News & New Caches 126

We have a few new caches to report since our last post:

GCAJ1GP Tŵr Marcwis by RichieBlod Multi D1.5/T2.5 Premium member Only

As part of our Leap Day celebrations 29 new caches went live on Lon Eifion. There is a varied mix of D/T’s and containers, some easy and some not so. Warning, there are no hints but there may be clues in some of the titles. The lack of hints is reflected in difficulty rating.

GCAJNTY Lon Eifion, Another Tree by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAJNTZ Lon Eifion, Araneae by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2.5/T1.5
GCAJNV0 Lon Eifion, Afon Seiont by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D4.5/T1.5
GCAJNV2 Lon Eifion, BOT by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAJNVC Lon Eifion, Posted by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAJNVE Lon Eifion, The Crossing by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D4/T1.5
GCAJNVJ Lon Eifion, Rail Bridge by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D3/T1.5
GCAJNVP Lon Eifion, Fron Goch View by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAJNVQ Lon Eifion, Gated by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAJNVW Lon Eifion, Meet Ivy by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAJNWJ Lon Eifion, Meet the Bison by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAJNW6 REALLY SideTracked – Bontnewydd by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D5/T1.5
GCAK6FF Lon Eifion, Afon Gwyrfai Bridge by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2.5/T1.5
GCAK7VY Lon Eifion, Fence by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAK6FZ Lon Eifion, Meet Nagini by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2.5/T1.5
GCAK6GC Lon Eifion, Gate Crossing by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAK6MK REALLY SideTracked – Dinas by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GCAK6MY Lon Eifion, Meet Kermit by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2.5/T1.5
GCAK6N1 Lon Eifion, Hole in One! by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAK6N4 Lon Eifion, Meet Hazel by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D3/T1.5
GCAK6N6 Lon Eifion, Rotcelfer by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2.5/T1
GCAK6NC Lon Eifion, Deathly Hollows by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAK6NE Lon Eifion, Meet Roland by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAK6NJ Lon Eifion, Gates by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T1.5
GCAK6NP Lon Eifion, Oak Tree by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D4/T1.5
GCAK6NW Lon Eifion, Sycamore Gap by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2/T2
GCAK6P3 Lon Eifion, Design by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D2.5/T1.5
GCAK69C Lon Eifion, Tafarn Pennionyn by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D3.5/T1.5
GCAK6PA Lon Eifion, Inigo Jones by 9 Usual Suspects Traditional D3/T1.5

Leap Day Events Review

To celebrate Leap Day 2024 we hosted 3 events.

Starting with a breakfast event at Caffi Gerlan, GCAJWJ6, a conveniently located cafe to begin the day’s adventures. During this event our first batch of new caches went live. After hearty breakfasts accompanied by plenty of geochat we regrouped in the car park at Groeslon for the start of our CITO, GCAKA5E, and the walk to Caernarfon.

A grey day but luckily the rain held off. As well as finding the 29 new caches we collected 3 bags of general litter leaving the cycle path looking a lot tidier. Congratulations to Bess’s Friends who found their 8,000 find.

We completed our mission in a record time leaving us with several hours before our final event of the day. Once everyone was reunited with their cars we all headed to 9US headquarters for well earned refreshments before heading back to Caernarfon for our final event, GCAJXR3, at the Anglesey Arms. 

A few photos from our day:

CITO 2024 Season 1

Friday 1st March saw the start of CITO Season 1 which runs to Friday 31st May. To earn the souvenir simply attend a CITO event. We are in the process of planning another litter pick around Parc Dre and Afon Seiont area of Caernafon.

Piratemania Update

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

Booking for Piratemania 16 camping is now open. Have you booked? We have!

Click here to book your berth here Piratemania 16

Event Reminders

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

Our Plan
Leap Day only comes once every 4 years so why not join us for our celebrations of this special day. Be part of the whole day or catch up with us at one of our 3 events.
We will be starting our day with a breakfast event:

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

During breakfast the first batch of new caches will go live along Lon Eifion before we move to Groeslon for the start of our CITO event:

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

We will be leaving the car park promptly at 11.30am to litter pick the cycle path towards Caernarfon stopping regularly to find the new caches. The second batch of new caches should go live at 12pm. Depending on our progress and the weather we may make a detour to the Newborough Arms, Bontnewydd for a P&P stop. The only other refreshment stop will be Fron Goch Garden Centre. Along our route there is very little litter until we reach Caernarfon. We will leave any full bags at convenient points for us to pick up the next day. The last batch of caches go live at 1pm. We will end our day in Caernarfon with:

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

It is difficult to estimate our arrival time in Caernarfon the distance from Groeslon to the Anglesey Arms is approximately 8.5km so we should arrive with plenty of time before the start of our evening event. Pete will give a lift to drivers to collect their cars from Groeslon.

Feel free to join us at any point of the day, message us through 9 Usual Suspects geocaching account to find our location and the nearest parking spot.

News & New Caches 125

One new cache has been published since our last post:

GCAKTK4 The Old road. by ArfonDJ Traditional D1.5/T1.5

Community Celebration Events

Community Celebration Events (CCE) will return in 2025 as part of the 25th Geocaching Anniversary celebrations. This event type, with its own icon, is a special community party/gathering held during significant milestone years in geocaching. The last Community Celebration Events were hosted between 2020 and 2022 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of geocaching.

Anyone who has opened a geocaching account before 20th February, 2024, placed both a geocache and hosted an event from 1st January to 31st December, 2024 will receive a Community Celebration Event. Those who receive a Community Celebration Event must host it between 1st January, 2025 and 31st December, 2025. Events must be a minimum of two hours, and cannot overlap with events associated with a Mega-Event, Giga-Event, or Block Party. Each primary account hosting a Mega-Event, Giga-Event, or Block Party in 2025 will also receive a Community Celebration Event.

Ski Sunday Event Review

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

After a week of heavy rain we were very glad that the rain held off and it was not too cold on the slopes of the Nantlle valley. A good turn out for this years Ski Sunday with the competitive competition taking place on the ski jump. Pete did a great job in seeing fair play and ensuring everyones jump distances were recorded. With the main action in the tent the refreshments of snacks, fondue, cake and drinks were consumed in the Cache Bar. To celebrate Steve’s birthday Mossfamilymacc brought ample supplies of Prosecco and non-alcoholic Prosecco which was appreciated by everyone and especially by our junior attendees. A big thanks to Pete for the 3D printed event souvenirs, medals and the amazing dragons.

Medal Table
1st GeoJade2013 with a distance of 89.78 meters
2nd Steve, Mossfamililymacc with a distance of 87.35 meters
3rd Welshgirl11 with a distance of 82.96 meters

The Gallery

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 Cabin, 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 Cabin, Cwm y Glo, Llanberis
When: Saturday 27th January, 2024
Where: The Cabin, 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 Cabin, 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.

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