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Via des Echelles de la Mort (GC32NMB):—Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC32NMB
by Sansecousse
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
5
Location:
Franche-Comté, France
N 47° 11.165′ E 006° 52.276

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What is Geocaching without adventure, risk-taking, thrill, and a challenge to overcome? GC32NMB encompasses every one of those elements, and has its own movie trailer. Be prepared to cross narrow monkey bridges that sway over 100 meters of open air, scale rugged rock faces, and climb what the locals refer to as des Echelles de la Mort: the ladders of death. After signing the log-book, zip line your way through the Doub Gorges in the Franch-Comté region of France to cap off this epic journey.

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The howling winds that sweep through the gorges have led the locals to refer to the area as “Death Valley.” Contrary to the name, the region is robust with flowers, colorful meadows, sparkling lakes, and the foothills of the Jura Mountains. The beauty of the Franch-Comté draws a lot of attention and becomes an oasis in the summer time, when other parts of France become dry.

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The T5 thrill seekers come to this area to feel alive and experience the adrenaline. The first stage of obstacles include ladders, originally made of wood and used by smugglers in the 18th century to pass over the Swiss border. Today, in place are safer ladders that are reinforced, and hooks in the side of the rock face to help you traverse en cours to the geocache.

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Just when you thought you were on solid ground, the wobbly monkey bridge and shaky nerves approach. Harness your inner grit to pass the daunting bridge and grab the cache that lies just ahead. The real challenge is simply getting to ground zero and overcoming that ‘stomach in your throat’ feeling along the route.

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“After a good vertical climb and adrenaline to the max . . .  I agree our first T5 was a hand trembling experience, and a lot of effort,” say CEPITIFLI, creators of the video linked above.

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Can you imagine crossing this in the winter time? There are a few brave souls who went after this T5 in the snow!

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From here you can choose between hiking back, head over another bridge, or going a bit further and taking a zip line across the valley. Don’t forget to BYOP (bring your own pulley), or rent a pulley nearby to add to the adventure. The area is regularly maintained by the land offices of la via ferrata des échelles de la mort

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Thank you for all the great pictures for those who have visited, and thank you Sansecousse et Gountard for recognizing this brilliant area and maintaining the geocache. 

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Soak it all in
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Geocaching a geothermal geocache (GC25643)—Geocache of the Week

EarthCache
GC25643
by goldohulk
Difficulty:
1.5
Terrain:
1.5
Location:
Iceland
N 63° 52.810 W 022° 26.976
Iceland's Blue Lagoon
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

No doubt if you plan to visit Iceland, you will probably plan to work a visit to the Blue Lagoon into your itinerary. With its otherworldly landscape, promoted benefits to your health, and mix of rugged rocks and modern architecture, it’s obvious to see why it’s the country’s top destination.

You don’t need to enter the spa to log this EarthCache. But if you do, know that the waters are rich in minerals, and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis. The temperature in the bathing and swimming areas of the lagoon are warm to quite steamy-hot. The Blue Lagoon also operates a research and development facility to help find cures for other skin ailments using the mineral-rich water.

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Table Mountain Travel Bug Hotel in South Africa
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Table Mountain Travel Bug Hotel (GC31WXR) — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC31WXR
by CapeDoc
Difficulty:
1
Terrain:
1
Location:
Western Cape, South Africa
S 33° 57.444 E 018° 24.185

Breathtaking views. Exotic Flora. Adorable Fauna. Travel Bug Hotel. That’s what you’ll get if you venture to the top of Table Mountain in Western Cape, South Africa to this Geocache of the Week. And, while the northern hemisphere gets ready for fall, the southern hemisphere is getting ready for spring flowers (hello allergy season), shorts, and light jacket weather! What’s not to love?

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Made in Canada, eh!— Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC2Y8Q8
by Coombs Wooden Shoe
Difficulty:
1
Terrain:
1
Location:
British Columbia, Canada
N 49° 18.358 W 124° 21.329

This week’s Geocache of the Week is THE most popular cache in Canada, worthy of its 503 favorite points. Made in Canada, eh! Is also Canada’s largest Ammo Can. At 122cm x 91cm x 49cm (4ft x 3ft x 1.6 ft), this metal ammo can and its giant pencil and logbook are hard to miss. It’s so big and so loved it even made the front page of the local paper.

