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Caches Up Mountains...


Ben Pid
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;)

 

Been out walking etc the week just gone in the Caringorm Mountain range with Dan...recipe of Disaster you may think,....well not far wrong actually. But hey it was fun.

 

Just wondering and Brain storming about the guidelines on caching and the rules about what you put in your description of the cache. There seems to be no firm trend on cache pages with potentially Dangerous routes and Changeble weather in the Territory....I mean its all very well plating a cache at the tip of Scafell Pike in the Middle of Summer....but I think it would extremly harsh to write on the cache page something along the lines of..

 

"Brisk stroll up a steep Hill, lovely weather when planting"

 

...What then happens when Joe Bloggs attempts it in shorts and TeeShirt falls of the edge of the cliff face plumets to his untimely demise...??

 

I must say I havent read thurilly through the GAGB or GC.com guidelines, to see any relevances to this kind of thing but Obviously caches are still getting approved with these potentially fatal possibilities with no real warnings or things to let potential cachers know dangers....

 

Personally I think a great Solution and great little addition would be a seperate box on the cache form you fill out when you make the page...located between the Description and Clue that is called WARNINGS: in there you type things that could save future cachers lives....and if you type anything in there in automatically turns to Red on the cache page when Submitted...

 

Its just a wild thought but could be VERY useful for getting you out of scrapes...specially to nutters like me who like Night Caching :P a Warning saying "BEWARE GUN MEN COULD BE PRESENT" would have been useful on a couple of occasions. LOL

 

Let me know what you think

 

Cheers

 

Pid

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could be usefull but would defeat potential darwin awards. ie some idiot killing themselves in an interesting way. afterall how much brain power does it take to figure out that in mid winter scafell pike is going to be dangerous? and i know they might not realise it's on top of the mountain till they arrive but once in the car park it should become a bit more obvious.

 

just add a note to the bottom of the description that it becomes a five star in unfavourable weather conditions or that certain equipment will be necessary in winter. that way people know, if they don't understand the equipment needed then they don't have the experience necessary to do the cache.

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Hi Ben. There are no real rules/guidelines about the GC.COM descriptions people place on caches, neither do I think the sport would benefit from having anything too prescriptive. My view is that one of the attractions of the sport is the idiosyncratic style of writing cache pages.

 

No, I think the Terms of Use have got it right when they state that YOU, the seeker, assume all risks and responsibilities when caching. We should remember that we are all adults (apart from children who should be supervised by adults at all times) and we all need to use that increasingly precious commodity, common sense.

 

I think it would be a very bad world which prevented maniacs from climbing Ben Nevis, in winter, in trainers if they insisted on doing so ;)B)B);)

 

I agree that it is always useful if there is some indication of the risks and hazards involved in a particular cache, be it mud or dangers of falling/drowning but at the end of the day you can always turn back if it's getting too much.

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Ben

 

I spent a few years in Saudi Arabia and we put out some caches deep in the Rub Al Khali - the large desert often called the empty quarter. These caches took a mini expediation to get there and could only be safely attempted by competent groups of people with the right vehicles, equipment and experience. Some took 2 or 3 days to get to them.

 

We used to put in the cache description a very strong warning of the real dangers in attempting the cache! Indeed we thought that 5 was not a strong enough indicator for difficulty.

 

I firmly believe that the owner of the cache should warn any potential cachers of the dangers but I also agree with lactodorum that it the ultimate responsibility is with the person who attempts to get the cache. If he is warned of the danger and decides to go for it then its his life! But he should be warned of the danger and the numeric difficulty grading is not adequate in these circumstances.

 

Jim

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Ben

 

Is there still a big hole in the ground where I got my Jeep stuck atempting Highness? I will have to go back to that one someday soon without my daughter (she is only 2) It was bad enough walking down the hill with her on my shoulders, I dont think I would like to walk up with her as well. Thank goodness for landrovers and the AA for rescuing my truck!!

 

stuck here!

 

I think I got to within 0.2 miles away from the cache before getting the sinking feeling, Then decided to abandon the mission in view of getting the truck off of the hill!

