“The British Library” GC2M0AF GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – October 10, 2011

From the cache page with the caption, "It's not just books that can be found here!"

The husband and wife geocaching team of Nickie! & Brian~! hid the Multi-Cache “The British Library” (GC2M0AF) back in January of this year. Bryan writes, “I’ve been given co-credit for the cache, but it was really all Nickie’s work, I just tested out some of the maths involved. ” 

The difficulty three, terrain one geocache was placed with the permission of the library.

The geocache is one of the largest caches in Central London and quickly tallying up Favorite Points.  “The British Library” takes geocachers on a tour of the famed institution. Geocachers are directed around the library to gather clues. The answers to questions like, “Outside in the piazza, there is a statue of Newton. The last number on the plaque will give you A.”

Geocachers then explore several more stops in the library to discover clues in paintings, plaques and signs. They even discover the visual illusion of Paradoxymoron to help lead them to the geocache.

Once geocachers accumulate the answers to all of the clues, they plug the information into a formula found on the cache page to locate the geocache. The cache page reads, “Once at that location, you will find a small keysafe with directions back into the Library to find the final cache. Leave enough time to enter the building before it closes to sign the final log book! The final container is quite large (5 gallon) and can hold many swaps and Travel Bugs.”

The statue of Newton at the British Library holds one of the clues

Geocachers who logged the cache wrote, “Wow – excellent and worthwhile cache.. loved the challenge on this one… and what a contatiner / location.. brilliant – 10 stars from us.”

Continue your exploration of some of the most engaging geocaches from around the globe. Explore all the Geocaches of the Week on the Latitude 47 blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com. If you’ d like to nominate a Geocache of the Week send an email with your name, comments, the name of the geocache and the GC code to pr@groundspeak.com.


Geocaching Caption Contest 10 – Win a Barely Coveted Prize

Winning Caption: “The pain was made worse when a voice from below shouted, ‘Found it!'” – KBLAST

This is the tenth installment of our Geocaching Caption Contest.  This picture was posted to Geocaching.com’s Facebook page by a German geocacher.  It was too good not to share here on the Latitude 47 blog.

What caption would you write? “Additional logging requirements (always optional), Sing Soprano.” You can do better.

Barely coveted prize

The winner receives this barely coveted prize. The patch celebrates 10 years of geocaching.  As a bonus, I can vouch that the patch comes directly from the office of Groundspeak Co-Founder and Vice President Bryan Roth.

Good luck!  Please include your geocaching username in all entries.

The winner of Geocaching Caption Contest 10 will be chosen by an ad hoc committee of Lackeys.

15 Lackeys voted to award the winner of the ninth Geocaching Caption Contest a barely coveted prize.  Take a look at the Latitude 47 blog post to see who won.  Explore the wit and wisdom of geocachers by checking out all the Geocaching Caption Contests.


Celebrating 10 Years in Germany

Mega-Event Cache Das Ulmer Fort GC20002

In an area next to Ulm University, a short drive away from Stuttgart, Germany, is a 130 year old abandoned fort occupied by a few sheep, some goats and a donkey named Paul.

Paul the Donkey

It was here on June 19th that local geocachers hosted Das Ulmer FORT – the Mega Event in Germany for 2010 (GC20002).

Six months ago the local geocaching community started preparations for the event. The fort had been neglected for 30 years, so an army of volunteers had to dig out the, err, deposits left by the local residents. The electricity had to be rewired, sharp protrusions had to be cut down and sanded, repairs had to be made, rooms had to be swept out, and trash had to be removed. This was necessary to make the location capable of holding over 300 campers who resided in the walls of the fort for the weekend.

Elias, Bryan and I, the three founders of Geocaching.com, had the privilege of attending the event this year.

The founders of Geocaching.com posing with geocaching attendees. Jeremy Irish (second from left), Bryan Roth (second from right) and Elias Alvord (far right)
Bryan Roth and Elias Alvord with the Queen of Fort Ulm

In the course of four hours we were able to mingle with the local geocachers, visit the various rooms and corridors in the Fort, meet the lovely Queen of Fort Ulm and celebrate a successful day with the organizers by eating a delicious Signal cake.

