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Posts Tagged ‘cave digging’

Jeff and I spent the day digging for connecting tunnels around the Wasteland Waterway System.

At the end of a blind valley, where a stream disappears we began our excavation. Digging was mainly by following toward the sound of running water. Several times we bent down and listened for the noise and then that is the direction in which we dug. Being early January, despite the harsh sunlight, the water was very cold. Soon we were covered in a stinking goo of rotting leaves and slimy clay which when dried was very painful to pick free, it had matted like scabs on my arm hair and the only way to free yourself was with a garden hose and a frigid stream of water.

We hacked through clay and leaves and sticks. Finally with a puff of warmer cave air we found ourselves peering through a crevice into a passage underneath, and within there was the sound of running water. Next weekend we’ll break through the cap rock and then we’ll be into virgin tunnel. It looks like the passage is pretty clogged, but I’ll bet it is similar to the main entry, where it starts off tight and grows into something bigger. We can excavate some of the debris and crawling will be easier. This tunnel possibly links with the main Wasteland System, but there’s no guarantee.

See the mess that was our surface dig on youtube here – Digging for Caves in Ontario, and if you want to learn how to find your own caves, or just read about some really extreme explorations beneath Ontario, by divers, cave divers and explorers like myself buy my book,  Caving in Ontario; Exploring Buried Karst, here.

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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.

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