News & New Caches 124

Two new caches, a traditional and earthcache, to report since our last post.

GCAKH87 B5113 by hyruleknight007 Traditional D1.5/T1.5
It looks like the parking is a bit out or it is a very long walk.

Premium Member Only
GCAKEDN Moe’s Tavern by MrMagnaDefender Earthcache D4.5/T5

Event Reminder

GCAJMC4 9 Usual Suspects Present Ski Sunday 2024 by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T2

Ski Sunday is returning to the Nantlle Valley. We can’t guarantee perfect snow conditions for our afternoons skiing but we are sure there will be plenty of banter and lots of laughter.
This year we will be attempting the ski jump! Will we discover another ‘Eddie the Eagle’?
Wrap up warm, join us either as a competitor or spectator for a fun filled afternoon. Light refreshments including hot drinks and, of course, the Cache Bar will be available throughout the afternoon. 

When: Sunday 18th February 2024
Where: Plas Gwernoer, Nantlle LL54 6BB
Time: 2-5pm

Please note parking will be at the house not in the field.

Piratemania 2024

Look who has made the cache page for this years Piratemania:

Will you be joining this famous pair? We are still waiting for camping booking to open but you can log a ‘will attend’ here:

GCAH4MB Piratemania 16 Dinton Pastures, Eight Bells Nigh! 
Where: Dinton Pastures Countryside Park, Sandford Lane, Hurst, Wokingham RG10 0SU
When: July 25th-29th

Geocaching and locks

With Geocachers looking for ever more ways to make their caches challenging and individual, having a lock to open without a key is gaining popularity. This isn’t without controversy, even owning a set of Lock picking tools in some countries is illegal, however, in most countries this isn’t the case. ‘Lock-picking’ has an image problem in the general public’s mind, which is largely unfounded. Before we start, a large caveat, if it can be shown that the tools in your possession are intended for illegal purposes, then expect the full weight of the law. Being able to demonstrate permission to open a lock is everything here. All caches of this type should have the fact that “there is a lock to defeat (Pick, bump etc)” stated very clearly in the Geocache description, or else the act of opening it would stray into the grey area as to the legality of opening the lock (see lock sport rules at the end of this piece). There’s far more legal complexity that I can cover in this short article and.. I’m not a lawyer.

Given that defeating locks is a life skill that few of us possess, there is a hobby called Locksport where you can learn. Locksport is based around defeating locking system using a variety of skills traditionally known to a small group of people in the associated professions. Locksport has its roots in the broader field of lock defeating or picking, a skill that has been practiced since the very first lock was made. However, the organised and recreational aspect of lock picking, known as locksport, did not appear until the latter part of the 20th century.
The origins of locksport can be traced back to the hacker and computer security communities who regarded any closed system as a challenge. As computer enthusiasts explored the digital realm, many found a parallel interest in physical security, including the mechanisms that safeguarded valuable information. Lock picking became a hands-on extension of the broader ethos of exploring and understanding systems.

In the 1990s, groups like the MIT Lockpicking Club and the Open Organisation of Lockpickers (TOOOL) started formalising and popularising the recreational side of lock picking. TOOOL, an organisation from the Netherlands founded by Barry Wels and Deviant Ollam in 2002, played a significant role in promoting locksport globally. The organisation aimed to advance the public’s understanding of locks and security through educational initiatives, training, and organised events, constantly working with the public and manufacturers to highlight lock vulnerabilities.

Locksport events, often referred to as “lockpicking villages,” became a staple at hacker conferences and conventions. These gatherings provided a platform for enthusiasts to share knowledge, exchange techniques, and engage in friendly competitions. The focus was on education, ethical behaviour, and responsible use of lock-picking skills.
Locksport has evolved into a diverse and inclusive community that welcomes individuals with varied backgrounds, from hackers and security professionals to hobbyists and locksmiths. The emphasis remains on education, skill development, and fostering a sense of responsibility in using lock-picking knowledge.
In the past two decades, the popularity of locksport has grown, with local groups forming both offline and online, bringing together like-minded individuals who share a passion for this unique skill. The community continues to promote a positive and ethical approach to lock picking, emphasising the importance of understanding security systems to enhance overall safety and awareness.

