Satellite-powered scavenger hunt in Vail |

Satellite-powered scavenger hunt in Vail

Dustin Racioppi
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS Geocache 1 KA 12-12-08

VAIL, Colorado “-The newest version of treasure hunting made its way to Vail on Friday and will continue all of today.

It’s the first annual GeoCache Dash, a hunt for random objects inside caches scattered throughout Vail using GPS, a map or pure instinct.

The dash was, and is, a chance to expose the otherwise esoteric sport to locals and visitors to Vail.

Ron and Flora Soto were two of those people who stumbled upon the scavenger-styled event.

“I found out through an e-mail,” Ron Soto said. “It fits my wife’s personality. It’s our off-day (from skiing).”

The couple, visiting from Pennsylvania, said aside from it being for charity, the hunt was also a good way to keep the blood flowing in between ski days.

“This just sounded like something nice ” a change ” to keep us active,” Flora Soto said.

The Peck family is no stranger to tracking down small treasures in the valley ever since the family bought a GPS last month. Karen Peck showed up Friday morning looking for details from Peter Mason, president of Elevation Innovation Labs, which ran the event, so she could bring her husband, two children and dog out for the two-day adventure.

“It’s kind of like treasure hunting,” she said, explaining why she likes it so much. “It’s just sort of the fun of being out there.”

Even though teams are given a set of coordinates for each cache, Mason said actually finding the cases is no easy task.

“Once you kind of get to the area of the cache, you’ve got to search for it,” he said, adding the caches are usually in obscure locations.

Whoever finds all 32 of the caches in the shortest amount of time wins prizes. There are different categories to win, Mason said.

The proceeds of the event will go towards Judi’s House in Denver, a nonprofit that serves youth dealing with the loss of a sibling or parent.

“It’s going to a Vail Valley kid, not somebody in Denver,” Mason said.

If you miss this year’s dash, there’ll be another in Vail in October to raise money for another cause yet to be announced.

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or

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