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Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – September 23, 2010

Please join Groundspeak in thanking the Geocaching.com Cache Reviewers, Forum Moderators and Translators for their continued generosity and dedication to Geocaching. These exceptional volunteers contribute countless hours and untold effort to serve the worldwide geocaching community. Their tireless work and selfless attitude is greatly appreciated!

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“As the Raven Flies” GC1E3QC GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – 9/20/2010

View of Raven Glacier from near the cache site

“As the Raven Flies” (GC1E3Qc) takes geocachers into the wilds of Chugach National Forest in Alaska, USA.   Kmags & Ak4me placed the cache in July of 2008.  It’s rated a 1.5 difficulty with a four terrain.  Adventurers must to hike to Crow Pass with an elevation of 3500 feet to find the small-sized cache.

The location offers a bird’s-eye view of Raven Glacier. It’s rated a four for a reason.  The hike is challenging.

Only ten geocachers have logged a smiley for this geocache.  The logs are a testament to the power of the view and the location of this cache.

One log reads, “Awesome view. I have hiked this trail many times and have never seen the glacier, always socked in with clouds. Today was awesome with partly cloudy skies and enough of a breeze to keep the bugs at bay. We had lunch right by the cache and soaked in some rays.”


Not far from "As the Raven Flies"

Your exploration doesn’t have to stop here. There are now more than 3800 geocaches in Alaska and nearly 1.2 million geocaches around the world.  Explore all the Geocaches of the Week.

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“Experience a Heart Racing 5/5” A Geocaching.com Lost & Found Video

A five terrain, difficulty five geocache tops the extreme scale.  They’re dangerous, by their very nature. This is a Lost & Found video of an attempt to log a 5/5 outside of Chehalis, WA USA. “* rivers and lakes” (GC6982) is rated 5/5.  The rating on GC6982 is perhaps more than precautionary.  Any hiker faces the real possibility of serious injury on this geocache.

View from near "* river and lakes"

A five terrain geocache traditionally requires specialized equipment. This cache requires study hiking gear, including tear-resistant gloves. Geocachers BrewerMD, DubyaDee and Towtrkdug, along with cache owner Slinger91 signed up for the adventure. See their hunt for treasure and the waterfall waiting at the end their journey.

Explore even more adventures of geocachers in the Geocaching.com Lost & Found gallery.

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Share Your Trackable Stories

SDFD fire patch bug travels from coast to coast in the US

This is your chance to share your favorite Trackable stories. Trackables have completed missions to travel the globe, find famous landmarks and compete in Travel Bug races.

An example of an powerful Trackable story was recently sent to Groundspeak.

buttaskotch emailed the story of SDFD fire patch bug. She wrote in the log, “I am very thankful and honored that I was able to complete this Travel Bug’s mission.”

In January of 2010 caduckhunter placed the Travel Bug in a California, USA cache. It’s mission was to travel to New York City to be hand delivered to a FDNY. It traveled more than 7000 miles before fulfilling it’s goal on Septmeber 8, 2011.

SDFD fire patch bug route

Post a comment below telling other geocachers about your favorite Trackable experience.

The story with the most likes will be highlighted at the end of the week of September 12th, 2011. The author of the comment will receive a special gift of Trackables. Please leave your Geocaching.com username.

Editor’s note: Both Binrat and vante will receive a set of Trackables for submitting their Trackable stories. Thank you to all those who submitted stories. Look for Trackable Week again on the Latitude 47 blog in coming months.

 

Lost & Found Field Notes(Unedited): Surviving a 5/5

The waterfall at the end of "* rivers and lakes"

Believe me, I’m not trying to talk you out of attempting a five terrain, five difficulty geocache. I’m just trying to keep you from acquiring any scars or a metal plate in your neck. Geocaches are ranked from one to five based on difficulty and terrain.  Five is the most imposing.  Let’s be clear — preparation is key.  You should known the geocache rating before attempting the cache.  The ratings exist for your safety.  But, say you’re part of the “Lost & Found” documentary video crew? And it’s your job to produce a video on completing a 5/5?

This is one (tall/uncoordinated) Lost & Found video producer’s perspective on one particular 5/5 named “* river and lakes” (GC6982).  Completing this 5/5 only really requires three attributes. They are endurance, balance and agility.

Lost & Found videographer Reid

I sorely lacked two out of the three. I’m a teetering 6’4” with the balancing skills of an unmanned bicycle. My default while falling is to land on my forehead. It’s a precarious landscape for anyone who’s crowning athletic achievement sits atop his refrigerator even now. (It’s a bowling trophy from when I was 11.)

The cache owner and three geocachers were all bush-whacking to the cache ahead of us.  Lost & Found videographer Reid was capturing the zigzagging footfalls of the geocachers.  The terrain we faced for “* rivers and lakes” is a Paul Bunyan-scale crisscross carpet of fallen trees, inches thick ecosystems of green wiggling moss and glossy boulders with the traction of ice.

The cache sits inside a U-shaped canyon at the base of a waterfall. It’s a near vertical descent through thorns and an inviting thorn-ridden shrub aptly called “Devil’s Club.”   After a half hour, I’ve already realized waterproof boots are waterproof… unless your foot slips three feet into a stream and then the boots become sloshing bags of water.

A banana slug named, "Signal"

It’s about this time that I think a thorn catches my ear.  Suddenly my ear  is wet and it’s cold.  I think I’m simply in a wonderful form of shock and that I’m bleeding.  I reach back to feel the blood. I think, “This can’t be worse.”  It is worse.

My fingers curl around “something” attached to my ear.  I pulled it forward and stared eye-to-antenna with a giant banana slug.

I named the slug “Signal.”

This Signal was placed gently back into his or her habitat. It’s a relationship I won’t forget though.

The geocachers and Reid reached the cache moments later (relatively) unscathed.  Then we had to hike back out, the same way.  Signal didn’t make a repeat performance.  I was left with just a few scratches and memories of a wet and cold kiss from a banana slug.

Most geocachers have similar stories.  And like the Lost & found documentary crew, they’ll do it again.  Why?  You tell me.  What keeps geocachers going back to the trail?

Soon, you can watch the adventures of the hardy geocachers who attempted this 5/5. The Lost & Found video is scheduled to post on Tuesday, September 14th.