6. Jun, 2017

Up The 12 Steps in Walton-on-the-Naze - 25th May

At one of my events recently, BTL101092 (aka Julie & Andie) mentioned a challenge cache that they were working on. GC4R8ZT Up the 13 Steps is a series of challenges starting from 1, finding a single trad cache, up to 13. For 13, you have to find a 2*, a 3*, a 4*, caches set before 2010 and 2005, different types and varieties of cache, adding up to 13 caches.

Intrigued, I ran the Challenge Checker on projectgc.com and to my amazement found that I was already qualified up to Step 11.👏 So this blog is about my attempt for Step 12. Thinking about it, I'm not sure where the cache is, other than the fact that it's in the South of England.

You won't be surprised to find that this will take some planning. I've already found over 5k caches in Essex and neighbouring counties so sorting out some caches that meet the criteria won't be easy and I want to stay in Essex.

For the record, I need an EC, virtual, letterbox or wherigo, a pre 2005, a large, a level 3, a regular, a cache with 10+ faves, a themed such as an ST or a CM, a pre 2010, a small, a level 2, a micro and a puzzle. 😬 So this isn't going to be easy and I'd rather it was Essex.

First off, I'll sort out a pre 2005 and I have one on my radar at the Naze. There's a couple of ECs there too and a wherigo in nearby Frinton. I have solved a puzzle in Frinton, there's plenty of CMs but a 10+ fave may prove tricky. However, I have enough to plan a day's caching up in NE Essex.

So today, I start my quest at CM Kirby-le Soken and this fulfils the pre 2010 and the A Fine Pair across the road gets me the themed requirement. Quay Location #3 just down the road gets me the micro, The Old Cart Lodge, a little further on, gets me the D2 and Essex Jamboree 2008 just on a bit more gets the regular size category.

So I've been going for 30 mins, I have six caches and fulfilled six stages!😀 I was a bit worried about the Cart Lodge as it had received some recent DNFs but it was exactly where the hint said it was. I now have to move on up to the Naze to get some of the more difficult caches.

I parked up at the Naze carpark, paid for my two hours and set off. First off, I found Anazeing - the Naze cliffs which was a cunningly placed cache overlooking the sea. I added another fave to the 10+ that it already had. Next was Sharks Teeth and Treasure, another trad well hidden in bushes which took a few minutes to find but it covered the small size cache angle. Now I had a long walk up the coast to the next one.

Concrete Chocolate, another trad was to fulfil my need for a pre 2005 cache. However as it was published in January 2004, it also filled a place in my Jasmer grid.😀 I could see why the cache was so called. As all the rest of the caches on my Step 12 list were in Frinton, I now spent the rest of my two hours collecting trads and earth caches only having one DNF. I had a coffee in the Naze Tower cafe and started to work my way with cache and dashes down towards Frinton. Unfortunately I had DNFs at the CM and ST in Walton.🙁

Down in Frinton, Wherigo Brambles Walk and Cache was my first port of call. At first the wherigo app didn't want to work but thankfully it sorted Itself out and I completed the route and found the cache. The next task was the puzzle! I had solved the nearby Harlequin some time ago and the CO had confirmed my coords so I should be on a winner. Imagine my thoughts when I saw that the last visit was a DNF! However my fears were allayed and I was still on track. 👍🏻

Only two to go and the D3 was Captain Braincell Returns To The Seaside. No idea what the title was about but after a bit of rummaging in bushes, I soon had the cache in hand. Finally I was at the Frinton Park Estate - Art Deco looking for the large or other size category. Et voila, there it was. The challenge was complete and hopefully it will go through the checker.

With the pressure off, I was free to pick off some more caches. I found four CMs in Frinton and some more trads and a multi. The total for the day was 31. I found trads, a wherigo, a puzzle, a multi, earth caches but if I had planned the day better, I should have gone for a letterbox too. That would have given me six distinct caches on the day, beating my current record of five.