (even if it turns out that it's not that difficult).

 

You're right, I'd have no trouble with the stairs, it's just that I wouldn't have found the cache because it wouldn't have been in my PQ.

 

8 hours ago, AuQu said:

Compare that to the lady with bad knees. She filters for caches that are T1-2.5. She might have a couple of hours to cache while on her once-in-a-lifetime-trip to Australia, so she picks a low terrain cache with a lot of favourite points. She drives her rent-a-car  there only to stare up at a wall of rocky stairs she can't do. 

 

Nowhere did I say that cache should have been T2.5 or lower. From my memory of when I last did that climb, I think 3.5 would be reasonable. But I do have quite a few T2.5 hides of my own that have steps, like my most recent hide GC88K3H where the park has two levels joined by a 10 metre flight of stone steps. The Help Centre definition for that rating is "Terrain may have small elevation changes or moderate overgrowth" so I'm not sure how you get can't have steps from that. In fact, if getting to the cache is along a constructed path with no steps (or steep inclines), I'd make it a T2 (The hike is less than 2 miles (3 km) along well-defined paths with no significant elevation change or overgrowth).

 

Consider the opposite extreme of an adventure junkie who makes her once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia and picked that region because of all the T4.5s, but finds one after another they're just tourist lookouts where elderly couples take their grandkids. I'm sure she'd be just as disappointed as your lady with bad knees.

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9 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Being overrated is less 'harmful', as it were, than being underrated.  A person putting themselves in unexpected danger is more significant than not having the cache show up in a search of targets because it was incorrectly rated 'too hard'.

 

Not necessarily, if overrated caches like this become sufficiently commonplace that cachers, especially newcomers, start to think that all T4.5's are little more than a walk in the park with a hill climb and then get themselves into strife when they finally strike one that isn't. It's a bit like all the Danger Use Extreme Caution! signs that have started popping up just about anywhere there isn't a concrete path with a handrail, which leads to people becoming blase about warning signs and ignoring them, thinking they only apply to those with limited mobility. The end result is the serious injuries and even deaths that occur at places like the Figure 8 Pool south of Sydney, which is heavily signposted about the very real danger of attempting it other than right at low tide with slight seas, with the government now considering closing access entirely because the signs are being ignored.

 

We all have different physical abilities when it comes to caching. A fit 20 or 30 year old might be able to do two or three genuine T4.5 caches in a day (I know one who has), whereas at my age (64), I'll give careful consideration and planning for anything T4 and will generally only attempt a T4.5 with a group (unless it's really a T5-lite boat-access or ladder-access cache). There are others a bit older than me who won't do anything higher than a T3 now. That's fine when caches are rated correctly, and is why it's important at the higher end of the scale as well as the lower end.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

especially newcomers, start to think that all T4.5's are little more than a walk in the park

I have come across the opposite; a newby rating a tree climb (admittedly a small tree) as 1.5 T. Their explanation, when they basically told me they know better than me, was the walk to the tree was flat. "Read the instructions," I was told.

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And sheesh, going to the extremes again. Ratings can vary within reason, and the arbiter of 'reason' are reviewers to whom people who think there is sufficient problem with ratings go when reporting a cache. If ratings are so off that they can cause danger to people who think differently, I wouldn't call that a reasonable inaccuracy.

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