Dartmoor Mega & Minor Challenges

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  • #678
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    As most of you will know, Phil (Lympstone Bogtrotters) suggested these caches to me a week or so ago and ever since we have been working extremely hard to bring his idea to life.  That was achieved last Friday when I hiked 8 miles into the most remote part of Dartmoor to place the caches.

    However, although there has been much support, there has also been one or two who have been rather less kind and someone has now objected to our reviewer.  For the moment the reviewer has asked me to disable these caches, which I have done.

    These caches were meant to be for the good of geocaching and for geocaching on Dartmoor in particular.  They may not strictly follow the guidelines, but they are certainly in the right spirit. I would invite everybody who has a view on these caches to come onto this web site to express their opinions, either for or against.  In particular I would like to hear the views of those who have objected and ask them why. Do they think they are acting for the good of our hobby?

    But a final word, I promise you all that these caches will be re-enabled even if I have to go out and place 60 caches myself!  However, if you are interested in supporting Phil and me and would like to help out, then please say so and I will suggest some squares on the map where we would like caches placed.  If we can enlist the help of 10 or so, we can achieve this within the next couple of weeks!

    #684
    dartymoor
    Participant

    I most definitely am in favour of this challenge. I can think of no reasons at all not to allow it and am shocked somebody thought so strongly enough to complain to the reviewer. It’s possibly there is a legit reason that is against the spirit of geocaching that I’ve overlooked so I too wait for the complainant to give their reasons, before I start to question their parentage!

    #685
    dartymoor
    Participant

    Seem to have lost the ability to edit my own posts, but forgot to mention I’m up for placing and maintaining additional caches, especially the eastern side.

    #686
    Mrs Celtic Jedi
    Participant

    I can’t imagine why anyone should object to these challenge caches, the rules meant that everyone had an equal chance of completing the challenges. We have already begun to make plans to set a few caches, although maybe not in the most remote parts of the moor, and were looking forward to exploring some new areas. After all, if you don’t like a challenge, then you don’t have to do it.

    #687
    Tamerton Chocolates
    Participant

    I am not a great fan of these challenge caches – especially ones that cannot be completed by everyone. But I don’t understand why one would complain to groundspeak – or why the reviewer would change his opinion tho – surely there is just a limited set of requirements that the cache adhered to when he initially published it.

    #688
    Wenglish
    Participant

    Oh My Goodness. Has the world gone mad? We live both in a country and in an age, where political correctness has gone completely mad. Now, it would seem, this absurd behaviour has spread into our world of geocaching. For goodness sake, this is a hobby which creates oodles of fun, it is sociable, we meet and make new friends, we keep fit and WE HAVE FUN. Whoever it was that has ‘run to teacher’ while the class weren’t looking, and complained about this cache needs to have some serious therapy in my opinion. First of all, ‘fess up and make yourself known. Meet us face to face at an event or post openly, not anonymously. What do you have to hide? You must know that 99.9% of folk think these are GREAT caches (the Mega and Minor challenges). I have to say that yesterday, at work, my enthusiasm for these two caches was overwhelming and in my excitement I spoke about them to colleagues. The consequence of that is that I now have no less than 5 colleagues who want to start this geocaching hobby and want to come out with us to experience the fun first hand. Explain to me how I now go back to them and say that someone has complained at us having too much fun and excitement and that the caches have had to be temporarily disabled while we have a debate on it! I feel sick!! I have felt for six months now, that I really must put some caches out there myself, since I have now benefited from nearly 600 finds of other peoples hard work. Rather selfish, I know, but I really had been planning and buying equipment to put something back into this wonderful hobby, and these two caches have prompted me to do just that, and sooner rather than later. Is that a bad thing? I think not. Does the complainant feel threatened at having to make an effort to put something back? Is that what it is? Or is the complainant a politician who wants to bring debate and political correctness to the hearts of those who only signed up for the enjoyment of the hobby? This negative attitude, and cowardly approach to a reviewer in secret makes my blood boil. I hope and pray that logic, common sense and views of the majority are adhered to, and that justice is carried out! Enough debating and typing, I want to get on with walking in the moors, breathing fresh air, meeting friends and thoroughly enjoying the fruits of the dedication and hard work of two loyal and very conscientious geo-cachers.

    #689
    Hobo
    Participant

    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]

    #690
    Wenglish
    Participant

    Enjoying caching or being controlled by caching rules? Chill. Enjoy!

