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5 minutes ago, Keystone said:

If Reviewers are expected to take action when an inaccurate D/T rating or cache size is brought to our attention, this will require changes to the guidance given to the Reviewers by Geocaching HQ.

 

I fully understand that but what's our recourse?  If safety of our fellow cachers is potentially at issue (per GW's stated reason for a need of correct D/T ratings) due to a 1.5 T cache that's actually a tree climb or something more difficult, and the CO ignores or deletes our NM logs, what are we to do?  Let me see if I got this right.  GS desires its hiders to provide as much accuracy as possible with regard to location, size, D/T rating, permission, etc... in order to get it published but doesn't have any manner of adjudication or correction should the supposedly accurate information being provided be determined to be wildly inaccurate by the finders of the cache.  This basically means that there is no problem to address because the CO is always right, even when they're wrong.

 

How can there be a problem if the CO is always right?  (Insert sarcasm here)

Finder - There's a problem.  The CO rated this 40 ft. tree climb as a 1.5 T.

Reviewer - There's no problem. It's not wrong because that's what the CO rated it.  My hands are tied.

Finder - Your own rating system rates it as a 3.5.

Reviewer - Doesn't matter.  It's not a problem because the CO's ratings are what it is.  Well, it is and it isn't.  However, ultimately, they're right and you're wrong and I'm not empowered to do anything about it.

Finder - OK.  It also said that it's a large cache but it's a matchstick container zip tied to a limb, 40 ft. up.

Reviewer - Doesn't matter.  Again, the CO is right.  GS doesn't believe this is a problem cache.  Well, it is and it isn't but there's nothing I can do about that.

Finder - I disagree but apparently I'm wrong, despite your own definitions/suggestions regarding terrain and size of the cache.  What can I do?

Reviewer - Nothing, other than to notify the CO, via your log, that you think the rating and size are off.  I can't do anything to correct it because, well, I can't.  Only the CO can and they're adamant that this cache is a large 1.5/1.5, despite whatever you, I, or the guidelines might stipulate to the contrary.  I suggest you put this cache on your ignore list.

 

I realize this is a laughable dialogue, but at its core, it's the truth.  Until such time as HQ gives reviewers the ability/option to take action for a cache like the one I facetiously created, there's nothing anyone (reviewer or finder) can do to get a CO to fix a cache that egregiously deviates from the very guidelines and suggestions that GS asks us to follow.

 

29 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Having this responsibility would materially impair my enjoyment of the game when I'm in "player mode."  I'm ethically obligated to call out guideline violations when I see them out in the field as a player.  Sometimes these interactions with cache owners are unpleasant and can lead to ramifications to my player account, such as retributive deletions of my logs.  If I had to take action after finding any park 'n grab challenge cache with a five star terrain rating, or any micro cache that should be listed as a small, I would be very busy and very unhappy.

 

Only if you felt obligated to point out these issues as minor annoyances and things not really worth more than a passing mention of in a log, like most of us already do.  If you're one of the "black and white" cachers, stringently adhering to the guidelines every time you find a cache and pointing out every violation, then yes, this would probably affect you adversely, if it doesn't do so already.  If you're like a majority of us out there, then we let certain things slide and other things not slide, depending on what we feel is best for us and our particular locale's generally accepted actions.  I'll replace a full log while GW won't because that's what works for me and that's what works for them.  Am I in violation of the guidelines?  Technically, yes, but when GS puts out an article that says that log replacement is suggested as one of the things that can be beneficial and help out other COs, then apparently I have their blessing, despite a contradiction between what is stated in the guidelines and what is stated in a GS approved "message" for public consumption.  

 

38 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Until such time as a reviewer actually comes on here and says that they're not allowed to evaluate a post-publication cache for an inaccurate T rating (especially one that's like your tree climb, your shelter, or your 2001 cache example) or any other thing that might be wrong with a required submission field for publication (attributes are optional), then I'm going to assume that this would fall under a lack of maintenance, as it applies to cache page maintenance.

