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BigOpe

High Caches -- Grrrr!

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Around Tucson of late, there seems to be a craze for placing caches in high locations -- way up out of reach on a street sign or up in a tree or on top of a power transformer box -- so one has to have a stepstool or one of those reaching tools to have any hope of retrieving them.  (Since I do a lot of my caching on a motor scooter, carrying along such things is not really possible.)  Is this happening everywhere, or is it just a Sonoran desert thing?  I find it a bit annoying, frankly, because at my age climbing is no longer one of my favorite activities.  If there were an attribute for these I'd frankly be tempted to put them on my ignore list.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BigOpe said:

Around Tucson of late, there seems to be a craze for placing caches in high locations ...

Is this happening everywhere, or is it just a Sonoran desert thing?  I find it a bit annoying, frankly, because at my age climbing is no longer one of my favorite activities. 

If there were an attribute for these I'd frankly be tempted to put them on my ignore list.

 

Here it seems whenever someone completed a "high" cache (often their first), they may place similar soon afterward.:)

Tree climbing, special tools needed, and climbing gear required have been attributes for those kinda caches for some time.   

The CO has to use the attribute to help you ignore it, but D/T might give a clue to read that description...

I wouldn't bother with a street sign (that permission thing...), but enjoy tree/boulder/rock wall climbs, and hunt them out.

We've yet to see a "high" cache unattached (needing a tool to retrieve) , so that's not needed, but often wear backpacks while riding.

I simply pick one that's needed for that day.

 Our hiking sticks/collapsible canes fit well in the small hard-shell  saddle bags too.

 

Edited by cerberus1

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1 hour ago, BigOpe said:

Around Tucson of late, there seems to be a craze for placing caches in high locations -- way up out of reach on a street sign or up in a tree or on top of a power transformer box -- so one has to have a stepstool or one of those reaching tools to have any hope of retrieving them.  (Since I do a lot of my caching on a motor scooter, carrying along such things is not really possible.)  Is this happening everywhere, or is it just a Sonoran desert thing?  I find it a bit annoying, frankly, because at my age climbing is no longer one of my favorite activities.  If there were an attribute for these I'd frankly be tempted to put them on my ignore list.

We have a lot of those caches in my area.

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4 hours ago, BigOpe said:

Is this happening everywhere, or is it just a Sonoran desert thing?

 

It's relatively rare where I am on the New South Wales Central Coast, Australia. I've only had to use my telescopic ladder on maybe 7 or 8 of my 1100 finds. Most of the caches here are at or near ground level, such as in a log or stump, under a rock ledge, in the hollow base of a tree or, dare I say it, in a guard rail. There's only one of my hides where you need to climb up on anything and that's just a step up onto a half-a-metre high ledge in a cave to reach the hiding place at about head level, most of the others you have to get down on your hands and knees to reach.

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I saw a FB post the other day about a bison about 15’ in a tree!  Thru the thread, they’re saying that there are lots there and that they carry a telescoping pole.  My goodness - think about it - 15’ up in a tree.  

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

It's relatively rare where I am on the New South Wales Central Coast, Australia. I've only had to use my telescopic ladder on maybe 7 or 8 of my 1100 finds. Most of the caches here are at or near ground level, such as in a log or stump, under a rock ledge, in the hollow base of a tree or, dare I say it, in a guard rail. There's only one of my hides where you need to climb up on anything and that's just a step up onto a half-a-metre high ledge in a cave to reach the hiding place at about head level, most of the others you have to get down on your hands and knees to reach.

I could probably count on one hand the number of tree climbing caches I've found out of my 3000+ finds. I've only ever found one that required a ladder. I have two traditionals of my own that require a tree climb of about 4-5 metres - quite easy.

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We have quite a few in my area. Fortunately these can be done when in our little group. One of our members loves climbing trees to fetch the cache. I don't like climbing. I do the swimming (but not in winter ;)).

 

Some recent climbs we were able to bring an extending ladder for, as those were lower climbs. We had to do short hikes carrying the ladder. For big trees with the cache up near the top, no ladder we own would reach. Some trees we have worked as a group with rope to reach the cache.

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4 hours ago, WearyTraveler said:

I saw a FB post the other day about a bison about 15’ in a tree!  Thru the thread, they’re saying that there are lots there and that they carry a telescoping pole.  My goodness - think about it - 15’ up in a tree.  

I've used a telescoping pole to retrieve elevated caches. I carry it only when I know I'm going to need it, otherwise it stays at home. But I've been able to retrieve caches that were 20-22 feet up with relative ease.