 

Cheers

 

Donnie

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I agree with Jim. I really appreciate even the simplest of warnings like not wheelchair or pushbuggy friendly, Can be muddy-wear wellies, high altitudes, loss of signal because of tree coverage, etc. It lets me know whether or not I should attempt to do it alone with my health problems, or if I should wait till I have a partner to go with me. I have e-mailed owners of caches and asked them to re-rate their caches from 1 to a 2 because they were simply not handicap accessible and I had gone to them expecting otherwise. B)

 

Lynn 1/3 of Mady

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In placing a couple of caches that either require specialist technical knowledge (Don't Look Down), or have a high degree of Exposure to falling off (Don't Look Down II), I've always tried to make it as plain as possible the inherent dangers that those areas have and should be taken into consideration.

If cachers ignore those warnings there's not a lot more I can do.

As a pair of climbers, we try to place caches that combine both our sports....

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In disagreement with several points raised...

 

I really don't think everything should be down to the cacher who is doing the cache, at the end of the day I seriously feel cachers in general put alot of trust into other cachers who place caches...I mean at the end of the day we all find the Lunch Boxes OTHER people who we often do not know planted in a location of their choice....all GC.com has got is the placers word that its safe, and meets guidelines so then it is approved....

 

I hate hitting unexpected dangers on a cache hunt....and I know for a fact that if something bad happened to me I would be looking for someone to blame other than myself...naturally you wouldnt see it as your own fault if you stepped on a Land Mine finding a cache planted just off the footpath of a Military base....your fault for going there? No way....you just did a cache that got approved and trusted the planter..... but subsequently lost both legs and arms B)

 

If there was a box on the cache page that was there to fill in specifically to give warnings....it would:

 

1. Save the Owners bum because it prompted them into not forgetting to put a warning in

 

2. Save GC.com's bum when man with no legs blames cache hider who then in some shape or form blames GC.com for whatever reason.

 

3. Make cache hunters think twice about going for it

 

4. When filled in would give hunters more of a choice in areas full of caches...

 

Basically it can be done without the aid of a box....just cache planters doing it unprompted...but if there was something to prompt it...you can't forget to put a warning in and as can be seen on virtually every cache page there arent no warnings...

 

Pid

 

P.S. Naefearjustbeer! YOU NUTTER, Just read your log...LoL, KRAZEEEEEEE! probably the steepest hil I have ever seen surely attempting it was always going to be futile ?

Edited by Ben Pid
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P.S. Naefearjustbeer! YOU NUTTER, Just read your log...LoL, KRAZEEEEEEE! probably the steepest hil I have ever seen surely attempting it was always going to be futile ?

I had been informed by some who had previosly done the cache that there was a good track all the way up to the mast on top of the hill, I had no reason to disbelieve them. After all if there is a radio mast it has to be maintained etc and I did not think that they would fly maintenance technicians to the top by helicopter. Also I drove the truck up the hill (the steep bit) no problem at all with no worries it was only when I got to a flat section that the problems startedd because the track disapeared and all I could see were tracks through the heather, it was at this stage that I decided to turn back but it was the trying to turn that got me stuck

f6c00705-3702-48ba-999e-b69884ac4a90.jpg

 

You can see my track up the hill and where I walked back down to the nearest farm at Achnabat, then lots of pacing about at the bottom of the hill waiting for the AA. The local police informed me that they use argocats to get up the hill!

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....and I know for a fact that if something bad happened to me I would be looking for someone to blame other than myself...

 

 

One man's blame is another man's legal claim.

 

If we go down this road then cache owners will be prosecuted for not having predicted how others will approach their cache, from all directions, in all conditions, at all times of the day and night.

 

Mind you, if someone were to inadventently try to hide a cache in the Prime Minister's country residence in the middle of the night then a warning to look out for armed Police might be helpful B)

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Anyway to get back on topic. Living in an area where there quite a few hills and very changeable weather I always look into the terrain surrounding the cache on memory map, check the weather and make sure I take the right gear with me (I have sold the 4x4 so no repeats of highness) Always trust my instict rather than believe someone else as in the above case. When I interogated the person about the track afterwards they said that they did not walk up the track but only saw it in the passing because they climbed the hill from further west. Which is ever so slightly different to Quote " There is a good track all the way up to the top that you could drive up no problem in your truck".