To keep lock-picking skill away from those who would abuse it, members of locksport groups have zero tolerance for illegal or immoral lock picking, bypass, or other forms of entry.

Locksporters abide by the following rules, with no exceptions:

  • Locksporters may open only locks that belong to them. For other locks, they need express consent of the owner.
  • Locksporters may not open a lock that is in use.
  • Permanently removing (or relocating) the lock may be done only when lawfully and specifically sanctioned by an appropriate authority.
  • A lock which has been effectively abandoned by its owner and placed in a public place without securing anything (i.e., not “in use”, such as a lock placed on a “lovewall”) may ethically be picked by any locksporter, provided the lock is returned to its original locked position and state.
  • The security needs of others must be preserved.
  • All activities take place within boundaries of respectability, integrity and professionalism.

News & New Caches 123

One new cache and an update on our Leap Day celebrations:


GCAC12F Banksy on Tour by RichieBlod Puzzle D3/T1.5 Premium Member Only

Leap Day Update

We can now confirm there will be 2 events, a CITO and a new series of 29 caches going live as part of our Leap Day celebrations.

GCAJWJ6 The Extra Day, Leap Year 2024 by 9 Usual Suspects
When: Thursday 29th February 2024
Where: Caffi Gerlan, Inigo Jones Slate Works, Groeslon
Time: 10.30-11.15am

GCAKA5E Lon Eifion CITO by 9 Usual Suspects D1/T2
When: Thursday 29th February, 2024
Where: Groeslon Carpark
Time: 11.30am

GCAJXR3 9 Usual Suspects, Leap Day Nosh & Natter 65 by 9 Usual Suspects
When: Thursday 29th February 2024
Where: Anglesey Arms, Harbour Front, Caernarfon LL55 1SG
Time: 6pm-9pm or when the last person leaves

North Wales Wildlife Trust

North Wales Wildlife Trust are holding several events over half term, these events are free, open to everyone, children and adults alike. If interested booking for these activities is essential, follow the link to their web page.

Love Your beach! Porth Neigwl Beach Clean, Nr Abersoch
When: Wednesday 14th February, 2024
Where: Porth Neigwl, Abersoch, Gwynedd
Time: 11am-2pm

One in a series of winter beach cleans with aim to remove lots of rubbish and help local wildlife. As well as cleaning the beach they will be looking for shark egg cases and nurdles.
The event organiser speaks basic Welsh, please feel free to use Welsh or English during this event.

Activity Day at the Spinnies Aberogwen
When: Thursday 15th February, 2024
Where: Beach Carpark, Spinnies Aberogwen
Time: 12pm-3pm

A bit of half term fun aimed at everybody, whether you come with a family or not. There will be a walk around this small coastal reserve, have a look for birds and do some fun activities for children.
Bring sturdy footwear, warm clothing and some snacks or a packed lunch..
The event organiser speaks Welsh, please feel free to use Welsh or English during this event.

Traeth Borth Wen and Porth Y Corwgl Beach Clean, nr Rhoscolyn, Anglesey
When: Sunday 18th February, 2024
Where: Traeth Borth Wen carpark Rhoscolyn, Holyhead LL65 2NJ
Time: 10.30am-1pm

One in a series of winter beach cleans with aim to remove lots of rubbish and help local wildlife. As well as cleaning the beach they will be looking for shark egg cases and nurdles.
The event organiser speaks basic Welsh, please feel free to use Welsh or English during this event.

What are Nurdles?

