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Archive for December, 2008

Anybody know about caving clipart?

Thoughts of tunnels deeper in.

You might be interested to compare this picture to the one I have included three or four posts earlier of the Cuevas de Bellamar – Cuba. Aside from the size difference you might also notice the difference in tunnel crossection. Any idea why? Are there any cavers out there who would like to interperet the elliptical as opposed to the flat bottomed reason for the two tunnel shapes? Any knowledge of red Cuban limestones? I would be really interested to know about the kind of limestone that the Cuevas de Bellamar had formed in.

This picture is taken deeper in along the small passages at the edge of the small escarpment. I hope with summer investigation we might find a way to penetrate deeper in.

Water flows across the more easily crawlable direction of these tunnels that proceed parallel to the resurging stream nearby – this indicates to me that there is something deeper in – this is not just a passage that leads along beside the river.

See the channel in the floor. There are several that run out toward the river from deeper in the river bank. The more I think about it, the more I feel resolved to investigate the bigger scarp in the Spring. I’ve never been up top.

Just a question, Anybody know where I can find some good caving clipart? I am preparing a presentation on power-point for a club of interested individuals. I never realized what great stuff you could accomplish with that program.

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If you want to cave in Canada – you gotta like the cold!

Caving in the winter

Speaking of caving possibilities – there is plenty of virgin passage beneath this low escarpment – tunnels that I have entered but never really pursued. Come to think of it, this might be our easy access to the bigger suspected tunnels beneath the larger escarpment nearby.

There are always interesting ice formations in this area – in this case stalacmites of ice that have grown up from the floor.

This particular opening was the first one that we ever found in the area. Marcel, his ggirlfriend at the time and I stumbled across this hole – we never really followed in to far, but I believe that somewhere along those passages they must connect up with the Marmora Maze Caves (downstream).

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Ontario in the Winter – Canadian caving trips

 

Got to watch for polar bears and sasquatch – I heard a caver just got eaten.

Here I am in one of my favorite Ontario caving spots looking for more tunnels. Winter is often a good time to look for caves as you can see the breathing holes and with few leaves and brambles – holes can be more visible.

This particular spot is at the edge of a resurging valley somewhere near the Crowe River. I am climbing up a slippery embankment that is one of several ridges that soon progress to an escarpment that I am absolutely sure is underlain by caves. In this area there are 3 distinctive joint directions and I can see a length of straight-line collapse beneath the soil in one spot on the nearby escarpment. There are undoubtably tunnels under there Рits just gonna take some digging.

Sometimes its esy to get depressed about Ontario’s caving possibilities, but the caves are there, they just need digging and as cavers we just need to get together and do some serious work. We lack unity thats our problem!

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Abandoned mine in Quebec – Bristol Mine

P1020339, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Had an interesting time last weekend. I went to see the old abandoned Bristol Mine along the banks of the Ottawa River. The “town” of bristol mines still exists and the old mine property is still obvious for its enormous heaps tailings.

Bristol Mines had been opened in 1872 and by the mid 1950’s over 350 people were employed with shafts dropping down below 1200 feet (iron ore).

From the fence line you could see this piece of machinery, it is at the one end of a concrete building. I believe it is part of the “concentrator”. I suspect that there is still industry of some kind taking place on the property, the roads are plowed.

The day was incredibly cold and our time outside the car felt like were were on some kind of polar expedition – snow above the knees and icy wid that numbed the face. I think I will have to return in the summer and pay better attention to the whole area. We were on “Gold mine road Sud”. There has to be a reason for that name as well as a nearby lake “Lac de oro” and other well known mines and possible rockhounding sites (Moss mine etc).

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Lake of the Dahlias somewhere beyond

P1010079, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Here it is – over the hump. I pressed through this low slot and on to the passage beyond – an elliptical tunnel that wound off into gloom. Its hard to imagine but somewhere further on the helictites become so dense and interwoven that it is impossible to go onwards without damaging them. I did not get much further than this, but I was shown a map that indicated the most fantastic formations were isolated beneath a military zone. After my little private jaunt I saw a 3D movie that the curators were making of what was deep within – unbelievable!

One General Frederico F. Gavada wrote in 1870 in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine of his experience in the Cuevas de Bellamar saying that he eventually reached an underground lake, 18 feet deep and 180 feet long. He called it the “Lake of Dahlias” for the crystals that looked like petaled flowers.

As the general wrote …

“These dahlias are formed by triangular, concave crystals, starting from a common centre, in layers one above the other, precisely as the petals of dahlias are arranged. They vary from three to five inches in diameter. Their greatest beauty consists in the exquisite manner in which they are tinted with veins of violet and blue and delicate yellow and pale crimson. These colors are probably due to the presence of mineral salts which filter down with the water from the overlying strata.

Here, then, we have an enchanted lake in which the most fastidious of naiads would not refuse to dwell. A lake with its surrounding landscape of fantastic, sparry forms and its beds of wondrous flowers, and with its own sky bending above it full of sparkling constellations – a lake on which the sun has never shone, and whose smooth and silver surface the light wings of the breeze have never rippled, nor the rage of the tempest ever maddened into foam”.

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Cuevas de Bellamar

P1010076, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Shortly after leaving the tourist section of the Cuevas de Bellamar there was this reddish hump in front – it was a rippled flowstone ramp, over which I wriggled and there in front was …..

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