Signal was not harmed and
Signal was not harmed and was, in fact, also in attendance

It’s not often that we can visit geocachers in Europe, so we used this opportunity to listen to feedback about the web site. High on the list was having better ways to rate and search for geocaches by their ratings, which has been a common theme in the US. As geocaches increase in numbers it gets harder and harder to find the best ones.

Although geocachers in the world have far more similarities than differences, there were also some notable observations in how Germans play the game.

Signal waves to a fan

1. Many German geocachers enjoy finding terrain level 5 caches, or what are locally called “T5” caches. Many of these caches are located in trees, requiring special climbing gear. The event even had FORTgeschrittene, a T5 event for finding these extreme geocaches. In addition to a ropes course, you could dive into a freezing pool to find a cache. Fortunately you could enter a portable sauna to warm up afterward. Sadly I didn’t pack a bathing suit.

Bryan Roth (almost) diving into pool to retrieve a geocache.

2. According to the “Flashlight Pope” at the event, there are quite a few caches that require a black light. This is so you can see writing that takes you to the next location. As a gift he gave each of us a black light to use on our next geocaching adventure.

3. Multi-Caches are far more popular in Germany (and in Europe) than in the United States. Many more geocachers seem to be willing to spend days on one puzzle cache there. There may be a lot of multi-cache fans in the U.S. but the ratios of multis in Germany to U.S. caches are significantly higher.

Aside from the event we were able to locate unique geocaches in Germany, such as a cache in the center of Berlin with over 3,000 finds (GCTA4W), and a cache in the spire of the world’s tallest church (GCJ7E0), located in the city of Ulm.

If the locals plan on having a FORTsetzung (sequel) next year you don’t want to miss it. Thanks to everyone who planned one of the best geocaching events that we have ever attended. I hope to see you again next year!


“WWC – World Wide Cache” GC1DZFC GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – June 16th, 2010

The Starting Point for WWC - World Wide Cache, Braga City, Portugal

This cache taps into the global spirit of geocaching and the team building nature of geocachers.  The WWC – World Wide Cache sends players on an intercontinental puzzle-solving adventure.  You start and end in Portugal. The first cache in this Multi-Cache is GC1DZFC.  From there you journey to America, Africa, Australia and Asia before heading back to Portugal.

Worried about the cost of all the airline tickets? You don’t need to flex your credit card to complete this cache. Most (if not all) of those who take on this Multi-Cache never leave their home county.  They build a network of teams with members near each leg of the cache.  Each cache contains the coordinates to the next.

WWC - American Leg of World Wide Cache

SPY_Team created the cache.  Rui, from SPY Team, says his 13 year old son encouraged him to create the five physical caches around world. It took four months to bring all the teams together and place the caches. Rui says, “I think the most amazing thing about this cache was the team work.”

He says the response to the cache has been powerful, “Many people working together to find the last cache. It was the most beautiful moment in Geocaching, seeing all those people working together to find the five caches and finally celebrating the global find.”

Cache Fan The Spindoctors, Earthquake5683, and JAKKTeam placed and maintain the other caches.  They say it takes coordination and a focused approach.  Cache Fan says the reward is in the interaction with other cachers, “It is also very exiting for the Geocachers seeking the caches of the series to get into contact with cachers from other countries to share stories and tips.”

The geocachers who’ve completed the cache say the key is team work.  Solving a riddle in the Portugal leg leads you to the American leg (above) where you encounter another riddle.  The answer leads you to the African leg (below) and so on.

WWC - African Leg of World Wide Cache

Teams like “ROUND the WORLD” post pics of all team members when they complete the cache. So far, 20 teams have logged all legs of the entire Puzzle Cache.  What are you waiting for?  Go out and geocache around the world!

Team photo of "ROUND the WORLD"