Taking action on nurdle pollution | Fauna & Flora

Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil, that are melted down to make almost all plastic products. Billions of nurdles are used each year to make products, but thousands of tonnes also spill directly into the environment around the world.
For more information on nurdles go to THE GREAT NURDLE HUNT

News & New Caches 122

We have a couple of new events published since our last post:

Events

The following two events are part of our Leap Day celebrations, hopefully there will be some new caches published on the 29th February to keep everyone busy between breakfast and dinner enabling everyone to earn the Leap Day souvenir.

GCAJWJ6 The Extra Day, Leap Year 2024 by 9 Usual Suspects
When: Thursday 29th February 2024
Where: Caffi Gerlan, Inigo Jones Slate Works, Groeslon
Time: 10.30-11.15am

GCAJXR3 9 Usual Suspects, Leap Day Nosh & Natter 65 by 9 Usual Suspects
When: Thursday 29th February 2024
Where: Anglesey Arms, Harbour Front, Caernarfon LL55 1SG
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

Leap Day 2024 Souvenir

To earn the Leap Day souvenir find 4 caches on the 29th February 2024, any type of cache including events and Ad Lab locations count towards this souvenir.

Event Review

GCAHCV4 9 Usual Suspects Pop a Lock 2-4pm The PortaCabin, Cwm y Glo, Llanberis

We have to thank Cemlyn for being a brilliant tutor in the art of lock sport and for arranging the venue for this event. We all learnt a lot about locks, maybe they are not as secure as we would like to believe, enabling some of our attendees to acquire new skills to enhance their geocaching abilities.

Cemlyn has arranged a discount code for anyone that wishes to purchase any lock picking equipment from uklockpickers.co.uk
It’s a one man band and really looks after his customers.
GIFT code for 10% off.

The Facebook forum he is on mostly is the UKlockpickers one. Full of really nice people.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/17548013766/?ref=share
He is known as Richard Jones on there. One of the so called group experts.

Cache series near Piratemania 2024

Are you going to Piratemania? The following may be of interest if you are, especially if you are already planning caching days, the message comes from Hampshire Geocachers FB regarding archiving series near Piratemania:

News & New Caches 121

We have one new event and an event reminder:

GCAJE8C Carrotking 🥕👑 @ White Rabbit 🐰 by Carrotking Event
When: 10.3.2024
Where: Promenade Shelter, Llandudno
Time: 5-5.30pm

This is one for your diary. Carrotking is visiting our area from Vorderer Odenwald, Germany and would like to meet up with other geocachers to discuss our great hobby.

Event Reminder

GCAHCV4 9 Usual Suspects Pop a Lock 2-4pm The PortaCabin, Cwm y Glo, Llanberis
When: Saturday 27th January, 2024
Where: The PortaCabin, Brynrefail, Llanberis
Time: 2-4pm

Why not join us for a lock picking workshop where our expert Cemlyn, MFW, will be on hand to demonstrate and instruct us on the use of racks, hooks, combs and jigglers, he may let you have a play with his bump and ball picks! All tools will be provided.
Light refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon.

Cemlyn has got a complete lockpick set for sale if anyone is interested in picking up the hobby.
He has it listed at £40 but will offer it for £35 to anyone in this group.

Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend

Big Garden Birdwatch is the UK’s biggest citizen science wildlife survey. By taking part, you can help the RSPB understand how our garden birds are doing right now. Spend an hour watching the birds in your patch, between 26 and 28 January, and record the birds that land.

For further information and record your sightings go to Big Garden Birdwatch

News & New Caches 120

Since our last post we have one new Earthcache and an Event:

GCAJN3E War Memorial #1977 ~ Bangor by 74jen Earthcache D2/T1.5

Events

GCAJMC4 9 Usual Suspects Present Ski Sunday 2024 by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T2

Ski Sunday is returning to the Nantlle Valley. We can’t guarantee perfect snow conditions for our afternoons skiing but we are sure there will be plenty of banter and lots of laughter.

This year we will be attempting the ski jump! Will we discover another ‘Eddie the Eagle’?

