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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 The first stage of obstacles include ladders, originally made of wood and used by smugglers in the 18th century to pass over the Swiss border.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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Geocachers Save A Woman’s Life

Geocaching can lead you in many directions, and is always an adventure. You never know what you’ll find.

On Sunday, October 30th 2016, Tim Turner (Blue Meanies), Trevor Bland (Trevor and Kate), Leland Smith (swiss cheese brain), and Derek Fisher (CacheDFish), left their hotel at 8 AM to start a power trail near Benton, Washington, USA. A Power Trail is a set of consecutive caches along a route that allows cachers to find a large number of caches in a small amount of time and distance. They are usually placed right at or just over the 528 feet limitation from the previous and next cache. The difficulty and terrain levels are kept low to increase the ease of finding the containers.

What began as a routine weekend geocaching outing became an unforgettable high-stakes rescue.

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It was a foggier than usual that morning. Visibility was limited to 50 feet in any direction. However, the team of cachers were not deterred away from their goal of hunting down the high elevation power trail. After signing their last log the fog broke and the team proceeded back home. This is when they saw something unusual.

“In one of the clear spots (in the fog), our driver, Tim, saw a wrecked car about 200 feet down a ravine. He pulled over and we all got out to look at it,” Bland said.

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The car, a blue Ford Escape, was surrounded by paper and other debris, all too fresh and clean looking to be old. They realized the accident was recent. As the geocachers neared, they noticed dents and other damage on the sides and roof of the car—it had rolled down the cliff.

Approaching the vehicle the group hoped the car was empty, but prepared for the worst. They were elated that no one was in the front seat. Then a breeze came by and blew one of the drooping side-airbags enough for Turner to see someone’s leg and said, “Someone’s in there!”

The group was shocked. Bland looked inside and saw the woman’s arm move. He asked if she was okay. The woman said she was in a lot of pain, but could not articulate her words well. Leland took down the coordinates of where she was, and ran up to meet with Derek Fisher on top of the ravine to find cell phone coverage.

To calm the woman and keep her from moving, Leland, Turner, and Fisher kept a conversation with her and provided water until help arrived. She’d been stuck in the car for 14 hours before being found, and though the woman had no life-threatening injuries she was lifted via helicopter to the hospital.

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The group’s immediate response and timing could not have been better. The doctors told the family that, had the woman been left alone in the ravine for a couple more hours, she might not have survived.

“It’s really hard to just go about your day and geocache after witnessing something like that,” Bland said. “We tried by staying in the immediate area keeping an eye on the flashing lights up on the hill, and an ear out for the helicopter, but none of us was really into playing our game. Not after witnessing someone’s life on the line. We needed to process and reset ourselves. So we went to lunch at a great Mexican restaurant that Tim knew. We ate, talked about what we had just witnessed and experienced, watched a little bit of a football game, and gave ourselves time to reboot and re-energize. We then proceeded to cache our way back home to Spokane.”

In case you find yourself in a similar situation here is some advice from the cachers:

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Turner: “Assume that anything is possible and always be ready and willing to offer help. Being curious can save lives.”

 

 

 

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Leland:  “Always be prepared! Have supplies on-hand whenever you go out; First-aid kit, blankets, water or any survival gear. You never know what kind of situation is right around the next corner. Lend a helping hand if you are not involved.”

 

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Bland: “Do the right thing. Stay safe, but do the right thing.”

 

 

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Fisher: “Don’t second-guess yourself; your gut instinct is to check out the situation. You may find nothing, but you might change someone’s life.”

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, the woman is in better condition and is recovering from the incident. Those who were involved handled the situation with poise, and without missing a beat. In an interview, the geocachers were asked how it felt to be a part of saving someone and Turner summed it up best:

“It feels very rewarding. Lives are so much more important than hobbies, but this hobby helped save a life.”

Welcome to Jurassic Park

Welcome to Jurassic Park Cache— Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC962E
by Team Aloha
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
4
Location:
Kauai, USA
N 22° 03.556′ W 159° 27.384′

Aloha! Have you ever dreamed of visiting the Jurassic Park set?

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If you search for the Welcome to Jurassic Park Cache, you can come pretty close to the real thing! Just like the movie, this geocache location’s scenery is seriously epic and requires an adventurous drive through flowing streams and dense jungle. The movie Jurassic Park was filmed on Kauai and the geocache will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the movie set, or even to the Jurassic period.

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Nicknamed “the Garden Isle” for the tropical rainforests that blanket most of the island, Kauai is known for the Na Pali Coast, and Waimea Canyon, both ripe for a movie backdrop. This island is also home to over 150 geocaches that will take you to breathtaking sites. It may be difficult to pick a “bad” geocache on Kauai, but this cache is in the top 10 most favorited geocaches on the island so it is well worth the visit.

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Once you have prepared for and set forth on your journey, you will encounter two main streams that run over the road and at high rainfall could be rushing high enough to prevent passage.