 

Seeing as how Keystone has said reviewers aren't allowed to do anything like this, it appears that my idea isn't a viable solution because apparently GS doesn't see this as a problem that should even be addressed by its reviewers.  A CO's ratings, even if we believe them to be incorrect, are apparently inviolate so that means that technically, there is no problem to fix because the CO can't be required to change their ratings, even by GS, or more accurately the reviewers they employ to make sure the cache meets and maintains the listing requirements.  Their ratings are right and valid and everyone else that thinks differently is technically wrong.

 

I am in agreement with both JL and GW (and any others) who say there are incorrectly rated caches out there that should be fixed.  I just don't agree with them about the severity of the problem and the "need" for a fix.  Despite that, you've basically told us that there is absolutely nothing we can do to rectify this problem (however big it might actually be) other than to do what I suspect most all of us have already been doing.  According to GS, there apparently isn't any problem to address because they've not provided you with any guidance that allows you to rectify cache ratings that are blatantly incorrect and could, potentially, place a cacher who doesn't read previous logs, in harms way and at serious risk of injury.

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2 hours ago, coachstahly said:

If you're not willing to get a reviewer involved to force the CO's hand, then no solution will ever be arrived at as it stands right now.  Despite your stated concern regarding the potential safety of your fellow cachers that an incorrectly rated cache could have, you're OK not doing anything that requires the CO to act (via reviewer intervention) and would be OK waiting for a program that will probably never get implemented due to the variability and subjectivity of D/T ratings wherever geocaches exist.

 

Apparently there's nothing a reviewer can do to require a CO to act so this completely invalidates any of my previous points that use reviewer action to attempt to correct size or D/T ratings.

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3 hours ago, coachstahly said:

So what is our remedy to fix something that's obviously incorrect but the CO refuses to do anything about?  Are you saying that a reviewer can't do anything at all if a cacher finds a cache that is rated as a 1.5 T but is up in a tree, files the NM and then files the NA?  If that's the case, then the CO is always right, even when they're wrong which means that there is no need to consider implementing a finder driven feedback system because the CO is always right and everyone else's opinions, despite evidence to the contrary within the guidelines and help center, are irrelevant.

 

Our opinions about a cache's rating or size, even if they are more closely aligned with the guidelines than the CO's ratings, are useless.  Based on Keystone's statement, a rating system that would be created that would replace the CO's actual rating would not be used because only the CO can change the D/T.  A side by side rating could be used but I don't think GS would allow it to be used on the site because it would act as a "check" on the accuracy, thereby calling into question the validity of the cache, which would then call into question the validity of the rating system they use to list their caches.  Their ratings would be less relevant, meaning the submission of a cache and the accuracy they require to get it published isn't really required.

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10 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Any CO where I regularly need to read the cache logs before searching is a CO going on my Ignore list.

 

That's one tidy solution to the problem for some, so no new method (current topic) would be needed in those cases.

 

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9 hours ago, coachstahly said:

They don't review ratings during the publication process.

The only 1T cache I have published, was held up for a week while I proved to the reviewer it was 1T, which it was.

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8 hours ago, coachstahly said:

And you know this how?

Read the comment by a reviewer just before your comments.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Any CO where I regularly need to read the cache logs before searching is a CO going on my Ignore list.

 

On many of the higher terrain caches I do, I'm keen to read previous logs to get a feel for what I'm likely to be up against. Often I'll put them on my watchlist as soon as they're published for that very purpose. It helps me to decide whether I should bring some rope, a ladder or even a friend to help get me to GZ. For example, the terrain 4.5 cache I did for my 1000th find was one I'd been planning for a couple of years and, at the time it was published, the satellite images suggested the easiest approach might be along a ridge line from the north rather than from the south-east as the CO suggested. However a few of the earlier finders took that northern route and reported that it was tough going with dense scrub - this is what one of those finders had to say:

 

Quote

Today was the day, I decided, but I grossly underestimated the amount of time it would take. My guess of about 3.5 hours from car to car was about half of what it took! I used the parking waypoint and trailhead of another nearby cache. I parked just after 10AM and the trailhead was about 1km away by tarmac, so easy going. I then headed to another waypoint for that cache, but took the worst route. The satellite photo shows two possible routes to this waypoint - a windy way and a straighter wider road to the west, which I took. This has become considerably overgrown since the satellite photo and was very up and down, so I was exhausted by the time I reached the waypoint, after about an hour.