 

I dont think that a cache would be approved anywhere near landmined areas but if it was, anyone from anywhere nearby would know about the dangers of landmines just like how people who live in and around hills know how dangerous things can be up high. yes you can climb big hills in your trainers and shorts and tshirt but what happens when the weather turns or you go over your ankle because you are not wearing the correct footwear or dont tell anyone where you are going and when you are to be expected back. To me these things are common sense because I am used to it. Every time I go off of the beaten track i leave my wife a copy of my intended route and an estimate of how long I should be, if I am running late I phone home to let her know my new estimated time.

 

I am more likely to come a cropper in a city because I am not used to all the traffic or get mugged for my digital camera gps or moblile phone because I am not used to it and dont realise not to show these things in certain areas. It is always worthwhile investigating before you go the doos and donts of different places. Should all city cache state watch out for busy traffic, muggers, dont turn left at such and such a road beacuse it is a rough area etc etc.

 

Any way enough rambling on I dont even know if my post is making my point as I have been at the red wine and beer tonight B)

 

B);););)

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I see what everyone seems to be saying regarding the ways people read cache pages....but seriously...why is it toally completly and utterly the cache finders responsibility? when they do not know until they go for the cache (or put in memory map) where it is going to be.....

 

I dont think having NO warnings about possible dangers helps new cachers who don't know its entirely Their responsibility to know about it all and use their comon sense......and even if you think it is...

 

Any help is good help, and Im sure if you had the oppertunity to know of something that could save your life on a particular cache you would be thankful....incase your Common sense didnt cover the fact that walking into a rifle range is a bad idea. B)

 

Pid

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A perfect example of how to write a cache page for a tricky cache can be found here.   B)

 

Try blaming anybody else after reading that!

That one is going straight to the top of my "caches to do" list on my next visit to Ireland B)

As you say, an excellent cache sheet given the difficulty and danger involved.

Edited by Pharisee
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I'd say if you have a bit more of an adventure doing a cache than is suggested by the description you should:

 

i) Point this out in the log in clear terms, highlighting the specific problem or problems you had.

 

ii) E-mail the owner and ask them to add a clear note it the description of the hazard. Highlighting in bold or red or even both is easy to do with a little HTML code.

 

iii) If they refuse, ask they why. The hazard shouldn't be the 'surprise element' of any cache, as this could mean cachers with kids might have a wasted journey, only to have to turn back having used their good sense. Parents tend to be better at saying 'I'll rather walk away than risk that' than younger, single, sprogless cachers. :)

 

iv) Whatever happens, don't write a letter of complaint to your MP. The last thing caching needs is a 'This May Be Dangerous To Your Health' stamp. They'd be taxing it next...

 

SP

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A perfect example of how to write a cache page for a tricky cache can be found here.   :D

 

Try blaming anybody else after reading that!

Off topic, why is this Difficulty 5?

 

On topic, a comment in the description concerning some specific issue around the cache should be adequate (steep drop/rally cars on track etc.) If it's a question of going into hilly/remote terrain, I've seen something like "wear appropriate clothing/check the weather/take a proper map & compass".

 

No way should a cache placer be held responsible for the unprepared or stupid, in my opinion.

 

What next? " To access the general cache location you will need to drive on a motorway: do not attempt this cache until suitable driving training has been undertaken as there will be white vans around....."

 

(Apologies to some white van drivers).

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I accept your apology re white van drivers.

You're welcome.

 

I'm seeing another colour behaving badly now also - blue.

 

I like the option they have fitted to the indicator that makes the vehicle swerve out as soon as activated (on the better models even before activation!).

 

Just to be fair, I see a lot of Audi A4 drivers who should be banned/locked up at the moment.

 

Happy Driving! :lol:

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Ben Pid,

 

When stepping out into the great outdoors I always take full responsibility for where I am going, where I am and, as far as is practically possible, for what happens to me; lightning strikes etc excepted.

 

With regard to GC the Cache Log is merely the individuals personal perception of that cache when they placed it. It is up to the cache finder to research the cache fully before setting off. This is part of the fun after all. You should be using paper maps, electronic maps, previous cache logs and any other source of information that you can lay your hands on. And finally when you are actually on the ground it is the indiviual choices we all make that are far more important in preventing accidents. Not anothers perception of the area some months before.