    #691
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    I would like to thank Stephen for posting this and I accept that everything he says is correct. I did have lots of discussion with the reviewer on these caches before they were placed, but we concentrated on three aspects: were they achievable by most people – yes; could they be achieved in a reasonable time frame by some – yes (we estimated about 4-6 months for the mega challenge); could we set a level playing field for all – yes. I have to admit that I did overlook the “is it achievable now” criteria. But can I complete my 366 day grid now? Of course not, but Stephen has published that challenge which will take a minimum of a year!

    In my opinion the only questions that seem to be important are: are these caches good for geocaching? Are these caches going to encourage new caches to be placed? I think the answer to both is yes and so did the reviewer when he accepted them.

    Stephen may be correct in saying that they are not within the letter of the law, but I think they are within the spirit of the law, but in any case why complain and spoil others enjoyment – he certainly has not answered that?

    #692
    Hobo
    Participant

    Oh Dear must we get so picky?

    See GC2z3JG & GC221BN and you will see that this challenge is currently achievable. There are many local cachers with only one day [29 Feb] to complete.

    I see that someone is very quick to make assumptions without evidence. We have hiden 129 caches or events, well over 50 being in the National Park. They include traditionals, multis, puzzles, challenges events and earth caches. Unlike Wenglish who has found over 500 and hidden how many.

    #693
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    Stephen, you really are missing the point. What did you achieve by complaining to the reviewer and upsetting a lot of people. You have achieved your objective, but why and a what cost? How many friends have you won here? Have you helped geocaching in any way? Why?

    #694
    Hobo
    Participant

    Dave, if you had followed the rules and published when you were ready there wouldn’t have been a problem. We have had several caches rejected by reviewers, we have lost some because of abuse by other cachers and we have even archived one because another cacher particularly wanted to use a rearby site. We have to follow the rules in all walks of life whether we like it or not. I didn’t write the rules and I don’t like them all but geocaching just won’t work if we only follow the rules we like and disregard the ones we don’t. By the way I did let you know my objection before going to the reviewer and you could have taken the hint and disabled the two caches yourself until they were ready.

    #695
    rickardclan
    Participant

    Are they currently achievable?

    #696
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    Stephen has still not answered my main question – WHY? But never mind, he obviously has his reasons. This will be my last post on this subject (except to say where we go from here):

    “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”
    Douglas Bader

    #697
    rickardclan
    Participant

    At the end of the day the reviewer published them so he must have been happy with them? I’m looking forward to attempting them – I have no idea how/when but that’s part of the challenge!

    #698
    reb10
    Participant

    Wow! and you thought Phillpotts cave was controversial.
    My only concern with this is the amount of caches that could be placed on the moor. For example if twenty people take up the challenge and place (not find) seventy caches in the mega challenge thats 1400 caches.

    #699
    The Celtic Jedi
    Participant

    “rickardclan” makes a valid point, if the reviewer had not changed his mind, about the validity of the challenge we could all be attempting it with a clear conscience. It is awkward for us who can see the positives in both sides of the argument, on the one hand Stephen is correct that the challenge cannot be completed now, but Daves idea is to get more of us placing chaches on Dartmoor and that can only be a good thing as long as there is not a rush of caches just for the sake of it. I hope a way can be found to square this circle and allow these challenges to go ahead either in their present form or with a few slight amendments to the rules to satisfy all. The biggest stumbling block as I see it is the date embargo of 2012, if this could be relaxed slightly it would make the challenge more achievable within a reasonable time frame, well we can but wait and see. Good luck to all and happy caching, remember it is only a game
    Kevin Richards (alias The Celtic Jedi)

    #700
    dartymoor
    Participant

    Sorry Hobo – read all of that and it comes across as plain mean spirited, pedantic and arrogant. I’ve nothing against you or your caches, but what you’ve written here sticks in my throat.

    reb10 – don’t be worried about the number of extra caches on the moor. There are tens of thousands of letterboxes out there, a few dozen (or even hundreds) more geocaches that are maintained and tracked won’t make much difference.

    I love dartmoor, live on it (just!), and am very happy to encourage others to enjoy it like I do – so I totally support this and will help where possible – I just need to buy another map and start drawing lines on it! Hopefully it won’t be long before the easier challenge is listed.

    I guess another option is to drop the 2012 restriction – is that worth considering? Or have a “Gold award” for those who manage >2012 caches only.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 6 months ago by dartymoor.
    #702
    Miss
    Participant

    I would like to make two observations.

    I don’t see the point of publishing a Challenge Cache that CANNOT currently be achieved.

    It is not the first time the reviewer has published a cache and then found it was not adhering to the rules. It has happened to us as well.