Now I needed to head south. With no obvious tracks, I chose to stick to ridge tops for as much as I could, which reduced the bushbash a little, but was still hard going. There were at least a couple of long ridges to follow. By around 1pm, I was about 800m from GZ. I'd seen hardly any critters, other than a bajillion golden orb spiders, and there were few signs of people, with the exception of what looked like a depiled trig station and a small cairn. Then, a crashing in the undergrowth below me. A wallaby? Some large mammal? As the crashing got closer I realised it was a person, and soon recognised the familiar face of xxxxxxx. No-one's been here since November and now 2 cachers in one day? Hilarious! xxxxxxx had already found the cache and was heading back, I still had to head down. After a brief geochat, we parted ways, in my case to keep going to GZ.

 

About 40 minutes after leaving xxxxxxx, I was at GZ and found the cache after a short search. This last leg had been some of the heaviest bush bashing so far with few breaks along the ridges, so had been very hard going. By now, I'd been out for just under 4 hours, already over my guess for the return trip, but I still had to head back. I took a couple of photos, briefly enjoyed the view and had to head off (now I wish I'd brought a tent to stay the night). I returned the way I came, however instead of my feet feeling like they had 10kg weights on them, the way up felt like they had 100kg weights, Each step was hard work, and I had no water.

 

It started feeling like an episode of "I shouldn't be alive". I was getting very light-headed and needed to lie down every few hundred metres so as not to pass out. So much bush bashing and spider removal. Finally I made it to near that waypoint I mentioned earlier (from another cache) and had to head back to the trailhead. This time I bashed downhill to the other track that I could see on satellite view and when I finally got to it, I was so relieved to see that this was a much better track. After all the bush bashing, this way was luxury, even though it was still quite up and down. Finally back to the trailhead and tarmac; now the walk back to the parking waypoint felt like it went forever, but I was so relieved to finally see the car at about 5pm, 7 hours after I'd left it.

 

So after reading that and a couple of similar logs, including that by xxxxxxx, I decided to use the CO's recommended route after all. It was still pretty tough going for our troupe of four, taking us 8 hours for the return journey although we spent about an hour at GZ and had a couple of other rest breaks along the way. I think we made the right choice.

 

Reading past logs is a good idea on caches like this, unless of course you're the FTF. Probably why I don't get many FTFs on high terrain caches! Even if the cache is rated correctly and has a detailed description, there's still a lot of helpful stuff to be gleaned from previous logs.

Edited by barefootjeff

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19 hours ago, ecanderson said:

That's one tidy solution to the problem for some, so no new method (current topic) would be needed in those cases.

 

By your logic, people speeding on the interstate highways isn't a problem if I never drive on those highways. 

 

Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.

 

17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Reading past logs is a good idea on caches like this, unless of course you're the FTF. Probably why I don't get many FTFs on high terrain caches! Even if the cache is rated correctly and has a detailed description, there's still a lot of helpful stuff to be gleaned from previous logs.

 

I didn't say I never read logs before seeking a cache. I said if a particular CO regularly necessitated this. Especially for more mundane hides.

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

By your logic, people speeding on the interstate highways isn't a problem if I never drive on those highways. 

 

Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.

 

 

I didn't say I never read logs before seeking a cache. I said if a particular CO regularly necessitated this. Especially for more mundane hides.

I'm saying that if one of you chooses to put COs like that on 'ignore', then for you, the issue ceases to exist.  That CO is no longer a problem for you, so you need no new solution.   The rest of us are able to deal with the issue in our own ways.

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3 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

I'm saying that if one of you chooses to put COs like that on 'ignore', then for you, the issue ceases to exist.  That CO is no longer a problem for you, so you need no new solution.  

 

Can you put a CO on an ignore list?

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Have never had reason to, but seems I've read about certain finders here having done that.  Perhaps they're adding the CO's caches to their ignore list as they come up, creating the same basic result?

I do all my work with GSAK, where one could easily ignore by owner by filtering them out of any list.

