Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

 

This picture was taken on a recent exploration that JC and I did in an area that has long been suspected of being “cave rich”.

In Ongley’s long forgotten cave manuscript he relates the impression at the time of Ontario being a cave desert – a paucity of karst! not so! Theres lots of caves in Ontario you just gotta find them. Marcus Buck said that 90 -95% of Ontario’s caves are found beside a road or path – still true, its because of our rugged terrain and people’s unwillingness to hack through the bush. JC and I do that quite often and sometimes we hit lucky.

My book on Ontario’s cave geography “Rockwatching” is again available at Amazon. It appears that it had risen quite significantly in price while it was out of print – Teebooks1 – $156.13, The_Meirin_USA – $94.00, and any_book for – $56.46.

Rockwatching is back on at Amazon for $20.96 – buy it and stop e-mailing me for directions to caves, you’ll learn in the book how to figure those out for yourselves.

But for now, I hope to update you in the next month or so on our further explorations of Broken Rowboat cave – it all depends on whether the location is totally snowed in for the winter or not. It’s a hike of several kilometers through some pretty rugged terrain.

Read Full Post »

 

 

way out – Broken Boat cave, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

This tunnel has a nice rounded pheratic shape that leads inward from the wave cut exterior of a low cliff face – in to the more spacious area that JC and I explored. As mentioned there is still exploration to be done and by the air blowing down one of the tubes we are optimistic that there is still some space beyond.

The thing about this cave that is really intriguing is that it exhibits features of multiple cave forms. As we discussed in a recent e-mail …

“In light of the placement of the lake, I wonder if this was the drainage conduit?

I envision a scenario where the lake was high, the joints in the rock were beneath the water table and the pheratic/rounded tunnel formed. As the lake level dropped, the lake behind continued draining along this passage, cutting a groove in the base of the tunnel. No doubt wave action would have played a part in the wave notch up front, but primarily this would have been a solution cave – following along crevices etc formed by the pull of glacial weight (like Mt. Nemo – but I guess Mt. Nemo does not show such obvious signs of pheratic development – it’s all crevice there) Difference is, there was no lake at Mt. Nemo to continue the wear process and alter pheratic passages (pheratic passages that may have formed along joints that had already pulled quite wide open) into vadose passages.

What do you think? Does this suggest other likely scenarios in every such lake placement? I see a cave here with wave cut features, solution features and crevice cave features – a cave that exhibits 3 distinct cave forms.

Then again I could be well off track;  we should scour the shores of the Broken Rowboat Lake and see if there are other possible tunnel entrances.

Are you up for next weekend? The leg is better.”

Read Full Post »

Jeff in Broken Boat Cave, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

JC and I have recently found a cave in a relatively well traveled area. It looks like just a simple undercut that is easily discounted. At the time I was tired and waited while JC pushed it. Needless to say we were both pretty excited when he returned with pictures.

Admittedly the cave was blowing cold air quite strongly so that should have been a hint. We had intended to re-visit this weekend as there is a craw tube deeper in from which the cold air comes and for which neither of us had energy, but Maggie wants to go to Toronto so the exploration will have to wait (more details and pictures to come tonight).

Read Full Post »

 

Canadian Grain, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Here is an interesting little discovery in a market in Marrakesh some time in the early 1980s. Many of these sacks were labeled something to the effect, “Gift from Canada – Canadian grain for Ethiopia”. I cant remember the exact wording but it was something like that.

Any thoughts as to the confusion between Morocco and Ethiopia? Admittedly they are both in North Africa, but one was on the eastern edge of the continent in the midst of a terrible famine and the other is on the western edge with no such kind of problem. Do you suppose there is a deficiency in the geographical education of the pilots or ships captains who got the product here? Maybe in the interests of conservation the Ethiopians decided to send product from their own country to Morocco in those same sacks in which they’d received their aid supplies.

I had this picture taken as discretely as possible so as not to create a stir. As you can see nobody seems too bothered. If I could have got closer without a problem I would have.

Read Full Post »

Bed of Glass Cave – a newly discovered Ontario cave


Jeff C.’s picture 

So here is where you slip down the incline from beneath all the tangled wire deeper into the cave. Right next to my helmet there is an old milk churn and in sliding over it I bruised my ribs quite badly and I’m still feeling it today. I am looking down a slope that is strewn with broken glass and old bottles and wondering wheter I’ll be getting my belly slashed today. The cave is likely unexplored by people, but it certainly shows signs of their human presence by the trash that has tumbled in over the years. One thought would be to clear the garbage and restore the cave to a relatively pristine state.

This cave kind of reminds me of the XS wired project that I had been involved with, though also something like Olmstead Cave. It seems like farmers viewed sinks and cave openings as the place to dump all their old fencing. Something else that seems to be quite noticeable is that most dismiss the caves as tiny holes around which they played as children – a fox hole, or an overhang. Most know of the cave presences on their land, though most have a fanciful memory of them. Most wont have even seen the actual opening as it would have been buried under trash heaps from as far back as the 1800s. When I got home last night from the cave trip I found an 8 inch long spine of rusting wire threaded into the back of my pants and through my belt. Fortunatly the wire had passed parallel to my backside as opposed to something a little more noticeable.

Read Full Post »

A newly discovered Ontario cave

Initial exploration of “Bed of Glass Cave”

This is Jeff, he discovered Bed of Glass Cave” last weekend.

Having dropped down through the hole that had been broken through the coils of rusting wire we found ourself in a twilight world of subdued light, old car parts and broken bottles. Up above the messy canopy was capped by brambles and old sticks.

What we found ourselves up against was a fractured clifface – behind Jeff there is a roof from which leads a dry tunnel that appears at first glance to get quite small (I am yet to go down there and get a better look.

In the direction that Jeff is looking, there is a sort of convex drop-away that leads on to the lower tunnel. Water from the now dry stream would flow (in time of flood) in from the direction that Jeff is looking.

Read Full Post »

Toronto Caving Group

Another  new Cave near Lake Erie 

A question that is commonly asked by people who visit this site is, How do I become a caver? or, How do I start caving in Ontario?

Well, aside from the obvious (start caving on your own) Join a caving club.

I had been caving for many years as an independant before I joined the Toronto Caving Group. I had initially taken a caving course in the army while I had been stationed in Gibraltar but that only covered the basics of sport caving. To really cave as an independant required far more knowledge than that.

A caver needs to know how to find caves and short of that knowledge, you need to align yourself with people who already have that skill to learn. Your first caving trip with the TCG (Toronto Caving Group) will likely be to the Niagra Escarpment caves (e.g. Mount Nemo or Rattle Snake Point), but after that, and with the appropriate contact (That you will make in the club) your horizons begin to expand. Later caving trips might be down to Dewdney,s or Moira caves and then later with more experience – Friars Hole in West Virginia. Somewhere along there you begin picking up the skills to progress further in the field of caving.

This picture was taken yesterday and it is above a new cave that Jeff discovered last weekend. The cave (“Bed of Glass”) is buried beneath a pile of rusting wire fencing and old car parts. A dry stream weaves through a nearby woodlot and disappears beneath the big pile of crap. Jeff had made a hole and down this hole we went. My first task had been to ascertain the absence of snakes. I had seen several in the grass that day and I hate snakes. Nowhere more appealing to snakes than beneath a big pile of garbage just like this.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »