By: Kelly Ranck
In July of 2001, Thomas Klestil was president, the most popular album was “1” by The Beatles, and the country had recently cheered on David Coulthard as he won the Grand Prix. It was Austria.
And on July 30 of 2001, the Italian Geocacher Giorgio introduced Austria to the cutting edge GPS-enabled treasure hunt called geocaching. His original cache on Mount Niedere in Vorarlberg disappeared a short two years after it was hidden. Local geocachers placed a memorial plaque at the original cache coordinates and hid numerous caches nearby – all under the name ‘A Tribute To Austria’s First (ATTAF)’. These caches were placed in a circular shape along a beautiful path with breathtaking views of the surrounding Austrian mountains.
On July 3, 2011, the Austrian geocaching community gathered to celebrate ten years of geocaching in their country with the event ATTAF – 10 Jahre Geocaching in Österreich. Geocachers met on Mount Niedere to make the circular trek to the memorial cache, ATTAF – In Memoriam “Austria’s First GCE47.”
The group of geocachers included Geocaching.com CEO Jeremy Irish and German reviewer Stash-lab. Dozens of geocachers stopped to take a group photo and toast the occasion. This moment would not have been complete without the stunning mountainous backdrop. What better way to celebrate an anniversary than on an Austrian mountaintop?
Since the first cache was logged ten years ago, more than 18,000 geocaches have been hidden in Austria. Some caches, such as You have got mail, are so popular that they have accumulated over 170 favorite points.
Geocaching is quickly growing in popularity. As you’ve been reading this article, more than 100 caches have been logged on Geocaching.com from around the world. In fact, 3-5 caches are logged every second!
Because of its popularity, geocaching anniversaries such as Austria’s are continually being celebrated around the world. These anniversaries signify commitment to the activity, consistency, longevity, history, and tradition.
Let’s continue to gather together to celebrate this much loved activity.