When I was hiking with Mike (Lightningstar) on Christmas Eve, he told me of his plans for a series of caches that would be a 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, and a 5/5. Finding the first 4 caches would be required to be able to find the 5/5. I looked forward to their publication.
I found Witch Wicked Wicaan 3/3 on February 1st. It was an interesting challenge that required projecting a waypoint to find the final cache. The cache was a bit of a puzzle to open, but that was all part of the fun. I got Lightningstar’s 1/1 on the way home. It was pretty much a park and grab.
simiart and I found Painted Waterfall 2/2 and Serpents Cave 4/4 on February 6th. We had quite a morning, climbing through caves and hiking up and down the mountain. The full story is here: Up, Down, Around, and Through. Rinse. Repeat. Four down, one to go.
The problem with Cliff Face 5/5 is that it requires a rappel down the face of a cliff. I wouldn’t be able to do it my myself, on my own schedule. I would need to wait for some help with someone with the technical equipment and expertise to be able to find the cache. Or at least, that’s what I thought.
On Sunday, February 12th, Mike lead a group that had found the other 4 caches up the hill with the rappelling equipment. By all accounts, they had a great time. RCKen found a way to get to the intermediate cache without rappelling. Good news for him and great news for me.
This morning, I headed up the hill, armed with the coordinates for the final cache and the tools required to open the cache box. Little did I know the adventure that was ahead.
Getting to the intermediate cache was a real challenge. I had a few ideas that really didn’t work out; the area between Hummingbird Trail and the cache is full of deep crevices. So I went up, down, and around several times before finally finding my way to the spot where the rappel takes place. The picture above shows my Drunkard’s Path to the cache. It took a minute or two of searching before finding Ken’s path to the cache.
Up the ledge I went until I noticed something orange in the sumac. Success! Then it was time to figure out my way back to the trail.
I considered calling it a day and going for the final on another day. After a rest, some water and a snack, I decided to turn back up the hill and go for the final.
The opening photo shows the interior of the cave where the final cache can be found. The cache was easily located, but a bit tricky to open. Again, all part of the fun.
The way back down the hill was a combination of trails and going cross country. A new cache , Pistachio cachio, is located on the way down the hill. Again, it was the combination of heading directly toward the cache and of avoiding the crevices and cliffs.
Even though you can see the city below, the topography gives you the feel that you are miles from civilization.
Going for Cliff Face 5/5, and the entire series, was a great adventure. I highly recommend it. Just be prepared to head up and down the hill several times. It will be quite a work out.
I didn’t include an image of the entire hike to keep the location of the final under wraps. Come do the first four caches and you will have the coordinates for the final.