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Weir's Way: 'An Edinburgh Volcano'

A cache by The Tupperware Party Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 7/14/2006
2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

This cache is the first in a long overdue series of caches to be placed as a tribute to the great Tom Weir.
Tom Weir was a writer, broadcaster, hill-walker, rock-climber, historian, naturalist and explorer.

Unmistakable in his woolly bobble-hat, he has been a popular sight traipsing across the Scottish countryside since the 1930s. There's   probably not a single glen or mountain that he hasn't visited. So it is inevitable that whenever I've been out geocaching in Scotland doing caches like Scotland's First and A Midsummer Nights Dream that I think of Tom Weir's travels.

These tribute caches have been in the back of my mind for a couple of years now and it is to my eternal shame that it has taken the recent  death of Tom Weir to give me the final push to get the caches placed.  He was the grand old age of  91. This first one is being placed as a  tribute to coincide with his funeral.

Each of the caches in this series are based on episodes of his popular Weir's Way television series. This programme was first broadcast during the 1970s. It followed his travels throughout Scotland, showing magnificent scenery and bringing to life  Scotland's rich history. The show has inspired many of us to venture forth and explore our surroundings.

This particular cache is a short multi inspired by an episode called 'An Edinburgh Volcano' in which the geology and history of Arthur's Seat is explored.

Arthur’s seat
Arthur's Seat (summit on the left)

Arthur's Seat is a gem of a little mountain set in the heart of Edinburgh. It was formed by an extinct volcano which was swept by a glacier moving from west to east, exposing rocky crags to the west and leaving a tail of material swept to the east.  The distinctive appearance at the top comes from the basalt lava plug which helped to calm the volcano. There is not much chance of any volcanic activity here today.

Although it's a small mountain at only 823ft it looks a lot more daunting. In fact years ago Emile Rey, the famous Alpine guide, on visiting Edinburgh was asked how long he thought it would take to climb it. He estimated about two and a half hours - he was shocked to discover it only took him 25 minutes! With the well maintained paths today it should certainly not take you more than about half an hour to get to the summit, although some guides still seem to think Emile's estimate is correct! In fact the whole cache should not take you more than an hour.

In the episode Tom Weir meets Sgt Alex Wilson a member of the 'Royal Park Constabulary' who enforce the by-laws of Holyrood Park where Arthur's Seat sits. Once a common sight patrolling the park in their white landrovers, sadly this constabulary is no more, however a list of the by-laws is still on display at one of the entrances to the park.

The first stage of this short multi-cache is to visit these regulations.

Limited Parking is available on Holyrood Park Road at N 55° 56.467 W 003° 10.328 (Note that this parking is Pay and Display during the day, but is free in the evenings and at weekends)

The regulations board co-ordinates are: N 55° 56.496 W 003° 10.310

Here you will learn interesting things like it is prohibited in the park to "take an animal into a boat" and it is an offence to be "clothed in a manor reasonably likely to offend against public decency" (whatever that means!)
The first two numbers you need for the final cache coordinates are in these regulations. Written permission is required to drive a vehicle designed for more than ? passengers within the park grounds.  Call this A.
And anyone caught breaking the by-laws will be prosecuted and fined £?0.  Call this B.

Arthur's Seat is rightly celebrated for the key role it played in the origins of geological science. Two-hundred years ago James Hutton's studies of the rocks in the area led him to recognise that the Earth must be a lot older than the prevailing biblical theories of the time. Hutton's Section shows that igneous rocks were often injected into sedimentary rocks and were therefore younger.

Click here for more information about James Hutton

The Section is at these co-ordinates: N 55° 56.588 W 003° 10.032

Hutton's Section

On the noticeboard there is the sentence "About ?00m further up the road, on the right, is Hutton's Rock". Call this C. If you are interested in visiting more of the places where Hutton formed his theories then there is another related geocache along the coast at Siccar Point.

Now it is time to head up the hill!
There are many routes up Arthur's Seat, but the one that's probably the best approach from your current location is the zig-zag steps recently placed by the army. These steps start at N 55° 56.578 W 003° 09.920

Just follow the steps up the hill and then stick to the path that takes you round the hill and then eventually over the side and up to the summit. Be careful that you stick to the main path and watch the steps when it's wet as they can be quite slippery!

Arthur's Seat co-ordinates: N 55° 56.640 W 003° 09.721

(Whilst you're on top of the mountain, if you've not already done so, why not bag Arthur's Seat Earthcache )

Once you get to the top you will see a display showing you how far away some of the other prominent hills of Scotland are (on a clear day you just might be able to see them in the distance). For the final number needed, look at the display and find the line for Ben Lawers. This mountain is 1? 14m.  Call this D.
(Please do not divulge any of the details of this display in your logs as the information is also used by another cache)

The final cache co-ordinates are 55.56.5(AB - 4) 003.09.5(CD - 12)
The original co-ordinates for the cache were 55.56.5AB 003.09.5CD, but I have had to reposition the cache slightly after it was muggled - hence the extra little bit of arithmetic on the final location! Whilst this final location is a lot quieter than the top of Arthur's Seat, it can still gets some visitors so be careful! To avoid it getting muggled again please ensure that it is not at all visible. Thank-you.


Related Websites:

The geology of Arthur's Seat and Holyrood Park

The flora and fauna of Arthur's Seat

An article on Tom Weir

An article on Weir's Way

Additional Hints (Encrypt)

Behind one, if not the, biggest rock - right on the N edge of the gorse bush forrest, just missed the fire!



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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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