    #703

    Hello everyone!
    I thought I’d better get myself ”clued up” on the technical & Legal side of things before I posted here, so I contacted my Solicitor – the highly recommended Messers Worzel & Gummage, who informed me he was in a bad mood because Aunt Sally had run out of Carrot Cake………….and hung up! Charming!
    Un-deterred, I made my way tentitively to the Challenge Cache section of the Help Centre and read up all there was to read about the rules and regulations of Challenge Caches.
    Most fascinating.
    I now know where the ”rules” end AND where the ”Points to Consider” start. To be absolutely clear here, ”Points to Consider” (PtC) are NOT RULES but the majority of them (ten in total) end with the suffix: ”will likely result in the cache not being published” so they carry a pretty hefty reviewer threat none-the-less!!
    To be honest, most of them are irrelevant to this thread so I wont bore you, the ONE PtC that has been used in ref to the complaint to Groundspeak is number 5 which reads (in full) thus:

    5. Challenge Caches may not require the publication of a new cache as a logging requirement. Challenges must be achievable by those who do not own caches

    This ‘incriminating’ PtC when presented with the main arguement of Para 3 of the ”Rules” makes for a pretty compelling case for the ‘prosecution’ and makes publishing both these caches probably illegal, and certainly against the Rules & Regulations as provided for the guidance of (Volunteer) Reviewers.

    I hereby find DartmoorDave & errrrrrrrrrrrr…………..myself (!) GUILTY of un-mentionable crimes against Groundspeak and ask that sentencing is delayed while psychiatric assessment is carried out on us!
    In the meantime, may I suggest a ROUSING chorus of ”For he’s a Jolly Good Fellow” for the Prosecution …………………..

    #704

    And while I’m here, I’d like Hobo to either edit / retract thread entry #692 re the childish snide comment about Team Wenglish.
    Those of us who are fortunate to class Alan & Liz as friends quite regularly mock them for their lack of activity in the hides column!
    Didn’t read much humour into your comments Stephen,
    SO…………..
    If it’s not SORTED SOONEST, I’ll drive down to Pastyland (apologies to g0akh & The Defective Detectives) and take the spark plugs out yer tractor!!!!!

    #705
    forgetful elephant
    Participant

    From what I gather from talking to people the objection seems to be to the “placed in 2012” which means they will have to go back to areas currently “cleared”. Basically I think people want to count caches they have already done, so they can do the challenge now this minute. Dave, stick with it Stephen I can see your point too. Perhaps if everyone concentrated on the caches not the arguing then this challenge might become achievable

    Personally I am one of those who will never be able to achieve this challenge as I cant get to the remoter parts but I don’t see why that should stop others. I will enjoy getting to the caches I can reach and maybe set a few “Joys of Caching” to help make the challenge achievable.

    #710
    Hobo
    Participant

    Wow!!

    I went out hashing in the Devon Great Consols (Europes Largest Copper Mine) area at 1900 last night and have only just caught up with this lot

    It would have been better if the wise men had been guided in the first place!

    As far as I’m concerned the matter now rests with the reviewer. In the meantime the cache owner can make these challenges achievable.

    I make no aplogies for introducing the rules to all players.

    #711
    forgetful elephant
    Participant

    just a suggestion…..as it seems to be the 2012 bit that is upsetting everyone….maybe you could drop that and replace it (as many challenge cashes do) with you must declare you intention to start….and only caches found after that date count.

    #712
    Tamerton Chocolates
    Participant

    Non-paying subscribers of groundspeak are only allowed to place 1 cache I believe. So even with the stipulation that one can hide a cache if it doesn’t exist, for a fair amount of cachers this cache is/was impossible to complete.

    Not sure I was looking forward to having an extra 70 new caches anyway – a few years ago El-Dittons caches near the peat passes for instance were unique – now it feels more like it is simply one of many and I even find myself not giving favourites to these more remote caches – they simply don’t stand out anymore. Shame they didn’t set a 1 mile intercache distance instead of the current 0.1 – but I am sure that sentiment is probably not shared by many.

    #714
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    I too missed all the fun last night as we had a power cut at 7.55pm and it didn’t come back until the early hours of the morning!

    I think Stephen and I will have to agree to disagree on these caches. I have to be honest and say I DID think we met the rules when we planned them and we DID get prior agreement from the reviewer. However, because of the complaint he has been forced to rethink his original decision.

    So where now? One option would be to get out there and place the 60 odd caches required, toss a few micros in hedges and it could be quickly done! However, that is not my style and I want to encourage quality caches, not the litter we sometimes see.

