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Run N Search
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-07
Posts: 160
Location: Darboy WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

We just returned from a great caching day, but a question popped up on our journey.

I sorted for winter caches AKA "available in winter". But aren't all caches (unless disabled) available in winter?

We found several caches today with the "available in winter" attribute set, but they were buried under the snow. Sometimes more than a foot or two down.

Shouldn't the "available in winter" cache attribute only apply to caches that are place above the snow line, in other words they are in fact winter friendly?

I know that winter friendly is not the same as available in winter, but shouldn't it be?

I would like to hear your thoughts.

Regards,
Run N Search
 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5452
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

YUP! It's that time of year again!

I recall an "available in winter" hide that was under a rock, which was under a 25 foot snow pile, on the end of a Dead End Street! I know, because I found it in spring!

The comment of "above the snow line". How high is the snow line?

Personally, I try to hide most of our caches as if there were 3 feet of snow on the ground. If it is lower, it is not "available in winter". But that's just me!

Bring on the rest of the 'snowflake' comments! Confused
 
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huffinpuffin2
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2649
Location: Puffindoofer

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Timely topic! Here's a short thread from a few years back. http://www.wi-geocaching.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=12028&highlight=winter+friendly

We, too, expect (hope like heck) that the symbol means the container is up, and more often than not, it is; but that is not always the case. And remember those Finds in the warmer times of year, when the container is found 'out in the open, and on the ground'? Even containers placed high and dry can end up on the ground, adding to the challenges of winter.

Good luck, have fun, and enjoy your experiences out there! Smile Smile
 
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sandlanders
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-01-18
Posts: 19424
Location: Adams, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Don't even worry about sorting for the attribute. Some caches have no attributes at all on them. The snowflake means different things to different people. Read the cache page to see if anything on it will give you an idea about what kind of conditions will help or hurt your chances of a fun and successful hunt.

This won't work if you're doing a numbers run, but it may be more informative... or not.

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k12linux
WGA Member



Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 106
Location: Central, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

It might help to keep track of dates of bigger snowfalls during the year then look for logs from finds dated since the snow was up. That's what I have been trying to do lately.

Fortunately there are still a lot of "available in winter" caches around to find near here... hopefully most of their owners used some common sense when setting attributes.
 
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hack1of2
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-30
Posts: 1142
Location: Wauwatosa, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I've always believed that the attribute literally means "available in winter" rather than "winter-friendly." I wish it were the other way around. "Available in winter" might mean it's buried under the snow, unfortunately. With my own caches, however, I only use the attribute if the cache is winter-friendly, and always hope that others will do the same. I also like to state that it's winter-friendly in my hint or cache description.
 
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Fireman
WGA Member



Joined: Dec 28, 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Dodge County

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Yesterday I found one that was tagged not available in winter!

and have pulled up to plenty of "Winter friendly" hides that I knew were not going to retrievable without extensive effort/tools.

I am just waiting for one I can follow the foot prints too Smile

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k12linux
WGA Member



Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 106
Location: Central, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:07 am Reply with quote Back to top

Fireman wrote:
I am just waiting for one I can follow the foot prints too Smile


Good luck. Last time we ended up making an easy to follow set of tracks, we sent our 8 yo running around in the snow to every possible hiding spot. Even had him run circles around a tree where it wasn't. Twisted Evil

(Wish I had that kind of energy!)
 
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Fireman
WGA Member



Joined: Dec 28, 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Dodge County

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:53 am Reply with quote Back to top

cjaeger wrote:
Fireman wrote:
I am just waiting for one I can follow the foot prints too Smile


Good luck. Last time we ended up making an easy to follow set of tracks, we sent our 8 yo running around in the snow to every possible hiding spot. Even had him run circles around a tree where it wasn't. Twisted Evil

(Wish I had that kind of energy!)


I actually came across one that was found a few days prior in a park. I followed the one and only set of foot prints right to GZ, still couldn't find it LOL.