 

 

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14 hours ago, ecanderson said:

I'm saying that if one of you chooses to put COs like that on 'ignore', then for you, the issue ceases to exist.  That CO is no longer a problem for you, so you need no new solution.   The rest of us are able to deal with the issue in our own ways.

 

Bad COs are bad for geocaching.

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16 hours ago, WW41 said:

 

Can you put a CO on an ignore list?

Unfortunately not apparently; only individual caches.

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On 4/26/2020 at 8:40 PM, Goldenwattle said:

The only 1T cache I have published, was held up for a week while I proved to the reviewer it was 1T, which it was.

 

But that is the only objective T rating within the 9 ratings.    A 1 T cache is the ONLY T rating that is enforceable and it's done prepublication in order to make sure that it meets the requirements needed to be a 1 T (wheelchair accessible).  There is NO other rating that requires any such vetting, either by a reviewer or the community.  Even a 5 T isn't consistently applied as I've found paddle caches that needed a boat rated at 4.5.  This particular example has been in place since what, 2006?  

 

Also, should a cacher change their 1.5 T rated cache to a 1 T rated cache after publication, it appears that reviewers aren't allowed to address T rating problems that are brought up post-publication, meaning that the only objectively based T rating would be unenforceable and reviewers wouldn't be able to address an incorrectly rated 1 T cache.  If a reviewer has the ability to mandate a change, then that would/could/should open the door for reviewer intervention in other T rated cache inconsistencies.

 

On 4/26/2020 at 8:42 PM, Goldenwattle said:

Read the comment by a reviewer just before your comments.

 

Did you see my post 6 hours earlier saying that my assertion was wrong and therefore all my posts were therefore irrelevant as well as incorrect?  I have no problem being told that my points are wrong, when proven wrong with facts that contradict any belief I may have had.  A reviewer/moderator came on here (after this discussion got going) and stated that reviewers aren't allowed to address incorrectly rated caches.  

 

As to that particular sentence (guidance from HQ prohibiting reviewer action on ratings), why aren't you and JL bringing up the lack of "oversight" that could help prevent COs from inaccurately rating their caches (D/T and size)?  I would think that this would be something that would be problematic for you as it basically states that whatever the CO rates it, despite ANY evidence to the contrary from multiple finders, is correct and there's nothing anyone can do to get that rating changed.  You do understand the ramifications of that sentence from Keystone, right?  A CO is always right and can't be ordered/forced/required to change a 1.5 T tree climb into a rating that more accurately depicts what to expect.  This makes the problem worse, not better, because there is no solution.  COs, like the ones you have brought up that keep the ratings artificially low so that new cachers can have access to them in the free app, are infallible when it comes to ratings and there's nothing that can be done, either by you or by a reviewer.

 

On 4/26/2020 at 8:17 PM, ecanderson said:

Kind of brings us full circle, doesn't it?

 

 

Yep.  I don't quite understand the notion that GS wants us to be as accurate as possible when we place a hide for others to find, knowing that there are some COs (not a lot, but some) who willfully rate their caches incorrectly (and won't fix them despite repeated comments in logs from finders) and that there's no recourse for finders or reviewers to hold the CO accountable.

 

17 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.

 

But that's exactly what GS is doing since they're not allowing reviewers to do anything to address this.  They're ignoring it as well but instead of coming out against their stance, you're focusing on our attempted solutions, even if they don't directly address the problem.  As it stands right now, the only recourse you have regarding caches that are incorrectly rated/sized is to put them on the ignore list or go find them, mention that the rating on the cache page is wrong, and hope that they change it on their own, despite all previous indications that they're not going to.  

 

Even this suggested finder feedback system isn't a solution.  It will provide you with some numbers that more accurately reflect what the finders believe it to be but it won't change the rating, only provide a counter rating.  That's not a solution to the problem; it's a stopgap that does nothing to get the CO to rate it correctly.  It will still be inaccurately rated and what the CO lists as the T rating or size will be what GS accepts for purposes of including it in a PQ.    Like the ignore feature and the comments we can make in our logs, it's a workaround solution, not an actual solution.

 

2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Bad COs are bad for geocaching.

