The New Virtuals … er … Challenge Caches: Cumbyrocks Wasn’t Right

Okay, I’m big enough to admit that I may have been a little ahead of things when I suggested that the new virtual caches would be a cross between Wherigo and Munzee with apps that required you to be in the spot to log a find.

Of course, I’m not yet willing to admit I was wrong (more on that later).

It seems that I stopped reading the GC.com forums too early and missed this gem by CDJ Abuser:

At GC2GA1J, Jeremy explained that the ‘new’ virtuals would be implemented as ‘challenges’. Not challenge caches (or caching challenges) obviously, but he explained that he and his team saw virtuals as a ‘go somewhere and do something’ kinda thing, and that’s what the new ‘challenges’ will be. The first released type will be a photo challenge: go somewhere and take a picture. He also explained that there will be no review system, but rather some kind of rating system, with good challenges rising to the top and bad ones falling to the bottom and (maybe?) eventually disappearing, and that the whole system was seen as an experiment on their part.”

And that really clarifies the whole thing doesn’t it?

Turns out there is even a link available that gives a snapshot of what the Challenges section will look like.

And clearly from the comment above there will be different types; the first being the trusty old ‘take-a-photo’ virtual. Who knows what other types will spring forth from the Groundspeak well?

Not surprisingly there is lots of debate raging about whether these ‘challenges’ will replace challenge caches. With no word from Groundspeak (that I know of) on the issue, I would assume they don’t intend to start removing challenge caches as a cache type but would rather hope that the community’s challenge needs may shift to the new Geocaching Challenges.

Quite a number of cachers have also raised the issue over whether people will be interested in a challenge if it doesn’t have cache to log at the end, drawing the comparison with cache-less Wherigos.

The Geocaching.com staging site is running a spify, new variation to its cacher profile section:

My thinking is the ability to see the numbers there right next to your finds and hides might just be enough to motivate people to complete challenges.

Of course, I would hate to admit it but the numbers do play an important role in caching – even if it’s not all about them.

And what’s better than seeing a finds and hides total? Seeing three totals!

Personally, I can’t wait to see Groundspeak roll this out and give it a go myself.

Now, as for the earlier suggestion that I wasn’t right about the virtuals as first posted – I wasn’t. But I’m yet to be proven wrong either. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the future challenge types builds in the ‘log on location’ functionality of Wherigo/Munzee. Though maybe that’s the long-term future of geocaching I’m thinking about…

*Will you take up the challenge from Groundspeak? Let us know in the forums below.


  1. James Finger on Facebook

    Interesting stuff… the first GC.com update in a while I have been excited to hear about. Done well, could be very cool!

  2. ADV

    “go somewhere and do something’ kinda thing”

    I kinda predicted this based on the requiirements of some of the newish “challenge” challenge caches listed in recent times.

    Hence my rather tongue in cheek tree planking photo on my profile page. đŸ˜‰


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