Reply To: Dartmoor Mega & Minor Challenges

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I am the one who contacted the reviewer about these two caches. I am not ashamed of it as my intention was eventually improve caching everywhere (not just Dartmoor). I regularly cache on Dartmoor and have more caches there than most.

I believe that caches should be hidden in accordance with the rules. At the time these two were published they did not. They should not have been published until it was possible to achieve them. They are only disabled and will probably be enabled when possible. I did give my objections to Dave before contacting the reviewer but he refused to accept the rules had been contravened.

What I sent to the reviewer was:-

“ I have strong objections to two new challenge caches on Dartmoor. They are Dartmoor Dave’s ‘Dartmoor Mega Challenge’ (GC3BGYA) and the ‘Dartmoor Minor Challenge’ (GC3BJJF).

“Para 3 of the rules for challenge caches, to which you referred us the other day, states

“’Challenge cache owners must demonstrate that there are sufficient available caches to meet the challenge at the time of publication. Reviewers may ask the cache owner to demonstrate that they have previously met the challenge and/or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.’

“I note that this is a rule, that it should always be followed and that it is not modified by the further ten points to be considered. There are not enough caches available for these two challenges to be met. No 5 of the additional points prevents the use of the argument that, instead, one could hide a cache in a square that does not already have a qualifying cache in it.

“When I pointed out to ‘Dartmoor Dave’ that his new challenge cache did not meet the criteria in that it did not comply with para 3 he replied “I have had lots of discussion with the reviewer on this cache before I went to all the trouble and a huge amount of time (most of this week) putting this cache together. He was involved at the very start and has asked me to make several changes to it already, which I have done. Originally it was going to be about 250 squares, which he wouldn’t accept, for the reason you have mentioned. We both agreed that 70 squares was achievable by almost all cachers. Most of the squares are readily accessible by road and only a few are truly remote. He was happy that this did meet the criteria.”

“His insistence that only caches published this year and the exclusion of premium only caches ensures that the challenge is not currently possible. It seems to me that this aspect has not been taken into account at all.

“When I pointed out that these two caches contravened the rules his reply was “The reviewers will tell you that these are only guidelines and not hard and fast rules. The bits they seem to interpret as “rules” are the numbered points below those paragraphs, and we meet all of those.” This surely is exactly the opposite of what should be the case.

“If the object is to increase the number of caches on Dartmoor then a separate challenge cache for each square would have an even greater effect and could be published square by square as the required caches became available.”

Stephen Hughes [Hobo]