Wrap up warm, join us either as a competitor or spectator for a fun filled afternoon. Refreshments including hot drinks and, of course, the Cache Bar will be available throughout the afternoon. 

When: Sunday 18th February 2024
Where: Plas Gwernoer, Nantlle LL54 6BB
Time: 2-5pm

Event Reminders

We have 2 events in the forth coming week:

GCAHZKC 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 64 7-9pm Snowdonia Parc, Waunfawr
When: Thursday 25th January, 2024
Where: Parc Snowdonia, Waunfawr, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 4AQ
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

First N&N for 2024. Please note this event is on Thursday night not Wednesday.

GCAHCV4 9 Usual Suspects Pop a Lock 2-4pm The PortaCabin, Cwm y Glo, Llanberis
When: Saturday 27th January, 2024
Where: The PortaCabin, Brynrefail, Llanberis
Time: 2-4pm

Why not join us for a lock picking workshop where our expert Cemlyn, MFW, will be on hand to demonstrate and instruct us on the use of racks, hooks, combs and jigglers, he may let you have a play with his bump and ball picks! All tools will be provided.
Light refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon.

Virtual Cache Award Update

Are Virtuals BACK?!? - PodCacher: Geocaching Goodness

Thank you for all the comments and ideas of where to place our Virtual Reward Cache. There are so many places here in North Wales that deserve a virtual cache from historic sites to fantastic landscapes, we are spoilt for choice. Should it be placed some where accessible to everyone or maybe a trek to a location that is rarely visited? So many questions to be answered that we have decided to hold an event to discuss all the possibilities followed by a vote to decide the final location.

Watch this space for further details.

Exciting News

9 Usual Suspects have just received this message from Geocaching HQ:

‘Congratulations! 
You were randomly selected to receive a Virtual Reward Cache from Geocaching HQ. We selected your account from those that had a geocache published in 2023 with four or more Favorite points. Thanks for hiding a quality cache in 2023!’

The question is where to place this special cache? Have you any suggestions?
Contact us with your ideas either through the comments or email us on talktous@9usualsuspects.uk

News & New Caches 119

A couple of new earthcaches and an Ad Lab in a stunning mountain location with a bonus cache to report since our last post.

GCAJDN7 Victorian Drinking Fountain by 74jen Earthcache D2/T1
GCAJ9AC Alveolar Weathering by MrMagnaDefender Earthcache D2.5/T2.5 note Premium Member only

Yr Eifl created by Clueless_Goose Sequential
This Adventure Lab explores the mountain ranges of Pen Llŷn. The adventure begins in the car park and takes a gradual uphill climb to Bwlch yr Eifl, then onward to the top of Mynydd Gwaith. You will then head back down to the bwlch and up Garn Ganol to the summit of Yr Eifl and highest point on Pen Llŷn. You’ll finally follow the trail to Tre’r Ceiri and ultimately head back down to the car park picking up the bonus cache:

GCAJ5A0 Yr Eifl by Clueless_Goose Mystery D2.5/T4

Geocaching Statistics for 2023

Most geocachers like numbers and statistics, to fill a grid is often what drives us to find those extra and more difficult caches. Geocaching HQ put together stats:

9US Event Stats

2023 was a very busy year for 9 Usual Suspects here is some statistics on our achievements:
We hosted 26 events, 11 of which were Nosh & Natters and 3 were CITO’s.
We had 70 geocaching accounts register a find on an event with our event at the SS Denham the most popular having 40 logged attended, a record for us and one that will be difficult for us to beat.

Can You Help?

We are looking for someone with a sewing machine who would be prepared to make us some camouflage bags to be used in a new series we are planning to publish as part of our Leap Day celebrations.

