Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Mesu

Vaikeustasot - Difficulty Ratings

Recommended Posts

English below.

 

Kirjoitan tämän myös englanniksi, koska kutsun mukaan keskusteluun kaikki, jotka ovat etsineet kätköjä Suomessa.

 

Oletteko huomanneet, että kätköjen vaikeusluokitukset Suomessa jatkuvasti alenevat vaikka kätköt yhä vaikeutuvat? Jälleen kerran olin kätköjä etsimässä Ruotsissa, ja oli yllättävää huomata, kuinka helppoja kätköpaikat olivat. Luulen kuitenkin, että ruotsalaisten geokätköjen vaikeusluokitukset ovat säännöllisempiä kuin suomalaisten.

 

Viime vuonna huomasin Suomessa muutaman geokätkön, joissa vaikeusaste oli 1, mutta lokimerkinnöistä voi havaita, että jotkut olivat etsineet niitä yli tunnin tai käyneet etsimässä useamman kerran. Haluaisin muistuttaa, miten asiat olivat ennen: Oletko käynyt Suomen ensimmäisellä geokätköllä, joka on Kalle Reunasen Sun Gear? Vaikeusaste on 2. Tämän kätkön etsiminen ei todellkaan vaadi monta minuuttia, mutta luokitus on silti D = 2.

 

ENGLISH:

 

I am writing this also in English to welcome all who have searched for caches in Finland to join the discussion.

 

Have you noticed that the difficulty ratings of caches in Finland are getting lower and lower although caches are getting more and more difficult? Once again, I was geocaching in Sweden, and it was surprising to notice how easy the hiding places are. But I think the difficulty ratings of Swedish geocaches probably are more uniform than the Finnish ones.

 

Last year, I noticed some Finnish geocaches with difficulty rating 1, but in the log entries you can read that some people had spent more than an hour or multiple visits to find them. Let me remind what it was like earlier: Have you visited the first geocache in Finland, Sun Gear by Kalle Reunanen? The difficulty rating is 2. It definitely will not take many minutes to find the cache, but it was D = 2.

Share this post


Link to post

I have noticed the same phenomenon. Many times when both the terrain and difficulty ratings are only one, the owner has just forgot to set up the ratings. But you're right, I have seen that kind of trend in general in Finland. (To be fair, there are also caches with too hight D-rating, but not that much.) Perhaps more at the capital area caches than elsewhere.

 

One reason might be in the way some people phrase their logs. Logs like the solution was childishly easy (I made that up, it's from no particular cache) etc. and low D-ratings might be there to tell about the hider's or logger's idea of their own superiority - not about the average difficulty of the cache. One should remember that even if the find was easy this time, it's not necessary easy for the next searcher. The D-ratings are some kind of average of the cache's difficulty; some mathematical problem might be solvable in 5 minutes for one person while other person has to use days and days to solve it. Clayjars' Geocache Rating System is a good start, but people should also note that there are hundreds of cachers of different skill levels when they rate caches.

Share this post


Link to post

I think one good reason for this phenomen is that here in Finland have came up some really hard caches which really need 4,5-5 stars D-rating, which are at least more harder than before (before=something like 1-2 years ago?). As the scale is still the same (1-5) that automatically narrows the scale on the other end of scale if you compare your cache rating to whole scene of GC. At least I do something like that while rating my own caches after I have used Geocache Rating System.

Edit: typos...

Edited by hikerbiker...

Share this post


Link to post
Clayjars' Geocache Rating System is a good start, but people should also note that there are hundreds of cachers of different skill levels when they rate caches.

ClayJar's system is good when you are rating a traditional wilderness cache; maybe even when it's located in America. It has only one question for difficulty rating (and it gives minumum 3 for 'multi-step' caches). Even the terrain rating calculator gives sometimes odd results for urban or semi-urban settings and in Finland you always have to remember the effect of winter...

 

What we need is a rating system (and cache placement guidelines) suitable for Nordic countries that calculates also mysteries and multis.

Share this post


Link to post
ClayJar's system is good when you are rating a traditional wilderness cache; maybe even when it's located in America. It has only one question for difficulty rating (and it gives minumum 3 for 'multi-step' caches). Even the terrain rating calculator gives sometimes odd results for urban or semi-urban settings and in Finland you always have to remember the effect of winter...

 

What we need is a rating system (and cache placement guidelines) suitable for Nordic countries that calculates also mysteries and multis.

Assuming by 'America' you mean the US, there are vast areas, which have quite similar climate to Nordic countries, so IMO it's not very US-centric per se. Clayjar's system is only a rough aid to start the rating with. Once you've got the rating from there, you can adjust it to fit your cache.

