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The Complete West Highland Way Multi-cache

Hidden : 05/01/2018
2.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:


Cache adopted by GeoLovesGreen since 3/11/2019.


The West Highland Way (Scottish Gaelic: Slighe na Gàidhealtachd an Iar) is a linear long distance footpath in Scotland, with the official status of Long Distance Route. It is 154.5 km (96.0 miles) long, running from Milngavie north of Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, with an element of hill walking in the route. It is managed by the West Highland Way Management Group (WHWMG) consisting of West Dunbartonshire Council, Stirling Council, Argyll and Bute Council, Highland Council and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority. About 80,000 people use the path every year, of whom over 15,000 walk the entire route. (Wikipedia)

This challenge requires you to make the effort of hiking the Way from start to (almost) finish. Rest assured that (A) you will never forget the experience, (B) you will never walk alone and (C) the objective is the experience of the trip, the small recompense at the end only serves as an attractor for you to discover the Way.

The Way is not to be attacked lightly or impulsively. Do not underestimate it, or overestimate yourself. Prepare your body for the effort, before and during the hike. Take special care of your best friends on the trail: your feet,
your calves, your knees.

Good luck, you may need it.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to chop up the trail into chunks digestible to you and your party, find some good places to eat, sleep and find provisions, and get going. This cache requires you to start the trail in Milngavie, at the official start of the West Highland Way.

There are a relatively limited number of waypoints, all most probably wear-and-tear proof, or that's the idea anyway. Should you find one that's not there anymore, please inform me of the issue (preferably with a picture added).
Each waypoint yields a number. There is a good redundancy in the basic set of numbers along the Way, specifically because anyone who chooses to accept the challenge should have no problem finding the cache because of missing codes, complex assignments, trick questions, field puzzles or anything else of the sort. No, your Way is your challenge, you'll have no trouble finding the cache just as long as you are able to continue your Way (however, the waypoints are very sparsely distributed, so one difficulty could be that you might simply forget to visit a waypoint). In any case, if you are in need of assistance for some waypoint information, do not hesitate to use the SOS below. But please provide some proof that you have HIKED your way through up until the point of trouble.

The stash is located a few miles/kms from the end of the Way, its coordinates should be calculated once you've found the last waypoint and not at the end of the Way (unless you like a detour after a 150 km hike).

As allways with the best trailcaches the mission isn't complex, it is the experience of the journey itself that forms the objective of this cache. It most probably is not too difficult to find the cache location while sitting at your desk talking to Mr Google. Fine by me, just don't brag about it: there's no honour in that modus operandi, and shows no respect for the CO, nor for the wonderful journey you would be missing out on. But go ahead if you must. Voilà, had to get this out of my system. :-)





Thanks to my wife for her support and encouragement, to Robert le Gaumais for the company and especially to GeoLovesGreen for the great help in actually realizing this cache and being the local proxy for its maintenance and finally being willing to adopt the cache to ensure its continued availability.
René le Belge


The GPX file of the itinerary can be found here.


Help can be requested by sending the CO a message. Do include some proof of life, i.e. what codes have you discovered already, maybe a pic to show that you're indeed hiking the WAY. Also, don't panic if one of the codes is not available or not found for some reason. The redundancy in the codes should make it near impossible not to be able to find the final coordinates.


Q00 - code A - N55° 56.488' W4° 19.071'
Find the date in the text on the obelisk. A is the number of letters in the month mentioned. B is the sum of the digits of which the day of the month is composed.
A = ____
B = ____

Q01 - code CDE - N55° 56.493' W4° 19.056'
Find the number above this Masonic Lodge.
CDE = ____

Q02 - code F - N55° 56.458' W4° 19.092'
On this War Memorial, on how many lower plates are recorded the names of those who laid down their lives in the Second World War?
F = ____

Q03 - code GH - N55° 56.458' W4° 19.102'
On what date did Mrs Vera Marvin unveil this plaque on this magnificent clock?
G/H/1981 (G = the day of the month, H = the month, where Jan = 1, Feb = 2, etc)

Q04 - code I - N55° 56.490' W4° 19.068'
I is the 3rd digit of the year in which this bench was donated.
I = ____
J is the sum of the digits of the day of the month October on which this bench was donated.
J = ____

With all the required codes at hand, you are now ready to start your journey. Good luck laddy or lassy!

Q10 - N55° 58.GIJ' W4° 20.HHD'
In the engraved text in front of the stone, one finds reference to which decade?
2000s => K = 1
1820s => K = 2
1930s => K = 3
K = ____

Q11 - N56° 02.HGB' W4° 25.JBB'
On the black swervy curvy pole, find the digit in the triangle (near the top of the pole).
L = ____

Q20 - N56° 05.IED' W4° 32.JCA'
The number of letters in this man's first name?
K = ____ (backup)

Q21 - N56° 08.HEH' W4° 38.JCG'
The number of letters in the name (xxx) of the Fellowship that posted this request: the xxx Fellowship
L = ____ (backup)

Q30 - N56° 10.BBG' W4° 39.DID'
How many of these strange yellow arches will you encounter in the next 2 miles or so?
M = ____

Q31 - N56° 15.BJC' W4° 41.EJJ'
From the following list, how many distinct types of items are really obvious in this resting spot? Choose from this list: acorn, squirrel, leaf, pine cone. (So not the number of items (which is 6) but the number of distinct types of items you find also in the list).
N = ____

Q40 - N56° 25.DEB' W4° 39.EGD'
What do we find here:
- Slaughterhouse: O = 7
- Burial ground: O = 9
- Bothy: O = 8
O = ____

Q41 - N56° 25.FAD' W4° 41.BCD'
1KP6 is the year engraved in this stone.
K = ____ (backup)
P = ____

Q50 - N56° 26.HCI' W4° 42.GBA'
What do we cross here? (backup)
- A busy motorway => M = 2
- A torrent of a river => M = 3
- A railroad track => M = 4

Q51 - N56° 31.HCJ' W4° 48.JEI'
What number is on the door to your right when facing the street?
O = ____ (backup)

Q52 - N56° 38.IDD' W4° 49.FGA'
NPP = distance to the well-earned café?
N = ____ (backup)
P = ____ (backup)

Q60 - N56° 40.AGF' W4° 55.ICB'
How do we cross here?
- Stepping stones => Q = 1
- A stone bridge => Q = 2
- A metal bridge => Q= 3
- A wooden bridge => Q = 4

Q61 - N56° 42.EFD' W4° 56.HJD'
How many pipes?
R = ____

Q70 - N56° 43.HCB' W5° 02.HIB'
How many openings in the main front facade (doors and windows, do not include the annex to the left)?
S = ____
Now add the number of chimneys to S to obtain T
T = S + #chimneys = ____

Voilà, those are all the required codes for the final.
As a double check you can use the following formulae:
Q + R = L
T - S = K
Q + S = R
O - M = S

All set, have a seat in this nice place and don't wait to calculate the final coordinates. You're almost there. Nah, not really, it's some O+Q kilometers from here. ;-)


N56° 47.(M) (S) (L-K+N)'
W5° 04.(P) (T) (O-Q-R-N)'

There also is a backup stash just in case the primary gets buried again:
N56° 47.(N) (S-P) (T-M)'
W5° 04.(K) (R-Q) (O-L)'

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Nzzbobk gb gur evtug bs gur Jnl

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)