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Vulcan's Throne Traditional Cache

Hidden : 05/18/2002
Difficulty:
3.5 out of 5
Terrain:
4.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

An ascent to the majestic throne of the ancient god Vulcan. This is cache for the adventurous, and surefooted (and sure handed) who doesn't mind a strenuous day and minor peril to bag a stellar cache location. The view, the 1400 foot steep elevation change, and class 4 rock scrambles are worth it!

The route to the site: from Albuquerque, north on I-25 to US 550. Then northwest 40 miles to a turn onto NM 279 (N35.42.696 W106.56.297) Follow this road for about 8.5 miles and it turns to dirt. During wet conditions the dirt roads on the way to the cache location may become very soft during heavy rains. After the dirt starts you have 7.7 miles to go. At N35.37.946 W107.06.463 there is a fork in the road, take the left fork. There is a sign at this location N35.35.750 W107.07.312 that marks the turn onto the final mile to a parking area. This last mile is rough and could be rutted, but the whole route can be done in a car without 4WD. Follow this road to the end which is where the parking area and trail head is.

The trail starts beyond the area info sign and is well worn at first but then becomes harder to see as you get higher on the mountain. Trail material starts as hard pack dirt, but then varies to loose soil, lava, blocky talus, and then there is no definable trail as rock scrambling ensues. Loose material underfoot is a common theme all along the way, so watch your footing. When using your hands, look out for pesky cactus. Throughout the whole route, there are small stone cairns that guide you on the way to go, even in the steepest areas. A large stone arrow at N35.35.841 W107.05.601 pointing to the left marks where the serious uphill part starts. Locations N35.35.893 W107.05.654 and N35.35.967 W107.05.689 mark areas where the route is more difficult. There are no other routes to the cache site that can be done without technical climbing equipment, so don't bother looking. While on the ascent, GPS reception may be difficult due to the imposing near vertical face of the mountain blocking reception.

This cache is probably not a good idea to attempt in rain due to slick rocks hindering climbing, and would be foolish during lightning, as YOU are the highest point for many miles around when on the peak's summit. This cache is also not for the dog, the mountain bike, or those with a fear of heights since much of the route has sheer dropoffs on one side and is exposed to places where falling would be a very undesireable event. The upside is the most spectacular view of the Rio Puerco Valley, a sense of accomplishment, and a good workout you'll probably feel the next day. Allow 4 hours round trip hiking time to enjoy the trip. Bring water as none is available on the route.

The cache is in a 50 .cal ammo can. Original contents: Topographic 1:50 quadrangles of the cache location, A great topo map of the whole of New Mexico, a Carl Hiassen novel (Double Whammy, quite funny), Mardi Gras doubloons from Mardi Gras Galveston TX 2000, A little folding pocket knife still in the package, and some other good stuff I can't seem to remember right now. Logbook and Pen included to log your day. A little package in the cache desribes the history of the fantastic spot the cache rests upon.

So, if your strong enough, adventurous enough, brave enough, GEOCACHER enough, then you too can climb into the heavens and sit with the gods of yore atop Vulcan's Throne!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Guvf vf n pyvzo gb gur gbc bs Pnormba Crnx, ohg gur pnpur vf abg ng gur fhzzvg. Ohg tb gb gur fhzzvg naq fvta gur fhzzvg ybt va gur CIP cvcr va gur ebpx sbegerff fgehpgher!

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)