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I keep my telescopic pole and telescopic ladder in my geomobile. You never know when they might be needed. In my area tree climbs are very common, ladder-required caches are fairly common, highly placed caches needing a tool are common (whether a pole or a very long, strong stick or limb for those who don't have a pole).  IMO they add to the variety of hiding experiences, but it is a minor pet peeve when nothing about the cache even hints about what might be needed (tool or task-wise)

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Telescoping pole stays in our cachemobile for every trip.  Postings and logs usually tell us when we'll need it, but not always.  Somewhere a while back there was a thread for 'TOTT', and a fair number of us chimed in with the pole at that time.

 

Not every cache has to be a C&D, though these days you have to sometimes wonder.

The top of this one would have been a little easier if not for the fact that beetle kill had rendered a log of branches a little sketchy.

 

Tree Climb.jpg

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Posted (edited)

This is somewhat common here too. I've a couple at around (probably) 15 feet or so myself. I find that this sort of thing  helps to ensure that there are very few logs, in case the puzzle doesn't provide a sufficient impediment  makes the find a bit more memorable, especially in urban areas where the stroll to GZ might be relatively brief and uneventful.

That height is manageable without equipment by most people who can walk to the base of the tree. But then I usually choose eminently climbable trees with abundant radiating branches, not least because I'm not actually a particularly good tree-climber myself!

 

 

Edited by BendSinister
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There are several in one area of San Francisco, which took me by surprised since I was expecting the typical urban hides in that typically urban area. I admit it was a little disappointing, but I was just caching off-the-cuff, so I hadn't read the descriptions. Other than that, they happened from time to time throughout the SF bay area, enough so that an extendible ladder is sometimes referred to as a TOTT in jest. I few COs have decided to raise the bar, so they intentionally attached the cache in a way that means you can't get it unless you can actually get your hands on it to under the attachment. I haven't gotten any of those. It's not enough in my area to be alarming. Just one more way for me to DNF a cache once in a while.

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19 hours ago, BigOpe said:

Around Tucson of late, there seems to be a craze for placing caches in high locations -- way up out of reach on a street sign or up in a tree or on top of a power transformer box -- so one has to have a stepstool or one of those reaching tools to have any hope of retrieving them.  (Since I do a lot of my caching on a motor scooter, carrying along such things is not really possible.)  Is this happening everywhere, or is it just a Sonoran desert thing?  I find it a bit annoying, frankly, because at my age climbing is no longer one of my favorite activities.  If there were an attribute for these I'd frankly be tempted to put them on my ignore list.

 

Caches can be ignored without putting them on a list.  Just tell your self, "you don't have to find every cache" and ignore it. 

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6 hours ago, dprovan said:

I few COs have decided to raise the bar, so they intentionally attached the cache in a way that means you can't get it unless you can actually get your hands on it to under the attachment. I haven't gotten any of those. It's not enough in my area to be alarming. Just one more way for me to DNF a cache once in a while.

 

Yep, and I don't mind those; on the flipside it also helps against people not taking the effort to put it back where it should be (say 20' up a tree hanging on a branch - used  another branch to knock it down and didn't bother using more effort to put it back), and it helps to retain the difficulty of the cache task itself (as in, rather than 'expecting' someone will put the effort in to climb to it, they just knock it down instead; if it's attached, they have to physically get to the cache).

For me again it adds to the variety of the fun. I'm not a big fan of the 'PMD' (pull-me-down) though when they are on tall thin saplings, and over time you see the whole tree bending or dying because people have to pull it over to reach the top branch and hold it so it doesn't release and send things flying.  I haven't seen one like that for some time around here, so I think it was a trendy style for a while.

 

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Posted (edited)

Surprised so many in these forums see "high" caches unattached. 

We had a lot of multis archived here when someone went through with a "telescopic pole" to grab attached larger bisons.

I had a bunch of partially-completed high-terrain multis to finish with stages ripped out of their placements and couldn't be found.

Most were archived instead when it became a regular thing to replace high-terrain stages, because a cacher didn't want to climb...

With any real height you can't tell whether its attached or not, unless you're carrying a monocular too.

 

Just noticed another example near me.

A cache that used to have a strap around a branch to hold the container, by logs the cache is now laying at the base of the tree.

I 'm heading that way whenever the rain finally gives. It's 3T rating now a 1.5,  seems I'll be its first NM after found...

Edited by cerberus1

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There are a few in this area too. I remember one where I had a devil of a time getting to the first (lowest ) branch in order to climb  to the cache. I happened to meet the cache owner a couple of days later and commented about how hard it was, and me being 72 at the time, he was really impressed that I had climbed it. He said that he would NEVER try to climb that tree! Didn't think it was safe! :blink: He used a painter's expandable pole to hide it and just assumed folks would use something similar to retrieve it. There WAS mention of TOTT in that cache description but I just thought he meant a ladder, or something.

 

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26 minutes ago, BCandMsKitty said:

There are a few in this area too. I remember one where I had a devil of a time getting to the first (lowest ) branch in order to climb  to the cache. I happened to meet the cache owner a couple of days later and commented about how hard it was, and me being 72 at the time, he was really impressed that I had climbed it. He said that he would NEVER try to climb that tree! Didn't think it was safe! :blink: He used a painter's expandable pole to hide it and just assumed folks would use something similar to retrieve it. There WAS mention of TOTT in that cache description but I just thought he meant a ladder, or something.

:D

We noticed that nearly every pine tree that had a cache in it, the first three feet or so of branches seem to be missing.   :)

I started carrying an etrier with a short length of rope, just to save me that "ooomph..." up to start.  

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Posted (edited)

There are plenty in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany. The most popular type for some years now are "fishing rod caches" where a modified fishing rod is used to retrieve the cache. The rod gets a hook added to the end, like from a clothes hanger. The caches are usually 5-7 meters high up in trees. So, plenty of geocachers go fishing in the woods around here. I find these kind of caches usually fun to do.

Edited by NLBokkie
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Cachers in our area have recently been investing in 10-20 foot collapsible ladders... Expensive, but well worth it as they are very portable.

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Fishing caches, a/k/a "Angeln" caches, a/k/a "Swedish" caches, are pretty popular around Germany.  There are a few dozen within 40km of our apartment.  I've not created a "fishing rod" to do these with.  I have happened upon a few that I didn't realize were fishing caches until I walked up.  Some have been doable with tree branches.  Others I've just skipped. 

 

When I know it's a fishing cache, I've put it on the ignore list, as I'm just not interested in these.

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4 hours ago, hzoi said:

Fishing caches, a/k/a "Angeln" caches, a/k/a "Swedish" caches, are pretty popular around Germany.  There are a few dozen within 40km of our apartment.  I've not created a "fishing rod" to do these with.  I have happened upon a few that I didn't realize were fishing caches until I walked up.  Some have been doable with tree branches.  Others I've just skipped. 

When I know it's a fishing cache, I've put it on the ignore list, as I'm just not interested in these.

 

Thanks for explaining that.  :)

There used to be one that had pulleys high up in branches and using spiderwire line,  used saltwater fishing reels maybe three trees over from the "drop".

Expensive set-ups.  Thought it might have been similar. 

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22 hours ago, cerberus1 said:
On 4/28/2020 at 11:07 AM, hzoi said:

Fishing caches, a/k/a "Angeln" caches, a/k/a "Swedish" caches, are pretty popular around Germany.  There are a few dozen within 40km of our apartment.  I've not created a "fishing rod" to do these with.  I have happened upon a few that I didn't realize were fishing caches until I walked up.  Some have been doable with tree branches.  Others I've just skipped. 

When I know it's a fishing cache, I've put it on the ignore list, as I'm just not interested in these.

 

Thanks for explaining that.  :)

There used to be one that had pulleys high up in branches and using spiderwire line,  used saltwater fishing reels maybe three trees over from the "drop".

Expensive set-ups.  Thought it might have been similar. 

 

Apparently most folks who do these have made their own telescoping PVC pipe fishing poles, like this one.

 

eab51746-9c1f-46b0-83f7-0e56869b2da9.jpg

 

I'm just not interested in juggling that during a hike.

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Then there's this one - multiple poles and ladders needed

image.png.23ae2ce95058e90c5aa4b5d02b4b0aca.png

 

 

There's another one, I wish I could remember which one and where exactly, 5 terrain, and people attached multiple ladders to get high enough on an outstretched limb of a huge tree.  People in my region will risk much for the fun of the geocache :o  (another reason I really want proper climbing gear)

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Oh well, guess I'm just an old grouch b....ing about minor stuff.  Some caches described here are FAR worse than anything I've encountered!  My interpretation of TOTT has always been things that'll fit in a small backpack or similar, but obviously many have gone well beyond that.  Keep on cachin', y'all, and stay safe and healthy.

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Some in the Haight Asbury district of San Francisco may still be high ....... oops, different context

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18 hours ago, humboldt flier said:

Some in the Haight Asbury district of San Francisco may still be high ....... oops, different context

I had breakfast at a nice little place in Haight Asbury a few years ago.  At the time, there wasn't a cache nearby.  It looks like there is a nano right near the intersection now though.  The highest cache I've found was an Earthcache at a volcano in Costa Rica.

