KLAKL - Advent calendar near Kaiserslautern, GC8EYQN

Advent calendar near Kaiserslautern

It has become somewhat of a tradition that an advent calendar appears on the geocaching.com map near Kaiserslautern during the advent season. Since last year's calendar was well received, Maxipimpf put out an advent calendar again in 2019. He says himself that the positive feedback on 2018 motivated him to do so. As a team Brummelbären, we visited this KLAKL MMIX in April 2020.

The advent calendar
The lap was laid by the owner Maximpimpf, who has already delighted us with a few laps. He obviously has a weakness for challenges and fishing caches and enjoys some nice rounds on these. And also the annual advent calendar. In 2019 the titles of the caches appear long (again), but are sorted logically. First there is the Roman numeral of the day with degrees, then the abbreviation KLAKL (which probably stands for Kaiserslautern Advent Calendar) and the year 2019 in Roman numerals. You run the round along the digit of the day and Roman numerals up to 24 you should be able to.....
Oh yes, until 24….. On a Sunday morning we set off into the woods of Kleinvillar near Kaiserslautern. The distance is not exactly short and by No. 12 I was relieved to have made half of it. But not with maxi vaccination! Advent is somehow longer there... With the 32nd cache, the extended Advent is unfortunately over.
The round consists of 32 caches of different types, sizes and difficulties. You play your way through Tradi, Mysterie, Multi, Where-I-Go and Letterbox. Some fishing caches are included, so that you have this tool with you the entire way - good for those who have an easy version available. But you can't do without it, only with "self-made from nature" you can't reach all the cans, which would be a shame for the bonus.
The owner has set up his own public bookmark list for the round at geocaching.com with further information. Among other things, with the tip to take a sling with you. If you don't have this with you, you can help yourself at one point with natural resources - or with the cache partner that you have with you....
On the list that can be viewed by everyone, you also get the information that there is no public mobile radio in many places on the circuit. Therefore our tip: do not tackle the round alone. Getting help is not always easy here! And also prepare something for the round, you should have the listings on your device, etc.
We also found it particularly worth mentioning that the bonus for the advent calendar round (cache no. XXXII) is not a question mark, as is usually the case with a bonus. It's another Where-I-Go whose starting numbers for the cartridge are obtained from all northing and easting values found. Here alone you can discover the owner's attention to detail - as in several other places on the round. But you have to see for yourself.

The riddles
Finding the puzzle or the TIG cartridge in the cache is probably the biggest challenge. A bit of “logical clicking around” helps. And once you have found the puzzle, it can be solved very fairly. This should not be an insurmountable challenge for anyone. The same applies to TIG. Letterbox and Multi are very playable on the go in their short form.

The route
As a round, the advent calendar is around 14 km long and - according to the owner - has an altitude difference of around 300 meters. It takes about 5 hours and the tour can also be done by bicycle/mountain bike. However, there is a lot of storm damage, so that you sometimes have to push or lift.
It really took us pretty much exactly the stated five hours on our lap. However, with a leisurely step and a lot of cursing and swearing at the altitude difference. But as is so often the case in the Palatinate Forest and with owner Maxipimpf: it only goes up in 1-2 places, otherwise there are beautiful hiking trails that lead around a mountain on a level. So also suitable for less sporty geocachers.

The owner reports the following about the creation of the advent calendar: “First the search for a suitable round started – via OSM. After finding a potential path, I ran it twice and tweaked the route and marked possible hiding waypoints. Then it was time to create the listings and reserve the waypoints. This worked great this time too, in great cooperation with the reviewer.
In a third inspection, I then laid out the cans and finished the listings.”

I was deeply impressed by this description. Here you can see the effort owners take to give the cacher community a gift. From our side, many thanks again for this effort and this gift and the wonderful day we were able to spend with the group.

Interview with the owner
Since everyone in the extended home zone knows each other a little and the owner is not entirely innocent in my job at Cacher-Reisen (but that's another story), I asked him a little about his advent calendar.

My first question revolved around the particularly positive (and maybe not so nice) experiences with the group.
Maxipimpf mentions the cooperation with the reviewer Mummelratz as particularly positive. And he also reports positive contact during a maintenance round with hunters.
Unfortunately, this was linked to the negative information that not all cachers adhere to the night cache ban. Yes, the advent calendar is specially designed for the day. Night caching in the forest is neither desired nor tolerated here. The notice in the listing of each cache is obvious and unmistakable. The hunters reported a loud group of cachers that was out and about in the forest after 10 p.m. It's a shame, because that's not how we can work together.
The experience that in one area the cans kept getting thrown away is one of the unpleasant experiences that Maxipimpf had to make with the round.
However, I very much hope that the positive feedback from the cacher community will prevail again this year. As we know from a reliable source, there are already considerations for this year's advent calendar. It will be exciting... Over 70% favorite points in the bonus cache are positive feedback that not every advent calendar has.

My second question was about the closure of the round. During our visit in April it was announced that the round would be closed on May 24th.
The owner has recently confirmed to us - and it can now also be seen in the listings - that the advent calendar will be archived on June 28th, 2020 and can still be played until June 27th. So still some time to have this beautiful experience.

Even if the area around Kaiserslautern is not the center of the world, we are surprised at the low number of finds. The bonus is found less than 200 times. Of course, the complete advent calendar can only be played for 4 months and that in times that are not exactly easy... It is all the nicer that it will now last a little longer. So, off to the KLAKL MMXIX! Here in the forest, if you set off as a couple, you can keep social distance. The fresh air and exercise strengthens the immune system. Not to neglect the feeling of happiness at the end of the round - what more could the cacher's heart want!

And if you haven't had enough of it, you can also take a look at the owner's ametliB round in the immediate vicinity. But that's another story...

In any case, we are eagerly awaiting the KLAKL MMXX and are really looking forward to it!

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