 

I really don't think anyone disagrees with you.  As it pertains specifically to incorrectly rated caches (D/T and sizing in particular), HQ doesn't care, at least in any manner that requires their action to get the CO to fix an inaccurately rated or sized cache.  Reviewers aren't granted any ability to hold COs accountable for incorrectly rated caches, despite evidence to the contrary from multiple finders.  

 

I understand, to some extent, the reasoning behind why they're limiting reviewers' options in this regard. T ratings, with the exception of a 1 T, are subjective, so much so that GS realizes that and stipulates that the terrain should be based on the standards of your area.  Within each area, there's still some disparity but generally speaking, that variance doesn't really amount to much more than a 1/2 a star (Yep, there it is again!) up or down, i.e. a CO rates it as a 2.5 and most everyone else in the area comes in at a 2, 2.5, or 3.  It's close enough to be minimal and doesn't really matter that much.  However, if GS were to provide some means of reviewer action upon a NM and the subsequent NA, due to CO inaction on the raised maintenance issue, then the possibility exists that reviewers will be required to act upon NA logs filed by those finders who are adamant that the 2.5 T cache they just found is actually a 3 T and that the CO needs to fix it.  EVERY preform that is listed incorrectly as a small, whose CO refuses to change it, will need reviewer attention, diverting much more of their attention away from their other responsibilities that things would significantly slow down.  

 

The potential workload increase would be huge.  So, they mitigate that workload by making an assumption that the problem isn't one that needs to be addressed by reviewers.  While I don't agree with a preform being sized as a small, the actual "harm" that comes from this is minimal.  The potential solution (allowing reviewers to act upon a NA for an incorrect size issue) is far more detrimental to them and their volunteers than the current practice in place, which asks that finders mention the discrepancy in their logs and hope (assume?) that the CO changes it.  

 

However, the stakes get a bit more difficult to accept when it comes to T ratings.  A tree climb is not a 1.5 T.  Depending on lots of different factors, it could be anywhere from a 2 (limb is 1.5 feet off the ground and the cache is reachable from the ground for taller people) to a 5 (although I don't think I've ever encountered or heard of a 1.5 T tree climb that requires tree climbing equipment).  As GW has pointed out, someone expecting a relatively tame 1.5 T cache now finds themselves potentially at risk of bodily harm due to the possibility of falling out of a tree.  However, GS hopes that cachers, on their own, will be suitably discouraged from attempting to find ANY cache that they feel might put them at risk of injury or danger.  In order to cover their butts, every cache page has a disclaimer that puts the onus on the seeker for every situation they may encounter when going after a cache.  That absolves them from liability for any incorrectly rated cache that might be listed on their site, even ones that are rated incorrectly on purpose.  

 

"Neither Groundspeak Inc., nor any agent, officer, employee of Groundspeak Inc. or any geocaching community volunteer warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information and shall not be liable for any losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, portions may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on information obtained from Geocaching.com does so at his or her own risk.

Geocaching, hiking, backpacking and other outdoor activities involve risk to both persons and property. There are many variables including, but not limited to, weather, fitness level, terrain features and outdoor experience, that must be considered prior to seeking or placing a Cache. Be prepared for your journey and be sure to check the current weather and conditions before heading outdoors. Always exercise common sense and caution."

 

I disagree that EVERY effort is made, but also realize that their options are limited.  They could come up with some semblance of a manner in which to address incorrectly rated caches that recognizes a variance over 1 star or more so as to help address the problem and accuracy but it's unlikely, given the fact that they know that "...portions may be incorrect or not current...."  and that they don't warrant "...the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information...".  Therefore it's up to the person or entity to determine the viability of attempting to find a cache that is known to be incorrect or based on outdated information.  Any action GS takes on their part to address something like an inaccurately rated tree climb cache could mean that their responsibility for the information presented on this site isn't limited in scope and their liability for such information, if incorrect, is now at stake.  I follow up that remark with the statement that I'm not a lawyer so I'm not certain that is truly the issue behind a lack of accountability that might be placed upon the CO that is mandated by "...Groundspeak Inc., ... any agent, officer, employee of Groundspeak Inc. or any geocaching community volunteer."

