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This cache has been archived.

connies: Archived. It was fun while it lasted and maybe a few people learned something!

Happy caching everyone!


Antarctic Andy

A cache by connies Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 12/01/2009
2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

At AGO-1. If you can get there, it will be a pretty easy find, especially if you read the hint. Leave it neater than when you arrived.

Strongly suggest submitting a photo or sending me email with validating info about your mission there.

My brother Andy physically put the cache here (I can't tolerate cold or altitude) while on a US Antarctic Program AGO maintenance mission.

The AGOs (Automatic Geophysical Observatories) are six trailer-sized structures around Antarctica that collect "space weather" atmospheric and magnetospheric data transmitted back via satellite. They were developed by an international consortium of universities, scientific and engineering organizations and are maintained with funding from a number of sources including the National Science Foundation, which funds the US Antarctic Program.

Here's a shot of AGO 1 as it appeared in Dec 2009 after it had already received some attention from my brother and the other two guys on the crew. The Google Map will take you right to it :-) :

For contrast, here's a picture of AGO 2 my brother took when he and the the other two guys on the crew first approached it on their December 2009 maintenance mission. As you can see, the first task is shoveling. Not only do the crew need to be proficient mechanical and electrical engineers, but they need to be proficient snow shovel engineers at altitude.

You can get information about the mission to the AGOs and view the actual data graphs here:

As you can imagine, the extreme conditions take a brutal toll on the equipment, which must operate unattended for most of the year, until the Antarctic summer when a crew of three people visits the AGOs to dig them out of the snow, repair and maintain them. One of those three people is an EMT or experienced mountaineer -- this is dangerous work in extreme conditions for accumulation of knowledge. But they still dash out to the potty in flipflops. Can you guess why?

For those who are interested in applying for a mission and getting to this cache, or are interested in the US Antarctic Program generally (which is jam-packed with science-y awesomeness ranging from space to weather to geophysics to particle physics to biology and beyond), check out the USAP page at

By the way, Andy owns the Lhasa Apso named Buckley of the "Buckley's Walk" cache, and actually milled out the wooden camo block for that cache.

Strongly suggest posting a photo of yourself or emailing validating info about your mission there. To the admins -- keep it fun or this is going away.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Va gur gbc qenjre gb gur evtug bs gur qbbe jura lbh tb va. Uryc lbhefrys gb nal sbbq lbh svaq, ohg znl gnxr n juvyr gb gunj :-).

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)