L’aiguille du midi

L’aiguille du midi—Geocache of the Week

by Vilcanota
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.


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 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!

Uhrturm cover photo

Schlossberg: His(_s)tory! GC1VCKY—Geocache of the Week

by Team Knofl
Steiermark, Austria
N 47° 04.637′ E 015° 26.227

Graz img2

This 7 stage Multi-Cache in Graz, Austria will give you a historical tour of the prominent hillside of Schlossberg. Along the way you’ll find cafes, restaurants, music venues, and other amenities. This tour will show you a side of the mountain, and will educate you on its history along the way.

It is easy to see why the natural aesthetics and historical and artistic value of Austria would captivate people all over the world to travel to this regal region.  Austria’s second largest city, Graz is located in the province of Styria. Graz offers a strong variety of culture, activities, and places to explore!

kid garz

Located at the center of the city is a prominent mountain by the name of Schlossberg. Coupled by the panoramic view, the famous Uhrturm (which translates to clock tower in German) sits atop Schlossberg and is one of the main sightseeing stops in the city. You may feel beguiled by the foothills off in the distance, the Mur river flowing not too far away below, and the classic red clay rooftops. This cache will take you to several historical monuments along a pathway, with breathtaking views.


The cache page tells the legendary story of 900 Graz soldiers defending Schlossberg after the Treaty of Vienna. In 1809, Napoleonic forces attacked the city with 3,000 men, and mostly destroyed the fortress atop the city’s modest mountain. The first stage of this Multi-Cache is in honor of the Major that led the defense, Franz Hackher. There were no known images of him, so the Hackher Lion was constructed in place of a human statue.


But did you know lions like beer? The Hackher Lion not only likes beer, but has a favorite beer in which he has been sitting on for over 40 years! Now Franz Hackher’s spirit defends his beer. To move on to the next stage the geocacher will need to find out what kind of beer he is protecting.

From here the Multi-Cache brings you to a mid 16th century cistern (a fancy water well),an octagonal bell tower holding “Liesl” the big bell inside, an old canon cottage with more auspicious views out the windows (pictured below), the bishop’s chair, and a turkish well.


Lastly, the seventh and final stage brings you to the symbol of Graz, the clock tower. The coordinates will bring you the gardens below, clad with colorful flowers and shrubbery. It is a tranquil area where students from the universities might study, or meet a friend.

graz garden


Built in the 13th century, the Uhrturm was designed to be seen from any point in the city. The clock hands were originally designed in the opposite way to what you normally see, in that the hour hand is larger than the minute hand. It was more important to them to see what the hour was from far distances. The people of Graz were forced to pay a ransom to keep the clock as part of the Treaty of Vienna.

Clock face

Not only is Schlossberg rich in history, but its vibrance is felt throughout the city. Each stop of this cache brings you back in history, and authentically tells a story that may not have otherwise been told to anyone just visiting the city. It is easy to see why the cache owner Team Knofl, would take the time to place a historical Multi-Cache here, TFTC!

MailerSuite_CITO2016_September_vFINAL_Blog 800x450_A

New: Official Posters For Your CITO Event

CITO Week begins this Saturday!

For the first time in geocaching history, there will be global CITO Week from September 17–25, 2016. Visit the CITO calendar to find an event near you.

Are you hosting or helping out at one of these events? If so, these CITO materials are for you! You can use these posters to help promote your CITO Events during CITO Week and all year long.

Posters To print and Post At Your CITO:


Download a printable version here.


Download a printable version here. 

Add THIS Official CITO Banner To YOur Event Page:

CITO_2016_EventPageBanner_vFINAL (1)

Check out these instructions for adding an image to your geocache description.

What do you have planned for your CITO Event? Tell us in the comments below.


Moving Forward: Our Plans For Geocaching Mobile

We Hear You

Since introducing the Geocaching® app’s new name and icon earlier this year, we have received and read thousands of questions, comments, and survey responses from geocachers about our mobile apps. We take this feedback seriously and have spent a lot of time contemplating and debating next steps.

First things first: We’d like to acknowledge and thank you for the feedback—both positive and negative—that many of you have expressed. In the post below, we’ve collected and responded to some common themes, and laid out our plans for both the Geocaching® and Geocaching Classic apps in the near future.

Community Questions and Suggestions

The following questions and themes are the most common responses collected from the survey, as well as from emails, social media, and forum posts.

Offline geocaching is a must-have in the Geocaching® app.

Offline maps is the most requested feature by far. Geocaching happens outside after all! Building Lists and the ability to save them for offline use was our first step towards adding offline maps to the app. See “Moving Forward” below for additional information.

I need the option to award Favorite Points and submit different log types.

Geocaching is a community game that’s about more than a find count. We depend on geocachers to let each other know when a geocache needs maintenance or if there’s a great geocache worth trekking to. We agree that these features are essential. See “Moving Forward” below for additional information.

Did you really need to end support for the Geocaching Classic app?

Decisions like this are tough and we wish we didn’t need to make them. But we are a business. We don’t have unlimited resources. Retiring the Geocaching Classic app—an app we built and love—is not an easy decision, but it will free up resources to continue doing the work we believe is most important to helping the game thrive, which includes making improvements and adding new features to the Geocaching® app.

The Geocaching Classic app was developed in 2008. Mobile phone and app technologies have changed significantly since that time. The Geocaching® app was designed first and foremost to modernize the technology underlying our mobile products. We committed to making a better app built on more sustainable technology and that’s what we’re going to do.

The app doesn’t do what I need it to.

At Geocaching HQ, we consider it our responsibility to build products that serve as many people in as many places as possible all over the world. Sometimes that’s limiting. Because there are many different ways people like to play the game, we support geocaching partners—like Cachly, Looking4Cache, GSAK and Project-GC—who tap into the listing service we maintain to provide services we’re unable to at this time.

You said it and we agree: There’s still work to do. So what’s next?

Moving Forward

We originally planned to shut off the Geocaching Classic app in September 2016. If it’s not clear already, you’ve convinced us otherwise.

While the Geocaching® app is not yet complete, we are very proud of our sustained commitment to quality throughout its development. Since launch, we created a better way to find geocaches of all types, as well as trackables. We added 18+ languages to the app to be more welcoming to players around the world, and we added Message Center to make it easier for players to communicate. We also designed the app to better support outdoor play, including a live search for geocaching on the go. Most recently we built Lists, a feature that allows you to plan your geocache outings seamlessly between Geocaching.com and the app.

That all being said, the Geocaching® app is missing some of the most requested features: offline and trail maps, log types, draft logs and Favorite Points. We are working to complete these features by March 2017. Until we get there, the Geocaching Classic app should continue to function. However, we are unable to make updates or bug fixes, since the app is no longer available in Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

For now, that’s the plan. We promise to keep you updated as we know more—and of course, “more” will include many of the features you requested.

Thanks for taking the time to read this far. We hope that by sharing this, we at least communicated that Geocaching HQ is made up of folks who share your love for geocaching and always want to do the right thing for the game.


Your friends at Geocaching HQ


Update for iOS users: If you update your iPhone to iOS 10, the “Sign in with Facebook” feature on the Geocaching Classic app will no longer work. Fortunately, there is a workaround for this.

First, you’ll need to request a password. To do so, go to Geocaching.com and log out of your account. Then, recover your password here. You’ll receive an email with a link to create a new password. Then, you can log into the app using your username and new password.