 

Even though they hope that COs get the information submitted for each cache as accurately as possible, they realize that there is no guarantee and they can't hold those parties accountable for that accuracy, even though it's in their best interest, because then their responsibility to do so appears to make them liable for any information that is wrong.  There will never be a solution and the only thing that could be created is a third party workaround.  I don't think they could use it, officially, because then that means they are attempting to validate the accuracy of the supplied information, which goes against their disclaimer and could possibly open them up to liability issues (again, IANAL).

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

But that's exactly what GS is doing since they're not allowing reviewers to do anything to address this.

This makes it sound like there are reviewers who are eager to get involved with disputes over difficulty/terrain ratings, but Groundspeak is holding them back.

 

I don't think that's the case at all. Difficulty and terrain ratings are subjective, and I don't think the reviewers want to get involved in more disputes between geocachers over subjective issues.

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5 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Bad COs are bad for geocaching.

 

Bad geocachers are bad for geocaching.

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8 hours ago, niraD said:

This makes it sound like there are reviewers who are eager to get involved with disputes over difficulty/terrain ratings, but Groundspeak is holding them back.

 

I didn't think of like that.  I was just saying that GS HQ doesn't provide the guidance needed to reviewers to be able to evaluate any such action a reviewer might be called to by a cacher filing a NA.  I didn't mean to imply that any reviewers wanted to.  My bad.

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How do you know WHAT guidance HQ has provided to their reviewers?

 

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22 hours ago, ecanderson said:

How do you know WHAT guidance HQ has provided to their reviewers?

 

 

"If Reviewers are expected to take action when an inaccurate D/T rating or cache size is brought to our attention, this will require changes to the guidance given to the Reviewers by Geocaching HQ."

 

What I'm inferring from this quote from Keystone (page 2) is that the current guidance from HQ they have in place appears to prohibit them from taking any sort of action with regard to someone filing a NA for an incorrect D/T or size once a cache has been published (and without any implication that any of them want to).  The reason I say post-publication is due to the 1T rating and a reviewer's apparent responsibility to ensure that it's wheelchair accessible pre-publication.  

 

No specific reasons have been given for this lack of guidance and I don't expect any reviewers to chime in (perhaps they don't even know the reasons behind this), but one could always hope they (or a lackey) offer up some information on this topic that could clarify things.  I believe that the lack of reviewer guidance pertaining to this topic might have to do with the potential liability that something like this might confer upon the the parent company, as mentioned in the disclaimer on each and every cache page.  

 

 

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21 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

What I'm inferring from this quote from Keystone (page 2) is that the current guidance from HQ they have in place appears to prohibit them from taking any sort of action with regard to someone filing a NA for an incorrect D/T or size once a cache has been published (and without any implication that any of them want to).  

The reason I say post-publication is due to the 1T rating and a reviewer's apparent responsibility to ensure that it's wheelchair accessible pre-publication.  

No specific reasons have been given for this lack of guidance and I don't expect any reviewers to chime in (perhaps they don't even know the reasons behind this), but one could always hope they (or a lackey) offer up some information on this topic that could clarify things.  I believe that the lack of reviewer guidance pertaining to this topic might have to do with the potential liability that something like this might confer upon the the parent company, as mentioned in the disclaimer on each and every cache page.  

 

I feel you may be reading way too much into that quote.     :)

I don't feel they're "prohibited" ...  it could very-well be that they never thought it an issue to concern themselves with in the first place...

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Posted (edited)

OK.  Misunderstood your point.  I think you can INFER what the guidance has been.  There's a general rule of thumb that I think you'll find is applied to how reviewers deal with cache page submissions and the owners' responsibilities for maintenance of the page.  There are a few basics that are made clear by gc.com in their guides on submitting caches for review, but those determine whether the reviewer accepts the submission for publication - ahead of publication. 

 

While accuracy of listing content is certainly preferred, you do not typically find reviewers making any post-publishing modifications to a published listing UNLESS a) a 3rd party complains about the consequences or legitimacy of the placement itself (sometimes even a legitimate placement with complaints by outside parties, sometimes issues of permission, etc), where the cache needs to be moved for archived, or b) in the case of very wrong or very modified coordinates (past the 528' owner movement limit), an owner requests that the reviewer make the necessary coordinate change.  I think you can infer from what reviewers do and do NOT do exactly what their guidance is.  That's how you can pretty well 'know' what the guidelines for reviewers are.  Just two areas then: outright archiving for whatever reason, and coordinate changes that the owner cannot manage.