 

 

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I have rarely encountered high caches that require a ladder or pole. The only one I can recall was high on a sign in a parking lot so I used my vehicle as the ladder. However, I don't do many urban caches.

 

I like most tree climbers though we don't get a lot in Florida as too many of the trees lack good limbs. I'm still young enough and spry enough I can usually do them.

 

I don't want to buy and carry around a telescoping ladder. For safety, I would want a second person to hold the ladder steady too, whereas most trees I feel comfortable climbing at all I feel comfortable climbing alone.

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5 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I had breakfast at a nice little place in Haight Asbury a few years ago.  At the time, there wasn't a cache nearby.  It looks like there is a nano right near the intersection now though.  The highest cache I've found was an Earthcache at a volcano in Costa Rica.

 

 

There's one here in Tucson, way the heck up on top of one of the peaks in the Catalina mountains -- not sure if it's still active.  I've never considered going for it, but my son-in-law did it, took him half a day to get up there and another half day to get back down.  Extreme caching, for sure.

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2 hours ago, BigOpe said:

There's one here in Tucson, way the heck up on top of one of the peaks in the Catalina mountains -- not sure if it's still active.  I've never considered going for it, but my son-in-law did it, took him half a day to get up there and another half day to get back down.  Extreme caching, for sure.

 

The Poas volcano cache is a bit easier.  Driving up the twisty road to the parking area where the trailhead is to the volcano overlook was pretty easy (avoiding the three wheel drift bikes) and then I think it was less than a mile round trip on well maintained path.  It's an active volcano so I suppose the T rating would go up if there was an eruption.

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Mostly they don't interest me, especially those 20 feet up a pole.  It seems it was placed there just for the sake of it.

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So how long do these fetching poles tend to need to be? Can't say I've seen one.

 

I *just* realised this is a thing around here now (a newly released coordinate checker recommends a telescopic device) and I was reminded of this thread.

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On 5/4/2020 at 1:27 PM, BigOpe said:

There's one here in Tucson, way the heck up on top of one of the peaks in the Catalina mountains -- not sure if it's still active.  I've never considered going for it, but my son-in-law did it, took him half a day to get up there and another half day to get back down.  Extreme caching, for sure.

I've driven that road a few hundred times. Just driving it is quite nerve wracking for me!

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The only "use a pole" caches we've seen had TOTT supplied, hidden elsewhere.  Both were for hides below you, not above.  :)

One was meant for an "over the cliff" cache.  I had it in hand climbing up the mountain before the other 2/3rds could find it.

The other was hidden in a deep fracture in conglomerate.  Couldn't fit yourself, needed the "pole" to access. 

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43 minutes ago, BendSinister said:

So how long do these fetching poles tend to need to be?

I've used a fruit picker with a pole that extends to about 12-14 feet long. If I hold it overhead, it can reach to 20 feet or so. That's been enough for the elevated caches I've found.

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Posted (edited)

Tree climbs are common in Australia. I won't climb most trees as I know my limitations (I'm scared:cry:). Here are a couple of cache examples. Click on the photographs to sample what they are like.

https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5K8MR_fairy-homes-ratatouille

 

https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC35CVX_ctu-mark-ii

Edited by Goldenwattle

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I have a 24' retractable painter's pole. It allows for switchable heads and it's lightweight.  I tend to keep it in my car.  In our area the most common strategy is just wrapping a coat hanger around the head - easily adjustable for different cases, can hold a decent weight (wouldn't use the hangar to retrieve an ammo can in a tree, for example, hah) but you could get create with a different head to hold a higher weight if necessary.

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I had one the other day that wasn't even up in a tree.  Luckily, I happened to have a plastic garbage can to stand on!  (Sometimes I DNF when a cache is too high, but this one was too cute to give up on.)

2020-04 (12).jpg

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As noted in the TOTT thread, something like this can be very helpful in the event a 'tall' cache is planned, or just encountered.  Granted, it's not going to be very much fun on a bicycle, but it's VERY compact if driving, all thing considered.  The come in a couple of sizes, but the 10' version works for most things, and collapses down to 31 inches for storage in the cachemobile.  They usually run about 20 pounds or a little more.

 

547144610_Ladder2.jpg.ef8acf45d432d0dc0377fd7dbc3e474b.jpg

Ladder.thumb.jpg.08b15dedd10016d2521a3ade4134df3a.jpg

 

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On 5/4/2020 at 1:27 PM, BigOpe said:

There's one here in Tucson, way the heck up on top of one of the peaks in the Catalina mountains -- not sure if it's still active.  I've never considered going for it, but my son-in-law did it, took him half a day to get up there and another half day to get back down.  Extreme caching, for sure.

Mt Lemmon is being evacuated because of the fire.

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