Conditions permitting, you may also encounter a third washout that requires caution even with a 4×4 vehicle. If you can’t make it in your vehicle, then get out and start hiking. This cache definitely earns its T4 rating, whether you off road or hike in.

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Once you near the geocache, make sure to make note of the cement posts marking the original Jurassic Park Entrance. Looking through this window to the mountains and waterfalls before you will give you a sense of relief that you can enter safely without fear of rogue dinosaurs on the loose.

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Talk about a cinematic experience!


Excerpts from recent log posts:

TFTC. What a ride!! Put my 4-wheel to a test today. Did its job going through pot holes, puddles and a knee deep pond without a hitch. Fun adventure with my other half in tow. Got to GZ and found the cache easily. Old logs beyond repair and newest one kind of damp so I left a dry one. Stuffed everything back with zip locks. Also left a path tag. Please log it if you take it. Thanks. –Ilikelooksee

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Sure glad we had a 4×4, it was raining and windy. My favorite cache yet. Had to watch the movie again to see the sights. Thanks for a awesome cache.- Wirelessone

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Wow! A dream comes true, driving through the original gate into the jurassic park, awesome! !! You definitely need a 4×4 when it’s raining, the second river almost flushed me away on the way back Thanks for showing this magical spot!! I dropped a dinosaur, he is finally back on his track and can stay a couple days with his friend in the park 😉 sorry for keeping him so long, but I think this is the best place for him to rest –oliver.baitz

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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.

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The world’s most friend-ly geocaching photos

During Friend to Find Week, thousands of geocachers took their “muggle” friends to find their very first cache.

We were thrilled with the submissions to the Friend to Find photo contest. Almost 2000 entries, from every corner of the world, provided evidence for a lot of friend-ly geocaching. The pictures were all so fun, we wish we could have named them all winners! However, we did cull it down to the Top Ten that we felt did the best job of portraying the breadth of your experiences. Well done to all of the participants, and congratulations to the winners – a new profile badge is headed your way!

 

Notognio with Jicki123 at GLPCQXHP

Notognio with Jicki 123 at first one (GLPCQXHP), Luxembourg
A small cache nets big smiles from these two pals!

 

Seemyshell with InTheLoop at GLPF8P1J

Seemyshell with InTheLoop at 1000 Young (GLPF8P1J), New South Wales, Australia
Seemyshell knows that if you’re going to introduce a friend to geocaching, you might as well start at the top!

 

Misselyne with GOCLO at GLPF85TA

Misselyne with GOCLO at la nano a Eric Monté à bord svp (GLPF85TA), Quebec, Canada
Could these two be any more excited?

 

Abbysch1 with Ces1993 at GC5B203

Abbysch1 with Ces1993 at Bailey’s Happy Landing (GC5B203), Connecticut, United States
Extra points for bringing the entire crew!

 

HumbleCat with ETraveller at GLPG6P4N

HumbleCat with ETraveller at Bassett Cove (GLPG6P4N), Southwest England, United Kingdom
Photobomb, geocaching style.

 

xprank with sysmeg at GC4FNB8

xprank with sysmeg at Зелен ад – Zelene peklo – Green Hell (GC4FNB8), Bulgaria
Keep smiling, don’t turn around. Nothing to see back there.

 

Icke! with DieKaiserin at GLPGEJMC

Icke! with DieKaiserin at “Klein Venedig” (GLPGEJMC), Bayern, Germany
Thumbs up for new adventures!

 

Robo56 with Paty-Ruth at GLPGNFNK

Robo56 with Paty_Ruth at 4P- Ctenicky haj (GLPGNFNK), Czech Republic
This is why it’s always better to geocache with a friend – you never know when you’ll need that extra lift!

 

TeamHokulea with CacherTobi at GLPGTN4Y

TeamHokulea with CacherTobi at Hawaii Kai TB hotel (GLPGTN4Y), Hawaii
Island-style geocaching.

 

KristaWalks with Zoey_the_Puppy at GLPGAG4A

KristaWalks with Zoey_the_Puppy at Elmiras Famous #3 (GLPGAG4A), New York, United States
Honorable Mention (to be fair, when we announced the contest, we never specified the number of legs).

 

A big thanks to everyone who participated in Friend to Find Week.

Who first introduced you to geocaching? Tell us in the comments below.

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Moun10Bike habla de rastreables

Este martes, 30 de agosto, Moun10Bike, el “Padre de la Geocoin”, responderá a las preguntas sobre rastreables en directo durante un Ask Me Anything (AMA) en el subreddit Geocaching. Tal día como hoy hace quince años, Jeremy Irish, fundador de Geocaching.com activa el primer rastreable del mundo.

¡Estás invitado a unirte a la conversación!

Fecha: 30 de agosto de 2016
Hora: 11am PST
Donde: Geocaching subreddit

Moun10Bike también anunciará los ganadores de la HQ Duck Dash durante la AMA.