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Posts Tagged ‘cave in Ontario’

Success in the Filth Pit, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Digging for caves mid-winter through a matt of frozen leaves. Need I mention how cold it is. My hands are frozen numb. In walking back through the fields to our car my muddy clothing was frozen into a shell of ice.

I suppose success is relative to your frame of reference. To me, success is finding human sized cave tunnel irrespective of the conditions or work required to get there. The dig at Shelburne took place over several years and despite the massive effort and quantity of bones that met the sunlight like crumbling logs, going cave tunnel – though just beneath the water was never entered. Here JC and I dug on only 2 consecutive weekends and beneath us there is a crevice in the rock that when enlargened opens into a crawl tunnel that possibly connects to another nearby system.

See the video here – video to the Filth Pit

Important note: (Jan 21st) – Expect just a brief delay in the availability of my newly published book, “Caving in Ontario”, I am making some brief adjustments to the global distribution rights. This being said, I need to re-check the finished manuscript and then it will go back into general access and you will again be able to purchase from Lulu. or if you are a bookstore or library or person who would prefer not to use Lulu, then you can buy from Amazon at wholesale price etc. For the private individual your best deal will be from Lulu as I have marked it for a 15% discount. ‘Caving in Ontario; Exploring Buried Karst’ should be accessible on-line again by mid next week (25th of Jan 2012)

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This picture of me  (Michael Gordon) was taken the first time we (JC and I) went deep into Wasteland Waterway. The cave is initially a watercrawl along elliptical; pheratic tubes that wriggle around on a relatively level plain, but after our escape hole (Blue Barrel sink), and the huge spiders there, the passage quickly drops down deeper and becomes narrower and more jagged.

Some time this winter we will push beyond where we have explored thus far, into passage that remains unseen by any other human,  and hopefully find the chasm that we believe exists somewhere up ahead.

Read more on the exploration of Wasteland Waterway in my new book on caves in Ontario and see the momentous occasion of the arrival of my first copy from the printers today – new book on caves in Ontario here.

If you are interested in purchasing “Caving in Ontario; Exploring Buried Karst” click here. It looks like you can save 25% on any purchase from Lulu today if you enter the code onemorething at checkout – but deals like that change from day to day so just check the screen for codewords any day you order.

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IMG_8705, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

JC, GW and I returned to this karstic area to make an attempt on this pit. This is but one sinkhole of many in this area – over 50 mapped nearby, all overlying a buried karst that likely hides caves that we would very much like to find.

We have taken a short break from Wasteland Waterway as it can get quite intense if you do it every weekend. Instead we thought to involve ourselves in something a little less serious – the C… sink was exactly what we needed. It was a sinkhole that had been dye traced by a local university, but inexplicably, with such a perfect pit, they never had the curiosity to descend it.

We carried our ladder for around a half hour through tangled, bush, nettles and along the edge of a corn field until we reached our destination.

At the end of a narrow, steep sided gulley we followed a barely flowing stream as it dribbled over a ledge for a free fall into the underground.

Down below the water pattered down upon us like a cloud-burst, we were soaked in seconds, but we stayed to clear debris from the mouth of a small triangular shaped tunnel. As GW points out, with a little persuasion we will be able to remove the boulder that blocks our way and then we’ve got a going cave dig.

We now have the luxury of one promising cave dig and 2 caves with virgin passage known only to myself, JC and soon to be Greg and Marcus.  For Ontario that really is quite remarkable and it becomes increasingly apparent that the karst is there and if you know what to look for, the tunnels soon make themselves apparent.

A short break next week as I’m off to the Bancroft Gemboree – I never miss it. I hear the CGA is there so I’ll stop by to touch base with old collegues. Gems are another of my interests.

Still working hard at getting the next cave book out – it’s looking good. If you are cave-interested, especially in Ontario caves, geology or geography I’m sure you’ll appreciate what I’ll have to offer – again discretion with locations, but like opening a treasure box if you’re a cave searcher you will be totally energised by what you hear and see.

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IMGP0851, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

As possibly mentioned before I went to Mexico (Tulum) and having experienced some of their truly incredible caves I had said that JC and I were intending to dig out the blue barrel sink and enter Wasteland Water way partway along – in particular after the wet crawl through the elliptical wormhole. Admittedly we liked the idea of a bale-out spot in case we were trapped by flood. Further upstream the water reaches the roof when it rains and that was always on our mind while caving. This new entry way gives some peace of mind – we still have airspace at this point pictured above.

Worst case scenario, we are gonna survive a flash flood – that is important to the continuance of my caving enjoyment.

On the point of Mexico caves on the Yucatan, they are incredibly well decorated, but by my observations, the decorations seem to be composed of rough, puffy calcite and in cross section, multi colored as could be seen in broken stalactites. More exciting stuff on that and my disappointing trip to Rio Secreto (soon).

 

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