 

I think the area where we have some variability is in the guideline interpretation for the reviewing process itself and in tolerance for things leading to archiving.  So you can tell that there IS guidance being provided there, but that the results of the interpretation of those guidelines are sometimes inconsistent between reviewers. 

 

I have to agree with Keystone that this kind of request could easily generate a huge time sink for reviewers, but also believe that comments about excessively whacked D/T or incorrect size have traditionally and rather successfully been left to logs. 

Edited by ecanderson

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4 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

I feel you may be reading way too much into that quote.     :)

I don't feel they're "prohibited" ...  it could very-well be that they never thought it an issue to concern themselves with in the first place...

 

Based on the reading of what was written, they can't take action, as it currently stands, if anyone calls their attention to caches that are rated or sized incorrectly due to a lack of guidance from HQ.  While it may not be a prohibition, there's still nothing they can do without further guidance, clarification, and/or instruction.    I agree with you that there may not be anything in place for this so calling it a prohibition is probably too strong, but it was the first word that came to mind.  Unauthorized to deal with an incorrectly rated or sized cache perhaps?

 

4 hours ago, ecanderson said:

While accuracy of listing content is certainly preferred, you do not typically find reviewers making any post-publishing modifications to a published listing UNLESS a) a 3rd party complains about the consequences or legitimacy of the placement itself (sometimes even a legitimate placement with complaints by outside parties, sometimes issues of permission, etc), where the cache needs to be moved for archived, or b) in the case of very wrong or very modified coordinates (past the 528' owner movement limit), an owner requests that the reviewer make the necessary coordinate change.  I think you can infer from what reviewers do and do NOT do exactly what their guidance is.  That's how you can pretty well 'know' what the guidelines for reviewers are.  Just two areas then: outright archiving for whatever reason, and coordinate changes that the owner cannot manage.

 

I'm not asking for reviewers to be responsible for D/T ratings (except 1 T) or sizes pre-publication (although a picture of the actual cache container could be a requirement in the future to address size issues but I'm not sure that's a desirable suggestion).  I'm also not asking reviewers to make the modifications to the incorrectly rated or incorrectly sized caches post-publication, nor do I think that would be warranted, except in the scenarios you've suggested.  That should be upon the CO to fix since they are the ones that got it wrong to begin with, according to those that have found the cache to be far enough removed from what the CO rated/sized it to be noticeably wrong.  My suggested idea (NM/NA for inaccurate ratings) wouldn't ask them to do anything different than they currently do for any other type of maintenance issue that they've been notified in order to prod the CO into action.  See if the complaint warrants any action on their part.  If it doesn't, then the situation is resolved.  If it does, then the reviewer disables the cache to allow the CO time (less than actual maintenance issues as this doesn't entail anyone actually going to GZ to fix it up, just a quick online change on the cache page) to fix the incorrect rating or size.    The outcome, should the CO choose to ignore it, is for the reviewer to archive the cache.

 

It's not a different process for the reviewer although it's for a different aspect of maintenance - cache page maintenance vs. cache maintenance.  The difference lies in the amount of work this could possibly entail for reviewers if every Tom, Dick, and Harry files an ignored NM log and then follows it up with a NA log because they think the 2.5 T cache is really a 3 T and that a preform isn't really a small (which it isn't).  While it is frustrating to find inaccurately rated caches (and I've found caches with both size and D/T wrong), I really don't think it's a big enough problem to address with anything, be it a finder driven feedback system or the possibility of reviewers, once called to a cache, being able to archive a cache if the CO doesn't get it right, other than the current ability we have to make note of it in our logs and hope that COs change it on their own.

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There is no lack of guidance.  Rather, the clear guidance is that reviewers are not the D/T police.

