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As an EarthCache, there is no “box.” You discover something about the geology of the area. For more info about EarthCache's take a look at www.earthcache.org
Important note:These requested photographs are related to an Earth Science logging activity such as a recording of a phenomenon which must form part of your answer and as such they are a requirement to log this earthcache.
In your log include the following photo's but not the explanation:
ALL LOGGING REQUIREMENTS MUST BE FULFILLED INCLUDE MANDATORY PHOTO'S AT TWO SPECIFIC LOCATIONS THE ANSWERS ARE ON AVAILABLE THROUGH THIS WEB PAGE.
LOGS WITHOUT ANSWERS AND PHOTO'S WILL BE DELETED
(a). Examine a sample of the main rock at the Red Burn before the ZigZags; take a photograph of the sample including your GPS as proof of its location.
(b) Examine a sample of the main rock at the Summit Plateau; take a photograph of the sample including your GPS as proof of its location.
DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOUR TRIP AND INCLUDE THESE PHOTO’S IN YOUR LOG
(2) Using research; in your email to me describe how the two specimens differ, how they were formed, the crystal size of each and how they came to be where they are etc.
The weather has always played an important part (EROSION) in the formation of Ben Nevis as we see it today. Take a walk in the footsteps of Clement Wragge who made daily treks to the summit to record the weather.
Orogeny is the name given to the tectonic process of mountain building and continental uplift. Such mechanisms operate only over tens or even hundreds of millions of years.
The first stage of the Caledonian Orogeny, the mountain-building event that brought the geological foundations of Scotland together, occurred 480-460 million years ago.
During and after the Grampian Event, molten rock formed and pushed its way into the deformed rocks of the Grampian Highlands. Much of this was granite which now forms distinctive mountain masses such as the Cairngorms, Lochnagar and Ben Nevis.
There is now little doubt that the presence of mountain ranges on the Earth can dramatically influence global climate Erosive processes over 400 million years ago, including many cycles of glaciation and erosion through rain, wind and frost, have removed the top layer, including almost all of the lavas other than that section which collapsed into the magma chamber and has, as a result, been preserved. What is visible today is effectively the roots of the volcano, with many kilometres of the overlying rock having been eroded away.
INCLUDE IN YOUR LOG: A record of the following under each heading:
WINDSPEED - Use the Beaufort Scale as an aid.
TEMPERATURE - You could obtain the temp at sea level from a current forecast then research “Lapse Rate” at home etc to work out the summit temperature. Average decrease in temp = 2.5 degrees per 1000ft.
WINDCHILL FACTOR - Using windspeed and temperature, use research and give the windchill factor on the summit.
WIND DIRECTION - Remember that means where its coming from.
CLOUD COVER - in octares, 8 octares = full cloud cover.
VISIBILITY - in mts/km’s
INCLUDE THIS INFORMATION IN YOUR LOG. PHOTO's HELP AUTHENTICATE YOUR FINDINGS
RING OF FIRE
Cache allowed with the kind permission of The John Muir Trust to whom I am most grateful.
The Nevis Range is built from rocks that formed beneath a volcano, and a similar one in Glen Coe, developed near the long period of mountain building that formed the Caledonian Mountain Chain, which stretches from Norway, through North-Easy Greenland, to the Appalachian range in North America.
Deep beneath the mountain range, rocks began to melt. Molten magma moved upward through the crust. Some solidified in magma chambers below the surface, forming large intrusions of granite. In Nevis Range these are arranged in rings, with an outer, broken ring of diorite surrounding rings of white ‘outer’ and pink ‘inner’ granite.
Above the magma chamber, a large volcano was pouring out a type of lava called andesite, after the Andes mountains. Andesites are being erupted today along the ‘ring of fire’ that surrounds the Pacific Ocean.
The throat of the Ben Nevis volcano contained a caldera (Spanish for ‘cauldron’) with a lava lake in its centre. Solidified andesite lavas in the base of the caldera subsided down circular faults into the granite below and now form the North Face of Ben Nevis.
410 million years later glaciers carved the shape of Ben Nevis. The North Face of Ben Nevis was carved by ice plucking at the heart of an ancient volcano.
Vast ash clouds are erupted as the rocks of the caldera sink into the magma chamber.
Click here for an excellent page giving further extensive information on BEN NEVIS.
You should be aware that Climbing Ben Nevis at ANY time of year can be a very serious undertaking.
In anything other than stable and fine weather, you should not attempt the ascent unless:-
1 You have full waterproof clothing i.e. jacket and trousers.
2 You have warm clothing - top and bottom.
3 You have a warm hat and gloves or mitts.
4 You have substantial boots.
5 You have a map (scale at least 1:50,000 and preferably 1:25,000).
6 You have a compass.
7 You know you have the ability to navigate accurately in mist and cloud under difficult conditions.
The round trip takes about 7 hours on average: 4 hours for the ascent and 3 hours for the descent. This timing does not allow for rests, food stops etc.
Also navigation around the summit area of Ben Nevis can be very dangerous when there is low visibility due to the proximity of the steep cliffs of the North East Face and also of Five Finger Gully the south western side.
In order to safely descend from the summit the safest way is to go 150m on a bearing of 231° from the summit cairn.
You should be aware of Gardyloo Gully on your right hand side on this section.
Then take a bearing of 282° where you will travel around 300m on a farily flat section, followed by a steeper section for 100m after which the angle eases.
You should eventually hit the zig-zag path which you can then follow safely down.
This advice comes from Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, and is printed on the summit area map which they produce.
Warning : these bearings and distances are only likely to be of any assistance if you are already a competent navigator. Even very experienced mountaineers can have great difficulty navigating accurately in severe wind or white-out conditions, such as occur frequently on the Ben Nevis plateau.
Click here for further navigational information.
Click here for Weather Forecast information.
Perhaps try one of the experiments with the young people in the groups to help explain the earth science?
I would like to extend thanks to Janomi for his original cache which so many people enjoyed and for allowing me to totally change its original format. Also for his complimentary remarks received........"Your new design for the Ben Nevis earthcache is amazing!!! Seriously, I could not have hoped for it to be any better. Thank you for giving this wonderful cache the attention that it deserves."Janomi (Chris)
READ THE CLUE
GUR NAFJREF NER BA NINVYNOYR GUEBHTU GUVF JRO CNTR
ABGVPR OBNEQ VA YBJRE SNYYF PNE CNEX (TYRA ARIVF)
QVFPHFF: ERQ TENAVGR - NAQRFVGR - PNYQREN
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum