Stage 1 closed
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Intersect 2.0 — Geocache of the Week

Multi-Cache
GC548HP
by family Behrens
Difficulty:
2.5
Terrain:
1.5
Location:
Western Cape, South Africa
S 34° 11.630 E 018° 26.196
the perfect cache?

A multi-cache that leads you to a semi-secret spot in an old library rife with history, at which the first stage is an adorably disguised puzzle and the final is a hand-crafted tech-themed gadget cache with storage for as many trackable as one could ever need and a low chance of being muggled. Sound unreal?

It’s very real. In fact, it’s Geocache of the Week!

Near to Stage 1
Near stage 1 of Intersect 2.0

Located inside a library in a city outside of Cape Town, South Africa, “Intersect 2.0” is the epitome of a fun gadget multi-cache. The geocache was crafted by family Behrens and blends history with technology. Just as the Cache Owner was inspired to design this cache by another he’d previously found, finders of GC548HP are likely to come away with the itch to build their own super-cool gadget cache.

Stage 1

Visitors to the brick-walled reading garden of the Simon’s Town Library will find a quiet and picturesque place to read in solitude—or so they think.

Tucked discretely in a corner of the garden is a gnome pulling a cart full of pebbles…also known as stage one. The geocacher who spots the gnome will discover within a few seconds that his cart bears a load much more exciting than stones.

Stage 1 - Gnome
A gnome wearily bears the burden of stage 1

Contained within the cart are all the tools the geocacher will need to discover the code for stage two of the cache…but it won’t be easy. Inside the lock-n-lock is a block containing a series of wires. Touching the correct two wires together turns on a light on the block, indicating the correct code for stage two. Geocachers beware! Touching the wrong two wires together more than six times will lead to significant frustration.

The contents of Gnome's cart.
The contents of the gnome’s cart
Stage 2 (Final)

The final is inside of the Simon’s Town Library with permission from the library. The top drawer of the cupboard (which, by the way, was built by the cache owner by hand) can be unlocked using the code from Stage 1.

Inside is a working laptop with a set of detailed instructions explaining what the geocacher needs to do in order to unlock the code for the next drawer.

PicMonkey Collage
The final puzzle of Intersect 2.0

Finally, the second drawer can be opened and its contents revealed. In addition to a shelf dedicated to swag and special hangers for trackables, there’s a second laptop. But, mysteriously, no logbook yet. The cacher will need to do a bit of exploring to find the logbook itself.

The final - completely open!
The final – completely open

As far as maintaining this cache goes, the Cache Owner says that’s the easy part: “The only maintenance I have done is to replace the batteries in the cache. […] The fact that the cache is placed in a secure location and well locked up helps. I think as far as maintenance goes this one has been my easiest cache to maintain.”

At 43 favorite points, this cache has a 100% favorite point ratio—in other words, every Premium member who has visited this cache has awarded it a favorite point!

Words from the Cache Owner:

I would like to say a big thank you to the geocaching community for making our life full of smiles. Since we started geocaching life has become fun and as a family we love caching and getting out there finding caches and new experiences, that without geocaching we would not have done.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Trails now in app.
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Trails map type now in Geocaching® app

Some of the best geocaches are found off the beaten path.

Like this one…

Table Mountain
On the path to Table Mountain (GCN5VD). Photo by Love.

…and this one….

Valley of Fire State Park
In the Valley of Fire State Park (GC3AQRC). Photo by Love.

…and definitely this one.

Mt. Rainier EarthCache
Summiting Mt. Rainier (GCPZBX). Photo by Love.

With our latest Geocaching® app update, we added the Trails map type to help you find these hard-to-reach geocaches and to find the caches hidden right in your neighborhood park. This feature uses open-source maps to show trails in cities, parks, and wild spaces.

Here’s a peek inside the app:

Select your preferred map type.

chose trail maps

Navigate to a geocache using Trails.

trailsmaptype-3

 

Get the app.

Do you have tips for finding geocaches in rugged terrain? Tell us in the comments below!

Mailer_08242016_FriendToFind_vFINAL_Blog 800x450
11 Comments

Don’t miss this FTF!

In the geocaching world, adding an FTF badge to your Geocaching profile is a rite of passage. It is an honor earned through hard work and constant vigilance. Good news, wannabe FTF’ers! From October 10–16, you’ll finally have a chance to snag the FTF you always dreamed of.

Well, sort of.

Will you “Friend to Find”?

Geocaching is better with friends. From October 10–16, you may not be the first to find* a new geocache, but you will have the excuse you’ve been waiting for to take your “muggle” friends caching.

All participants will receive a prestigious Friend to Find (FTF) badge to add to their Geocaching profile. Winning photos will be featured on the Geocaching Blog.

How to participate:

  1. Tell your non-geocacher friends to sign up for a Geocaching account.
  2. Between October 10 and October 16, 2016, take these friends to find their first geocache
  3. Photograph your adventure together.
  4. Submit your photo and geocache log no later than Monday, October 17 at 11:59pm PST. We’ll add the submission form to this blog post post on October 10. 

Your friends can try Geocaching Premium, free for 30 days.

From October 10–16, your newbie friends can explore the game at its finest with Geocaching Premium. More information on this limited-time free trial will be available on the Geocaching Blog and in the Geocaching® app during the promotion.

*But by all means, please do go get a First to Find (FTF) on a geocache anyway. You can do it!

L’aiguille du midi

L’aiguille du midi—Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC1Y014
by Vilcanota
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
2
Location:
Rhône-Alpes, France
N 45° 52.759 E 006° 53.212

Afraid of heights? Then this week’s Geocache of the Week might give you the chills!

To find L’aiguille du midi, you must first visit Chamonix, an adventurer seeker’s heaven! Steep peaks and endless views in the heart of The Alps draw visitors from all over the world to experience this awe-inspiring town and scenery.

At 3,842m (12,605 ft), the Aiguille du Midi and it’s laid-out terraces offer a 360° view of all the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. A 20-minute ride in the Aiguille du Midi cable car will deliver you to the summit terrace where you will have a clear view of Mont Blanc.

Once you take the cable car to the top, take your time looking for the geocache and be discreet as there may be lots of visitors around. Once you sign the log, take in the panoramic views and walk through an impressive ice cave. You can also walk onto a glass skywalk called “Step into the Void” with a view 1035 meters (3,396 ft) straight down. Yikes! Due to the exposed nature of L’aiguille du midi, make sure to bring some warm clothing since it can be -10°C (14°F) in the middle of summer.

For those who are feeling even more adventurous, there is an option to strap on crampons (those spiky things you attach to your boot to ascend ice)  and climb to the top of Mt. Blanc. In the snowier months, some people also ski down the steep slopes of the Aiguille du Midi. Mountaineers and skiers are able to pass through a tunnel to reach the steep and extremely exposed ice ridge that descends to the glacier below. This activity is only recommended for very experienced climbers and skiers.

Although the scenery may mislead you to think that the cache is a T5, the platforms in place allow for a rating of T2. Thanks to cache owner, Vilcanota, for creating such a fun and thrill-inspiring geocache!

 

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

IntlEarthCacheDay
3 Comments

Get to know your EarthCache reviewers

This year’s International EarthCache Day is on October 9, and Geocaching HQ is excited to partner up again with the Geological Society of America to offer a souvenir for finding an EarthCache on that date.

EarthCaches provide an opportunity to learn a geological lesson and visit awe-inspiring geological locations. Visitors can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage its resources and how scientists gather evidence. Typically, to log an EarthCache, you will have to provide answers to questions by observing the geological location.

Thankfully, there is a group of dedicated EarthCache Reviewers who help facilitate this program so that geocachers can enjoy EarthCaches all over the world. Instead of reading a lesson in a book, they see and learn about geological features with their own eyes.

Who are EarthCache Reviewers?

They are community volunteers with scientific backgrounds that work with EarthCache cache owners to develop the best submissions possible. Learn about their story and what they love so much about EarthCaches.


GeoawareCA, Sandra

Sandra has been an EarthCache Reviewer since 2009, making her the longest standing active EarthCache Reviewer. GeoawareCA has a degree in Environmental Science with a focus on physical geography.

Mélange at Lobster Head Cove in Gros Morne National Park (GC5B7G0)
Mélange at Lobster Head Cove in Gros Morne National Park (GC5B7G0)

What is your favorite EarthCache?

If I had to pick one as my favorite, I’d have to say Pu’u’ula’ula (Red Hill) Haleakala Volcano Summit (GC18Z99) in Hawaii for its stunning beauty.