Even pre-publication, in the narrow use case of T1 caches, our obligation is to question the hider if they use the wheelchair accessible attribute with a T rating greater than 1 star, or if they fail to use that attribute with a T rating of 1 star.  The cache owner is asked to correct whichever is wrong - the rating or the attribute.  This is by no means a "guarantee" that the reviewer agrees the cache is wheelchair accessible.

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Posted (edited)

Earlier in this thread I wrote:

 

On 4/21/2020 at 8:40 AM, barefootjeff said:

In 2014, I placed a cache part way up Blackwall Mountain which I rated terrain 2.5. Access is mostly along a dirt track that steadily rises about 40 metres over a few hundred metres horizontal distance. Back then, the Help Centre chart didn't exist so I used the Clayjar method to rate it. Clayjar doesn't do the half-stars but this is what it gives for that cache:

 

image.png.c6f2f972c7fb5370d9c3fd807d26ee95.png

 

It rated it a 3, but their definition of a 3 says "terrain is likely off-trail. May have one or more of the following: some overgrowith, some steep elevation changes, or more than a 2 mile hike". It didn't have any of those - it's nearly all on-trail with little overgrowth, no steep elevation changes and a hike of only a few hundred metres, so I rated it a 2.5. In fact, by the Clayjar definitions, it'd just about qualify as a 2 except the area right at GZ isn't really suitable for small children.

 

But if I was rating it today using the Help Centre chart, maybe I'd make it a 3 because there are some rock steps on the track that would make it difficult to ride a bike up there, and maybe a 40 metre elevation change isn't really "small" even if it's spread over a reasonable distance. And I guess I'm 6 years older now so what felt like a 2.5 then is getting closer to a 3. So I'm still scratching my head about this one and others like it.

 

Today I did the walk up the hill as it's sufficiently close to home to qualify as permitted socially-distant exercise and, with a couple of recent newbie finds, I wanted to make sure the cache had been rehidden to my exacting standards. Anyway, this is the walk up so you can judge for yourselves whether it's a reasonable 2.5 or if it should be a 3 (or even higher I guess).

 

BackwallMountainClimb.jpg.670fc6ede70f5b26549ab974571fe2c1.jpg

 

The track continues up along the rocks between the two trees near the top right of the photo. Obviously you can't ride a bike up there which seems to be a criterion used on some of the rating schemes, but I doubt many seekers of this cache would be trying to do that anyway even if there weren't steps.

 

Edited by barefootjeff

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16 hours ago, Keystone said:

There is no lack of guidance.  Rather, the clear guidance is that reviewers are not the D/T police.

Even pre-publication, in the narrow use case of T1 caches, our obligation is to question the hider if they use the wheelchair accessible attribute with a T rating greater than 1 star, or if they fail to use that attribute with a T rating of 1 star.  The cache owner is asked to correct whichever is wrong - the rating or the attribute.  This is by no means a "guarantee" that the reviewer agrees the cache is wheelchair accessible.

 

This pretty much states that there is a prohibition against reviewers being able to address a NA due to incorrect D/T ratings (I assume size as well).  I really don't have a problem with this.  Again, I understand the reasoning, especially considering how much ratings can vary from area to area as well as the amount of extra work this could cause reviewers, but in obvious cases where the T rating is wrong (tree climb rated at 1.5 T) it seems that there should be some other recourse available other than to know that nothing can be done unless the CO feels compelled to fix it themselves.  

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8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Earlier in this thread I wrote:

 

 

Today I did the walk up the hill as it's sufficiently close to home to qualify as permitted socially-distant exercise and, with a couple of recent newbie finds, I wanted to make sure the cache had been rehidden to my exacting standards. Anyway, this is the walk up so you can judge for yourselves whether it's a reasonable 2.5 or if it should be a 3 (or even higher I guess).

 

BackwallMountainClimb.jpg.670fc6ede70f5b26549ab974571fe2c1.jpg

 

The track continues up along the rocks between the two trees near the top right of the photo. Obviously you can't ride a bike up there which seems to be a criterion used on some of the rating schemes, but I doubt many seekers of this cache would be trying to do that anyway even if there weren't steps.

 

 

I agree with your rating and would say it's a 2.5 T.  Steeper or longer I might consider bumping it up to a 3 but I wouldn't go any higher than that.  

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