 

Hope this doesn't sound too rant like but I HATE the whole lets minimise and remove risk culture which is threatning and permeating the whole outdoor scene.

 

Dave

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the only other thing i can think of is if the star rating is changed to out of ten say. then a description of each level is given as a guideline. then when you place the cache you can star rate it accurately and whenever someone wanted to visit they could know exactly what they were letting themselves in for. ie level one is fully accessible for wheelchairs up to level ten mountaineering equipment required.

 

whilst i agree it's up to the searcher to be fully aware of what they're getting into this would quickly sort out the caches people can do and those they can't. only trouble is it's another level of guidelines. atleast it wouldn't restrict you, just make it easier to star rate the cache.

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I have been thinking about this for the week or so that it has been up for discussion.

 

As a semi retired rock climber I have always accepted that I am responsible for my own actions. So I plan, check my equipment,check the route description etc.

 

Climbing has grading systems in this country ranging from Moderate (a scramble) through to Extreme. However Extreme was found not to be enough and so this got numbers to represent how extreme it was and then the technical difficulty of the moves got graded.

 

Anyway caching already has this. There are grades for difficulty and terrain. Though these do not always tell you the whole story they give you a good start.

 

a 1-1 tells you this is a nice stroll with an easy to find cache.

 

a 5-5 tells you, I better be careful, read the description, check the maps. I may need specialist equipment.

 

In other words no I don't think we need any more grades, and yes I am prepared to take responsibility for my own actions. If I go and attempt a 5-5 without checking it out then who's fault is it. Mine, the grading warned me.

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Ben,

 

I can't help thinking that you're refering to your log on Britains highest Geocache log page. The fact that you wrote this 4 days before your log for this cache. Makes me wonder why you went up a mountain that you could see from the bottom was covered in snow, with a member of your party just wearing a T-shirt and trainers, You also said that you saw experienced climbers heading up from the bottom with ice picks. To go up such a hill in such conditions never mind a mountain, is shear stupidity, and you cannot blame the owner of the cache, for not putting out warnings for the severity of the conditions.

I have been up Ben Nevis, and it is not a mountain I would take likely at the height of summer never mind at the end of winter.

As I have said in one of my logs for another cache, it is your responsibility to look out for the dangers and if in doubt don't do it or leave information with someone on the unlikely event of you going missing.

 

Safe and Happy Hunting to all

 

Haggis Hunter

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I can only echo Haggis Hunter's comments. Going up Ben Nevis in April isn't about geocaching, its about mountaineering and anyone with any sense or experience of climbing mountains in Scotland will know that you must always take warm and waterproof clothing, proper walking boots and all the other usual equipment for conditions that can quickly turn fatal. You guys were very lucky. Do you not read the papers? Every year people die on mountains in Scotland, even experienced walkers.

 

Those more experienced and better equipped climbers must have been shaking their heads in dismay at the folly of Sassenachs.

 

I don't think its up to the cache setter to warn of these facts. If you know you are going to climb 4000 feet, anyone ought to know that conditions can be very different on top compared to below.

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I can only echo Haggis Hunter's comments.  Going up Ben Nevis in April isn't about geocaching, its about mountaineering and anyone with any sense or experience of climbing mountains in Scotland will know that you must always take warm and waterproof clothing, proper walking boots and all the other usual equipment for conditions that can quickly turn fatal.  You guys were very lucky.  Do you not read the papers?  Every year people die on mountains in Scotland, even experienced walkers.

 

Those more experienced and better equipped climbers must have been shaking their heads in dismay at the folly of Sassenachs.

 

I don't think its up to the cache setter to warn of these facts.  If you know you are going to climb 4000 feet, anyone ought to know that conditions can be very different on top compared to below.

 

What More can I say!

 

Have just read the logs.

 

No amount of warnings or grading system would help.

 

I have had friends who where experienced mountaineers benighted on this mountain. At least one I knew died and his body wasn't found for months.

 

It's all over the media every year.

 

The photo's from placing the cache at the end of May give a clue.

 

Enough said!

Edited by mongoose39uk
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...What then happens when Joe Bloggs attempts it in shorts and TeeShirt falls of the edge of the cliff face plumets to his untimely demise...??