    After a long conversation with the reviewer and with Phil, we will do the following: Amend the rules so that caches placed prior to 2012 will count for finds. This still means that we need to examine where caches are missing, but it won’t be that many. Phil will be working on this. This puts a dent in the original objective of a level playing field, but it still means that caches found before 2012 will NOT count. So to achieve the challenge you will still need to go and find 70 caches for the mega challenge and 21 caches for the minor challenge. Caches placed in 2012 WILL count as owned caches. Once we get the additional caches placed we are up and running WITHIN the rules.

    I think the Forgetful Elephants hit the nail on the head with the following “Basically I think people want to count caches they have already done, so they can do the challenge now this minute.” Where’s the challenge in that? And it’s not going to happen with these caches!

    One last word, if you want to place some caches so that we can get this back up and running as soon as possible, please do contact me and we will tell you where we need the caches placed.

    #715
    The Celtic Jedi
    Participant

    I am glad that there seems to be a reasonably amicable outcome to this minor problem, and the solution as outlined by DD above seems to me to be eminently sensible. Re-reading the posts from Stephen, I dont get the impression that he wanted to count his past finds for the challenge, only that he objected to the post 2012 placing for allowed finds. Not wishing to add to the controversy, but could DD please clarify if a particular find/and or placing can qualify for both the Minor and the Mega challenge ? Are there that many “squares” without any caches in them. Has this been a conspiricy by DD and Hobo to liven up this forum ?

    #716
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    You know what they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and the site broke all records yesterday for the number of hits!

    I can’t answer for Stephen, but some challenges do let you count previous finds, some like the Alphabet Puzzle Challenge don’t. It was FE who suggested that, not me. And yes, you can count the same caches for both challenges.

    Phil is currently working on seeing how many squares have caches, but I would imagine that the Minor Challenge is probably ok now. Trouble is there is no query you can run that identifies the DNP only caches. 13 miles from Postbridge just about covers all the park, but you get stacks that are outside as well.

    #719
    dartymoor
    Participant

    but it still means that caches found before 2012 will NOT count.

    Excellent solution.

    While some of us are guessing at reasons for the complaint, what about Hobo having Dartmoor Challenges of his own and not wanting competition? (Joke!)

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 6 months ago by dartymoor.
    #725
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    The Celtic Jedi may have seen through our little plan! These are our Google Analytics for the past week or so!

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    #729

    Right!
    Just got rid of the Taxman for another 12 months – now back to the IMPORTANT STUFF!!
    Am about to start collating info for the Challenges, starting with the Minor, and will report back here ASAP with the results

    #732
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    🙂 🙂 🙂 We are now back up and running with the Dartmoor Minor Challenge, with all the necessary caches in place and I have enabled the cache 🙂 🙂 🙂

    As a gesture of goodwill to Stephen (Hobo) I have removed the restriction on Premium Member caches – although I still do not agree with their use except in certain very limited situations.

    #733
    dartymoor
    Participant

    Really pleased to see this back online, well done both.

    #735
    Hobo
    Participant

    Dave, Thank you.

    As a return gesture we are “de-premiuming” Prominent Feature!

    I’ll buy you a drink on 29 Feb at the Royal Oak! The Goodwill will never cease!

    #774

    ******** MEGA CHALLENGE BACK LIVE ********

    After a huge amount of effort on Dave’s behalf, as of this evening both the Minor & now Mega Challenges are BOTH back up and running. There were 6 squares that were missing caches, and Dave has placed 5 himself, with a massive thank you to Dartymoor for setting the 6th on the Eastern edge of the grid.
    Fantastic! (Dave – take the rest of the day off!)

    Some of you may have already noticed that individual square Bookmarks have started to appear on the RHS of the Minor cache page – these will become more comprehensive over the coming weeks!

    GOOD LUCK TO ALL ATTEMPTING THESE TWO EXCITING CHALLENGES!!

    #777
    dartymoor
    Participant

    I think you guys should get a challenge award for setting this challenge… Been a lot of work, but it’s clear it’s inspired a lot of people so worth it.

    I’ll probably not complete it for some months or even years, but I’ll be trying, a little at a time. 🙂

    #896
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    I have just been converted by Tamerton Chocolates to displaying OS maps on geocaching.com using Greasemonkey and have realised the impact this has on the Dartmoor Mega & Minor Challenge caches. You can immediately see which grid square every cache is in, so you can easily see which caches are available to you. Thanks again TC.

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