Meet August's Featured Cacher - EskoClimber
Some of the most challenging caches in Minnesota have been created by EskoClimber. Some of these favorites are Highline (GC3EHXK) and Cliff Hanger (GCQ6D4). If there's something to climb or some high adventure to be had, you'll find EskoClimber there. Not only has he created some of the best caches in the state, but he’s also found over 20,000 caches so far! I could think of no one better to profile this month than EskoClimber!
How long have you been geocaching?
I started in June of 2004, so over 10 years now.
How did you end up getting into this wacky hobby?
A friend of mine, MnFlyers (Loren Kuhnly), knows that I am a gadget freak and suggested that I log onto geocaching.com. I set up an account, typed in my zip code and saw Dark Passage http://coord.info/GC20AA. I knew exactly where that was, because I'd been rock climbing over that old railroad tunnel for years. So I grabbed the Garmin 12XL I purchased for finding my deer stand at 4am, printed out the page and drove down to the trailhead. My 12XL ate batteries for breakfast so I didn't turn it on until I had reached the other side of the tunnel. I plugged in the numbers, waited a week for the 12XL to acquire satellites, and saw the cache was 2 miles away! I made sure the GPS was locked up and bushwacked down the hill, over the road, through the woods, and onto an island in the middle of creek and spent a half hour searching a very small island finding nothing.
A thunderstorm is threatening, so I head back out and walk the two and half miles back to my truck. I sat down and grabbed the sheet off the seat, and as I glance at it something catches my eye. I compare the numbers on the sheet with the numbers on my GPS. I had accidentally used the same numbers for the last four digits of latitude and plugged them into the longitude. Smooth.
I fixed the problem, looked at the black sky and hoofed it back up the hill to the tunnel. Sure enough, the GPS put me on the far side where I once again began my search. I looked back and forth over a 100 foot area half-a-dozen times until I was tired and frustrated. Every time I started looking where my 12XL told me was ground zero, when I checked again, it would point 50 feet the other way. I finally sat down in utter frustration, the sky itself reflecting my mood. As I stood up, the heel of my boot clunked the rocks I was sitting on. Yep, the sound I would become all too familiar with over the years, the sound of an ammo can. I was sitting on the rock pile with a 50 cal ammo can. How do you miss that?
I signed my name in the log book on June 7, 2004 and ran between the raindrops back to my truck.
From that point forward, I was hooked.
How did you come up with your geocaching handle?
I'm from Esko and I am a rock climber, hence EskoClimber.
What/how many states/countries have you geocached?
I have cached in 24 states and two provinces in Canada.
What town/areas have you most enjoyed caching in?
Black Hills of SD is one of my favorite areas. Even the bad caches have great views.
What is a favorite caching memory of yours?
Far too many to count. I write up epics all the time. I'm always having new adventures which is why I've stayed with this hobby. Just this morning, http://coord.info/GC597PC for example. A few days ago I paddled 8 miles round trip to visit St Helena Island (http://coord.info/GC5926A) and 20+ caches in Michigan. The next day it was tree climbing day recovering a series north of St Ignace followed by a visit to the North Country Trail (NCT).
Do you enjoy hiding or finding more as your part of the hobby?
I definitely like finding caches, I only put caches when I am inspired. Whether a puzzle, a hide, or both. Inspiration drawn many time from other caches that I have found. Ideas that I modified to make my own.
What is your favorite type of cache hide?
I don't really have a favorite, as long as the log is big enough to sign.
What do you do when you’re not geocaching?
I rock climb, ice climb, bike, sea kayak, and camp. But first and foremost, I make it a point to let my wife, Look4Trolls, know that she is the center of my universe.
Anything else you'd like folks to know about you?
I get a lot of requests to be used as a CRT (cache retrieval tool). I rather enjoy that actually. People find very interesting caches that they can't get access and this way I get to find out about them and have help carrying gear to the site. Let’s face it, with all the garden variety caches out there, it's nice to find where my next epic is going to be. Having a witness adds credibility to the three page epic I write up afterwards.