 

Guess you we're trying to find out first hand?

 

I can understand that your life is your own to risk, but if you'd have got into real trouble then Mountain Rescue would have been called out and you'd be risking their lives too.

 

The cache description was pretty clear?

 

Stunned.

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I quite like the idea of a 10 ster rating - it enables people to grade their caches much more accurately. It can sort of be used as a quick guide to the cache, because, personally I would do a cache if it was a 1/1 or a 3/3.

 

I think it is very imnportant to give proper warning about each cache, and it's always better safe than sorry.

 

And Ben, if the cache you want to do is a 5/5, that sort of states that it would be risky to attempt in the daytime, let alone at night.

 

Jamie (1/24 sidewallwolf)

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A quick link for those in a hurry: Britains Highest Cache

 

SP

 

P.S.Without wanting to make light of the danger D&P put themselves in, no one died, no one got hurt and no one suffered any ill effects. If we worry too much about 'what might of happened' then we should all be thankful that Sars didn't wipe out the entire planets population and Hitler didn't win the war...etc. The ratio of deaths to successes climbing Everest is about 1:5 Before 1990 it was as bad as 1:2. In comparison climbing Nevis is probably safer than asking for credit in a Glasgow Pub. Even in the snow, without a jacket.

 

I just hope anyone who reads this thread, or the logs on the site, in the future will take note and allow discretion to be the better part of valour. Perhaps www.mountaineering-scotland.org.uk might be a good place to start?

Edited by Simply Paul
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A perfect example of how to write a cache page for a tricky cache can be found here. :D

 

Try blaming anybody else after reading that!

Hmmmm, a little too detailed in my opinion. Anyone who found that kit list useful should not be attempting that sort of a mountain! The first sentence covers it - "This cache is only to be attempted by experienced hill walkers". A lot of the text after that is superfluous at best and dangerous at worst. Experienced hill walkers won't need this sort of advice; inexperienced hill walkers should not be learning mountaineering from a cache description!

 

Now I've argued before that geocaching is a useful tool to help people push their limits (eg night caching), but this cache seems to be too big a jump for someone who needs reminding how to call out Mountain Rescue.

 

It also suggests that experienced hill walkers in good physical condition and with specialised equipment should only attempt the hill in fair conditions. Why? If you're a practiced ice climber with good avalanche awareness skills, give it a go in winter! Stay within your abilities and only just outside your experience and you'll do fine.

 

Don't attempt the cache without a mobile phone, GPS and hiking stick? Why not? Mobile phones are only useful when you have failed to stay safe. It may tell mountain rescue where you are, but it won't guarantee that you'll still be alive when they get there!

 

Interestingly, the cache page, for all its verbosity, gives neither the length of the suggested route, nor the total height gain - the two most useful descriptions of a route.

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The words....

 

SOUTHERN

 

and

 

SOFTIES

 

spring to mind!

 

Support the SEASIDER>>>>I can only agree........

 

Get yersels North and West for the REAL caches.......!!! B)

 

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Only kidding ...a cache is a cache is a cache....except when MI5 say it isnt...then the fun has got to stop! :D

But dont go up the Ben (any Ben) in trainers and a tracksuit.

Anyway I've spoken ti Dan about this and HE knows.

 

lucky!

Lucky! LUCKY!

 

Apart from the sheer selfishness of only wearing a tracksuit and trainers It means if you didnt make it theres nothing left worth auctioning for the survivors. :D

Edited by spioradsaor
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To go up such a hill in such conditions never mind a mountain, is shear stupidity, and you cannot blame the owner of the cache, for not putting out warnings for the severity of the conditions.

 

Only bit I want to quote....

 

DAN ... LOL....

 

I hope you read that!

 

Just want to say....I didnt once mention the Ben Nevis cache...I really was just hypothetically speaking about Mountain caches in general...

 

But seeing as it has been mentioned and you have all read the log...here is a picture for you all to admire....Dan and Pid - You'll never walk alone!

 

walk.jpg

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Wish I had looked for the cache on Ben Nevis when I was up there in June I only had 6 finds back then and I was not hooked. Bagged the Trig though :lol::P

 

I took more stuff than the three of you put together :D:P:D and boy didnt my legs know it :P

Edited by Deego
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