We will be supplying all materials. For more details please contact us either in the comments below or email us at talktous@9usualsuspects.uk

News & New Caches 118

We have 2 Earthcaches and 3 Events published since our last post:

Premium Member Only
GCAJ24B War Memorial #1969 – Beddgelert by MrMagnaDefender Earthcache D1/T1
GCAHP83 Fossil Hunt by MrMagnaDefender Earthcache D3/T2.5

Events

GCAHZJ0 CITO, A487 North, Quick Pick 10.30-11.30am D1/T3
When: Friday 19th January, 2024
Where: Lay by A487 North, Caernarfon
Time: 10.30-11.30am
Please note this event is on a Friday

GCAHZKC 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 64 7-9pm Snowdonia Parc, Waunfawr
When: Thursday 25th January, 2024
Where: Parc Snowdonia, Waunfawr, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 4AQ
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

GCAHCV4 9 Usual Suspects Pop a Lock 2-4pm The PortaCabin, Cwm y Glo, Llanberis
When: Saturday 27th January, 2024
Where: The PortaCabin, Brynrefail, Llanberis
Time: 2-4pm

2024 9US Geocaching Event Calendar

We have decided to move Nosh & Natters to a Thursday night due to the continued uncertainty of some venues opening week nights.

20th January GCAHZJ0 CITO, A487 North, Quick Pick 10.30-11.30am D1/T3 (Please note this event is on a Friday)
25th January GCAHZKC 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 64 7-9pm Snowdonia Parc, Waunfawr
27th January GCAHCV4 9 Usual Suspects Pop a Lock 2-4pm The PortaCabin, Cwm y Glo, Llanberis
18th February Ski Sunday
29th February Leap Day 2024 Nosh & Natter 65 7-9pm
16th March CITO 2024 Season 1
28th March Nosh & Natter 66 7-9pm
25th April Nosh & Natter 67 7-9pm
30th May Nosh & Natter 68 7-9pm
27th June Nosh & Natter 69 7-9pm
24th July Nosh & Natter 70 7-9pm
25th-29th July Piratemania 16, Eight bells nigh!
3rd August GCAAB24 South East UK Mega 2024 by South East UK Mega 2024 Team
The Mega Event will be on Saturday 3rd August 2024 from 10am-4pm
Camping and Side Events will run all week from 29th July to 5th August 2024
17th August International Geocaching Day
29th August Nosh & Natter 71 7-9pm
15th September CITO 2024 Season 2
26th September Nosh & Natter 72 7-9pm
12th October International Earthcache Day
31st October Nosh & Natter 73 7-9pm
30th November Christmas Dinner Nosh & Natter 74 7-9pm
31st December Farewell 2024

News & New Caches 117

A couple of new caches to report since our last post:

GCAH73T Happy Christmas 2023 by escapefromwork Traditional D1/T1.5
GCAA66Y War Memorial #1964 – Colwyn Bay by The Magna Defender Earthcache D1.5/T1.5

Event Reminders

GCAGXT5 9 Usual Suspects Say Goodbye 2023 by 9 Usual Suspects

Our last event of 2023 and a chance for a quick catch up before the New Year Celebrations begin. There is no better way to start your celebrations than meeting up with your geocaching friends!
A new venue for us, we will be in the garden room. This is a small venue so please log “will attends” to ensure we book enough space for everyone.
When: 31st December, 2023
Where: Scoops, 8 Palace St, Caernarfon LL55 1RR
Time: 11am-12pm

GCAGY4V 9 Usual Suspects Say Hello 2024 by 9 Usual Suspects

Our first event of 2024! Why not join us at Traeth Lafan Nature Reserve?
When: 1st January, 2024
Where: Bangor LL57 3YH
Time: 12-12.30pm

Depending on how awful the weather is, after the event we invite you to join us to explore part of the new section of the Wales Coastal Path and find the following cache:

GCA9KNY Bath House Ruins View by Qniu25 Traditional D2/T2.5

Please note after all the rain we have had this path will be wet and muddy.

Happy New Year

We would like to take this opportunity to Thank everyone for their support and wish you all a very Happy New Year, may 2024 be a year full of fun and adventures.