Climbing and Snowy Caching


Learning to climb

And now for something completely different… Today we took a special trip up to Grafham water (Near Huntingdon) for an introductory course in climbing. It was a 3 hour “taster session” course to show how to climb on an indoor wall. We were attracted to it as it was the cheapest around (£17 for the 3 hours) and they provided you with all equipment. It also wasn’t too far to go. Fortunately there was only a dusting of snow overnight and the roads were clear enough for us to get up there safely.

On the course there were just 4 adults (including us) and a party of 7 kids. Well, the kids made it look so easy and they were up that wall like rats up drainpipes. After the kids had had a go we all tried and… erm… well, let’s just say the kids were absolutely fearless, however we were all a lot more hesitant and cautious. We learnt how to belay and how to tie knots as well as how to climb and how to correctly come down. I was quite impressed as I managed to get all the way to the top.

Up the wall I go!

The top!

Yee! It was probably a good 50ft up. I wasn’t even phased when I looked down. So, that’s heights definitely dealt with, however can I apply what I’ve learnt about climbing and get some extreme Geocaches? Hmm… We will see. I think it may take a little more practice before I get my climbing wings. It’d probably cost around £150-£200 to get all of the gear, so I’m not sure it’s something to jump in to, however it was a great experience that I’d like to try again, however perhaps with a pair of climbing gloves as my hands were so sore by the time I’d finished (Soft skin caused by lack of housework ;))

Hold on tight...

Chilly Caching

After we’d finished with the climbing it was time for some caching. The snow had melted a bit, but it was still freeeeeeeeeezing cold! We started with a few cache and dashes. The first was Are Clarkson and the Ferret home?

A snowy backdrop

After that we headed off for The Lost Family – Cambridgshire Child this is one of a series of caches with others widely dispersed with one in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, and Rutland. After finding all there is the Mother cache and the Father cache. This was our first one in this series.

The lost family... The found cache!

Snowy fields

Dixie’s Domain

Next we headed for a short trail of 5 caches, Dixie’s Domain. We parked up right at cache number 1 with a hint saying that it was at the footpath sign, but could we find it? Erm, no! Our fingers were absolutely freezing so we decided to leave it and try it again when we got back to the car. We moved on to the next one and it was a little bit hard to find. We thought someone might by playing tricks on us and remembered back to the time we did a loop where a Geocacher had purposely stolen caches due to a disagreement with the owner! Those thoughts were soon forgotten though, when we finally found it. A leaf had been disguising it.

Although all of the snow meant it was freezing, the paths were fabulous and a total contrast to the soggy, wet, muddy paths of the previous two weeks.

A small wooded area on the trail

Dixie's Domain 3

Snow, Pine trees, wooly hats... Feels like xmas!

After we’d grabbed the other 4 caches, we headed back to the start and found the first cache within seconds. It’s amazing how warm hands help with the searching. I think I need some battery heated gloves! 😉

On the way to the next cluster of caches we spotted one that we could do a drive by on. We hadn’t read the full title and didn’t realise it was a TB hotel. It was stashed full of Travel Bugs. Hoorah!

A big, heavy container

Goodies!

Tate and Jess’s circular walk

We then headed down to Biggleswade for a circular walk of 6 caches, Tate and Jess’s circular walk. We enjoyed these little trails today as they reminded us of the short trails we did in our area when we first started caching. Unfortunately we don’t have any of them left near home and tend to do big trails when we go further afield to make the mileage worthwhile so it was nice to do these today.

We walked down a little track on the way to the first cache. The holes in the track where filled with water and the freezing conditions had frozen them. The dusting of snow over the top then made them completely invisible. Whilst walking over the puddles we could hear cracking. I had visions of us falling straight into a huge pool of water and I screamed every time! HAHA! For the first cache we got to try out one of our handy caching tools, it’s a telescopic magnet. The cache was a dog ID tag poked in a tiny hole. We used the magnet to pull it out of the hole.

I went fishing and caught a cache

There was a huge pond in the centre of the trail and it was completely frozen over.

Anyone for a touch of ice skating?

Devilish Thistles

We found all of the caches without too much of a problem, however by the time we hit the final (big) one we were extremely cold and it was quite dark. We decided that it was too dark to get any more caches today, so made this our last.

A big cache to finish the day

It was only a dusting of snow that had fallen overnight, but by ‘eck it was chilly and it’s going to get worse!!! I say, bring it on! 😉 Happy caching! Keep warm!

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One Response to “Climbing and Snowy Caching”

  1. sumajman Says:

    Wow! Some cold caching! We are sweltering in the Peruvian jungle this week as we visit some friends. The only cache here is one I put out a couple of years ago. I just put another out. Your snow caching and cold weather outdoor activity looks so nice. However, I must say I’ve had some great trail hikes early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it cools down.


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