Reply To: Difficulty/Terrain Ratings – What Do They Mean?

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It is only in recent weeks since placing some of my own caches that I have started to think about the D/T rating of a cache. I am still a long way from completing my D/T rating grid and haven’t given completing it much thought, that will of course change as I get closer to completing it.
When listing the caches that I have recently placed I used the guidelines given to set the difficulty and terrain. Three of my caches have a terrain rating of 3, based on the given guidelines. However I would not consider the terrain on route to these in anyway difficult based on the route that I took to the area when placing them.
My Erme view cache can easily be reached by following the Two moors way to sharp tor and then a fairly easy walk across open moorland to GZ, in my opinion a terrain rating of at most 2.5. however, should you approach the cache by first coming down the steep slopes of Stalldown Barrow, crossing the river Erme and then coming back up another steep slope with no paths to GZ, then the terrain rating should probably be a 3.5 or 4.
I recently found the Avon tinners hut cache (GC4263Q) this had a terrain rating of 4, I approached this cache by following the river Avon upstream and the terrain on route was terrible, probably the worse that I have so far seen on Dartmoor. I went on and placed another cache nearby on Nakers hill and gave it a terrain rating of 4. However, if approaching both of these caches from the north, then the terrain is easier and I would have rated the terrain for my cache a 3.
Most caches on Dartmoor can be reached in many different ways, so the terrain rating is basically just the owner’s opinion, given the route that they took to place the cache.
The same really applies to the difficult rating, with puzzle caches what may be considered easy or hard for the owner may in fact be the complete opposite for those trying to solve the puzzle. I solved the now archived GC28Q1K with a difficult rating of 5, with very little trouble (I never went on to find the cache, so you will have to take my word for it) but there are other puzzle caches nearby to my location with a difficult rating of 3 and less that remain unsolved by myself.
If you can’t sign the log then you haven’t found the cache, so in the example given in the previous thread, GZ is 100 foot up in the tree. As specialized equipment or ability is required to reach GZ then the terrain rating should be a 5. Once at GZ (100 foot up the tree) the cache is in plain view and so no hunting for it is required, the difficult rating is therefore a 1 giving a D/T rating of 1/5.
Looking forward to the new series of caches