5/5 geocaching is the pinnacle of geocaching in terms of Groundspeak’s rating system. By the basic definition provided by groundspeak a Difficulty 5/ Terrain 5 geocache is:
A serious mental or physical challenge. May require specialized knowledge or skills to find or open the geocache.
By the same definition a Terrain 5 geocache is:
Terrain: Extremely challenging terrain Requires specialized equipment (boat, 4WD, rock climbing, SCUBA, etc.) or is otherwise extremely difficult.
Why the interest in this one category of difficulty terrain rated geocaches? There is an easy answer and a more complicated answer. The easy answer: they are the highest rated. The more complicated answer: There is so much encompassed in this one category. The easiest way to explain what I mean by this is by example.
By definition, a geocache that requires you to break a code then project distance and bearing to come up with the coordinates for each stage, then requires you to take a ten mile hike to the top of a fourteen thousand foot peak would easily qualify as a 5/5. There probably wouldn’t be many that would doubt that rating. The complication comes when the next cache is published and it has more difficult puzzles, a longer hike, and a leg of the journey that requires a boat. So what is this one? Well, its a 5/5. Ok, lets throw in a 4WD ride, exploring a cave, and a little rappelling – where are we now? Yep, still a 5/5. that is where our fascination comes in. That one category of geocache can have such a wide range of experiences.
Being Colorado, we have a long list of caches that require substantial hikes. I intend to tackle as many of those as I can. What I also want to focus on this year is caches that require going into caves, boating down a river, and even SCUBA diving to get to. I warn my fellow Colorado cachers now, I will be dragging you along on these adventures, so be ready. Bwahaha! (evil laugh)
The other aspect of 5/5 caching that gets us excited is team caching. We have always said that the social aspect of geocaching ranks at the top for us. Now we are going to add to that dynamic a serious mental and physical challenge. That can only lead to good things, right? We will either create great bonding experiences or alienate all of the friends we have made. Only time will tell.
*Are we saying that we are going to only do 5/5s? No. We like all aspects of geocaching and the varying experiences we get from them. I have swung from bridges, swam to islands, hiked mountains, and lifted lamp skirts on an all day road trip with my girls. Guess what? I had fun doing all of those and will continue to do so.