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And oh, did we mention that this geocache even offers free WiFi? No joke. Check out the cache listing page. You may even get the chance to meet the Cache Owners at the nearby Dutch Import Store with the giant wooden shoe out front.

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For all of these reasons, GC2Y8Q8 is a great example of a cache to introduce your friends and family to how fun  geocaching can be.

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One of the coolest things about the cache is that it was constructed at the local Kwalikum Secondary School by the shop boys and their teacher. It’s pretty impressive how these middle school students were able to replicate the classic ammo can in a giant form.

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There is lots of enthusiasm on the cache page that will get you pumped to find Made in Canada, eh!


BearClaw1

“Discovered this one almost completely by accident. And what a nice surprise!!! I was by too early in the morning when I first attempted it, but knew that I had to come back after reading the webpage to get a look at this one. Glad that I did. A favorite for sure and as always, TFTC.”

xDraconianx

“This cache was our first order of the day, how can we make a trip to the island and not find this one?! Easily found and we enjoyed sifting through the contents of the cache, also loved the logbook and giant pencil. Met the owner (and contributed to the local economy); we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Tftc!”

Fleuve

“I had heard so much about this cache, and decided it was time to “discover” and log it today, as I was in the area. What a wonderfully well-crafted creation it is! Loved all the details, inside and out. Went inside and had a nice chat afterwards – it was great meeting you! Many thanks for this memorable cache.”


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To search for other beginner caches great for newbie geocachers, check out our search tool and make sure to set the difficulty and terrain ratings to 1.5 or lower.

Happy caching!

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.

A GPS and the EarthCache, Petra Al Khazneh

Petra Al Khazneh (GC1V4ZY) — Geocache of the Week

EarthCache
GC1V4ZY
by TeamNulti2003
Difficulty:
1.5
Terrain:
2
Location:
Jordan
N 30° 19.350 E 035° 27.100

Petra, O Leeds, is the most wonderful place in the world, not for the sake of its ruins, which are quite a secondary affair, but for the colour of its rocks, all red and black and gray with streaks of green and blue, in little wriggly lines…and for the shape of its cliffs and crags and pinnacles, and for the wonderful gorge it has, always running deep in spring-water, full of oleanders, and ivy and ferns, and only just wide enough for a camel at a time, and a couple of miles long. But I have read hosts of the most beautifully written accounts of it, and they give one no idea of it at all…so you will never know what Petra is like, unless you come out here… Only be assured that till you have seen it you have not had the glimmering of an idea how beautiful a place can be.

T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)

Channel your inner Lawrence of Arabia and visit Jordan’s first EarthCache in the ancient city of Petra. Petra was named one of the New7Wonders of the World in 2007, and was chosen by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 28 Places to See Before You Die.

 

Petra was once a thriving trading center from 400 B.C. to A.D. 100. But in the 1800s a traveler disguised in Bedouin attire rediscovered it and shared this hidden treasure with the world.

Several scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed in Petra. The movie’s fictional Canyon of the Crescent Moon was modeled on the eastern entrance to Petra, a 250-foot-high (76-meter-high) sandstone slot canyon known as the Siq that leads directly to Al Khazneh (the Treasury)—perhaps the most stunning of Petra’s dozens of breathtaking features.

Some logs from this amazing EarthCache say everything:

DerBär
The ancient city of Petra is definitely one of most impressive places we have ever seen. Of course we knew about the treasury beforehand but we didn’t expect that there was so much else to see. The awesome Siq, the colours of the rocks and all these huge buildings carved out of the sandstone – we often didn’t know where to look first. In the afternoon we walked up to the Monastery which was a fantastic hike with great views as well.

SpeedyGC
It is absolutely true. Nothing quite prepares you for Petra!
The sense of anticipation as you walk up the Siq to the Treasury builds and builds and it does not fail to disappoint. Simply breathtaking.
Have sore legs and feet from an exhausting day but it has been well worth it and looking forward to some more exploring around the site tomorrow.

Old Bet
No pictures I had seen nor words I had read were adequate preparation for Petra. What an incredibly special place.

Check out these amazing photos taken by geocachers and see for yourself!

Don’t forget that this Sunday, October 9th is International EarthCache Day. We’ll be unlocking EarthCaches in the Geocaching® app for members of all levels to enjoy. Will you be finding an EarthCache this weekend?

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