 

It's very difficult to have one single objective rating system for mystery caches. Like I pointed earlier, one man's easy can be another man's impossible. (Also, a cache can be very easy at certain time of the day, and close to impossible at other, etc.) So, even if you can adjust your D/T stars to 'perfect', there will always be some people who think there were too much stars and other who think too few. The star rating is just an approximate way to tell something about the difficulty of solving puzzles, finding the container and/or the terrain.

 

But this is actually somewhat beside the point. I think Mesu meant rather that nowadays there are caches which have relatively low D-rating, and still there are many DNF logs (not to mention all those which haven't been logged) and most finders seem to have had hints from the owner or other finders.

Share this post


Link to post
Divine Posted: Apr 18 2005, 01:05 PM

 

The D-ratings are some kind of average of the cache's difficulty; some mathematical problem might be solvable in 5 minutes for one person while other person has to use days and days to solve it.

 

You are absolutely right, Divine, but I actually meant only the physical hiding of the cache. The difference can be seen in traditional caches which do not involve any mysteries or problems.

 

hikerbiker... Posted: Apr 18 2005, 01:29 PM

 

As the scale is still the same (1-5) that automatically narrows the scale on the other end of scale if you compare your cache rating to whole scene of GC.

 

You could be right in that, Hikerbiker. Maybe that explains the phenomenon at least partially, but I don't think that the scale should be relative. The seeker does not want to know that the cache is more difficult than 57% of caches that existed on the date hidden, but he or she wants to know how difficult the cache is, especially in terms of time needed. Further, if the scale were meant to be relative, a beginner could never rate his or her cache because of lack of experience on the difficulty level of other caches.

 

VesaK Posted: Apr 18 2005, 03:01 PM

 

ClayJar's system -- -- gives minumum 3 for 'multi-step' caches.

 

I think that just resembles the idea that the difficulty rating should be based on the time required to find a cache. If there are several places to go, it can hardly be less time-consuming than a single-stop cache of rating 3.

Edited by Mesu

Share this post


Link to post
VesaK Posted: Apr 18 2005, 03:01 PM

 

ClayJar's system -- -- gives minumum 3 for 'multi-step' caches.

 

I think that just resembles the idea that the difficulty rating should be based on the time required to find a cache. If there are several places to go, it can hardly be less time-consuming than a single-stop cache of rating 3.

I have not yet found a single cache in Finland, but I would like to comment on your statement nevertheless since I do not agree with it.

 

I think that the difficulty rating should account for the difficulty related with finding the cache(s) (including all intermediary stages of a cache with more than one stage), but it makes no sense to account for the time needed for going from one Stage to the next.

This should be accounted for in the terrain rating.

 

A multi cache with 4 stages which spans over 25 kilometers in the Alps where every stage is very easy to find (within the first minutes or even immediately), should not be rated with 3*. Moreover, I cannot see a difference between a traditional cache which makes me to hike up a mountain which cannot be reached by car, cable car, etc and where the round hike takes eight hours to a multi cache which spans the same distance and where one has to collect some numbers on one or several intermediary stages - for, example, some data from the summit cross which one has to pass anyway.

 

Moreover, there exist multi cache which are almost like traditionals - go to place A and move from there x meters into direction y degrees.

 

If I go for a long hiking cache, it is very important for me to know how tricky the hideouts are - often one can estimate the walking time conveniently, but not the time needed for searching. If the rating of multi caches start at 3*, the rating does not have any reasonable meaning any longer.

 

If we start to account for the time for moving both in the difficulty rating and the terrain rating, we will end with a big fuss. Already now too many different things are measured with the help of a single number.

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post
If we start to account for the time for moving both in the difficulty rating and the terrain rating, we will end with a big fuss.

I agree. However, multicaches are often more difficult because of what you have to do at each stop, e.g., to find some information or even a container with a hint further to the next stop, and not because of the trips between the stops. For those searching delays, the terrain rating should not be used.

Share this post


Link to post
If we start to account for the time for moving both in the difficulty rating and the terrain rating, we will end with a big fuss.

I agree. However, multicaches are often more difficult because of what you have to do at each stop, e.g., to find some information or even a container with a hint further to the next stop, and not because of the trips between the stops. For those searching delays, the terrain rating should not be used.

I fully agree with you, but I understood your original posting in a different way. As I do not like hikes which become 3 hours longer because the overall searching time is that long, I appreciate it very much if the difficulty rating accounts for the extra time due to searching.

 

The trouble, however, is that if one uses ClayJar's form, then clicking yes for "multi leg"

already results in a difficulty rating of 3* independently of your other answers.

In such cases the result 3* can be in heavy contradiction to the "definition" of 3* which

one gets as the output when using ClayJar's form. It means that already a multi cache with 2 stages both of which are very easy gets a rating of 3* which will not be appropriate in that case. Nevertheless, there are cachers who claim that any multi cache needs to be rated with 3* or higher because they base their rating on the output of the form and not on the description of the various ratings which come along with the suggestion for the rating.

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

×
×
  • Create New...