Was trying for a quick find on the way to work so I only invested a few minutes of searching, but could seem to make sense of the clue
 
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Run N Search
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-07
Posts: 160
Location: Darboy WI

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

JimandLinda wrote:

The comment of "above the snow line". How high is the snow line?
Confused


To clarify, I meant above the average snowfall line. That does become problematic though. Appleton might be 40 inches, while Superior is 100 inches.

Then, as someone else suggested, you have to worry about them getting plowed in. Your cache might be good this year, but next year they get a new plow guy who pushes the snow to a different spot, covering your hiding spot

Suffice it to say that the "available in winter" attribute is useless in its present form, unless ALL hiders make an effort to place caches off of the ground where it can be reasonably expected that they will not get covered with snow during an average winter. Obviously if you get a huge storm, all bets are off.

By the way, my original posting comments weren't a complaint, just an observation that warranted discussion.

Regards,
Run N Search
 
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k12linux
WGA Member



Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 106
Location: Central, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:13 am Reply with quote Back to top

We're just starting (first find on 1/7) so I can tell you what a newbie impression/expectation is of the meaning of the "Available in winter" attribute. We assumed it meant that you won't need to go on a snow shoveling treasure hunt barring extreme circumstances (somebody plowed a snowbank over it, cache fell to the ground, major drifting, unusually high snowfall, etc.)

The one we found last night shortly before FP on this thread seemed like a reasonable one to flag as available (and it did have the attribute.) I had to move a couple of inches of snow to expose it and it may have been under the snow level in a typical WI winter. But there were only a few "obvious" places to hide. So even if you had to dig with your hands during a normal winter you should still be able to find it pretty quickly.

In other words, if it is marked as available, I assumed that meant that normal winter snows won't bump the difficulty up by more than say 1/2 a star. So if the cache normally takes 5-10 minutes for someone to find, maybe it'll take 15-20. If it normally would take them around half an hour, maybe it'll take an hour or more.

What I wouldn't expect would be for cache that has a difficulty of 2 to end up taking an experienced cacher 6-8 hours to find or need to chisel out with an ice chipper.

But those are all just assumptions and we all know what they say about when you assume something. Very Happy
 
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maskinwi
WGA Member



Joined: Jun 30, 2011
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:25 am Reply with quote Back to top

I was thinking winter friendly as be able to find in winter. Well last year they all should have been winter friendly since there was not alot of snow. This year I went to Duck Egg and brought a little shovel to be prepared to dig in snow added to the fun since there was snow and the previous cachers that wwere there just before me rehid them as they didn't even found them. The comments that follow the foot prints really doesn't work that well as I thought it would shame on me. Yesterday thought some easier park and grabs would be an easy chore no attributes on the posts wasn't easy on the car. Have a dodge neon with little ground cleareance and came down the road which has not been plowed had other car tracks down it but when we got going down it was no turning back. scraping snow and ice the whole way. Luckily we made it out the other end. LOL I just say on the caches and winter use your best discretion. Happy caching
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8237
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:55 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Many times I use the attribute in combination with the CO to make my determination. Having done a lot of J&L hides, I've used the attribute in all seasons to give me a sense of how high / low it probably is.

I've also seen caches hid in hollow stumps that are "findable in winter" and truly are if you're able to clear the snow / ice that is encasing it without busting the container (a word of caution).

Basically I'm an all season cacher and ignore this icon for the most part. I actually watch the "Not" version more closely as it's a better indication in the winter that it's most likely going to be tough. I figure if the CO says "Not available in winter" they probably know what they're talking about. "Available in winter" can have many different interpretations.
 
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labrat_wr
WGA Vice-President
WGA Vice-President



Joined: 2007-05-19
Posts: 6121
Location: The Wildside

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:04 am Reply with quote Back to top

I have one cache with the not available in Winter attribute set as the park it is in is Closed in Winter, though I also disable it during this time.

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