Tell us one cool fact we may not know about the Earth.

Contrary to what you may have been taught in school, diamonds do not form from coal. In fact, most diamonds that have been dated are much older than plant life on earth (the source of coal).

Any cool stories to share?

We recently travelled to Iceland and found many incredible EarthCaches there. We climbed to the top of the Eldfell volcano which last erupted in 1973 and warmed our hands by the heat rising out of the fumaroles (GC2EVVH); we visited a couple of locations where you could walk between the continental plates for Europe and North America (GC1Z45X and GC2DK2E); we visited geysir from which the English word geyser is derived (GC1G4XZ); we saw caves carved into columnar basalt and walked along a black sand beach (GC514W0); we swam in geothermally heated pools (GC25643); and we saw many beautiful waterfalls including one we could walk behind (GC2B1TJ). Truly a dream vacation for anyone interested in geology.

  • Eldfell—GC2EVVH

GeoAwareNordic3, Mats

Mats is a naturally curious Swede that has been hooked on EarthCaches since the first one he found. His interest in science and especially earth science make him an awesome EarthCache Reviewer with the most logged EarthCaches in Sweden!

Mats at Midlina, GC2DK2E
Mats at Midlina, GC2DK2E

What is your favorite EarthCache?

MIDLINA — GC2DK2E, an amazing place to see and get the grasp of.

The Greatest Little Mine in the World—GC1W9TC, an old mine in Sweden where at least 8 of the chemical elements were discovered.

Der Alte Schwede—GC1M15Z, an early EC:s for us, a big stone from Sweden.

Dinosaurier-Spuren Barkhausen —GC18P1C, imagine, dinosaur track!

West Sulphur Mountain Oil Spring—GC1A5E2, a natural oil-river.

Tell us one cool fact we may not know about the Earth.

Earth has an equatorial bulge at 42km. This means when standing on the equator at sea level you are 21km higher than when standing on either pole. As a result of this, the summit of Chimborazo, a mountain in Ecuador, is the place where you are closest to space, still standing on Earth! This is also the point on earth farthest away from the Earth’s core.

Any cool stories to share?

My brother and I used to take EarthCache weekends once or twice a year when we drove around Sweden and logged as many EarthCaches as we could. 30+ EarthCaches is our record for a weekend.

  • Der Alte Schwede—GC1M15Z

GeoawareUSA4, Mike

Mike is an Alaskan with a degree in Chemical Engineering and strong interest in geology and earth science.He still vividly remembers walking backwards in time more than one billion years during his first hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon when he was 10 years old. In 2010, he joined the Community Volunteer team as the Reviewer for Alaska and now as an EarthCache Reviewer.

Mike
Mike in action

What is your favorite EarthCache?

Having completed nearly 300 EarthCaches, it is difficult to pin down a single favorite. However, some highlights include “Umpire Rock,” GC1G4W0, where an urban EarthCache teaches a glaciology lesson in New York City’s Central Park, “Cabo da Roca – DP/EC33,” GC1HGAY, and many other EarthCaches along Portugal’s west coast developed by danieloliveira, which brought the local landscape alive for me during a tour with the EarthCache developer himself, and “Ape Cave,” GCZ8ZQ, which took me about a mile through a lava tube on the flank of Mount St. Helens. Yellowstone National Park has several dozen EarthCaches of which I’ve completed 27 during 2 visits, which greatly enhanced my experience to one of the most amazing “living” geology locations in the world.

Tell us one cool fact we may not know about the Earth.

As a result of melting glaciers retreating from areas long-covered by ice, many parts of Alaska are “rebounding,” which means they are increasing in elevation.

Any cool stories to share?

My brother and two nephews accompanied me on my first visit to Yellowstone National Park in 2013. After visiting “No Finger Painting Allowed,” GC1ZTH2, and watching the many mud pots burp and gurgle while we inhaled sulfur-laden fumes, my youngest nephew exclaimed “this place is disgustingly awesome!”  Having a youngster think anything in a natural setting is “awesome,” is, well, “awesome!”

  • Portuguese EarthCache Field Trip with Danieloliveira (right) and BTRodrigues (left) and Natasha.

There are currently 24,271 active EarthCaches in the world. Have you ever found an EarthCache? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!