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Posts Tagged ‘cave near Toronto’

IMGP3595, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

JC and I recently visited a cave in solid marble (The Natural Marble Bridge). Our intention had been to follow up river a short distance to see if there were other caves in the area. You might know the old adage – were there is some caves, there are more. Sadly there were no more that we found, but JC found a hole in another nearby valley that was blowing cold air and about 100 meters away, a hole (on the opposite side of the marble bridge) where it looks like the stream that presently runs through the cave must have sunk at one time. A cave dig might be in order when we run out of other going options.

The Natural Marble bridge has an entrance at one side of an elevated ridge of marble, and a downstream exit on the other side of the ridge. The entry way looks quite ominous and the roar of water is impressive – well out of proportion to the quantity that sinks.

Your passage through the cave is quite magical – traversing through bands of marble of various earthy colors, a granite contact being some short distance into the rock (facing downstream to your right).

See video of the natural Marble Bridge here.

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Today we busted open a tunnel in cave that we had thus far called the Void, it was somewhat nondescript, but Martin Davis said that he had seen a small passage when he visited the area 30 years ago. Well after exploring a nearby shaft on cable ladder (video on that later in the week) we went over to the void and began digging where we thought the water must go down.

We worked on clearing a plug of leaves and sticks. After about an hour the front digging wall fell away and the floor started collapsing and there in front of us was a passage that was fantastically ribbed – as Greg said, it reminded him of the trailer for that new movie Prometheus. So we have decided to rename the cave Prometheus, and of all coincidences, I got home to learn that my son was hoping to take me to that movie next weekend – obviously the cave was destined to be named this. If I recall correctly, was Prometheus not the Greek hero who bought fire to man and for his efforts had his liver torn out by an eagle?

Anyway Jeff has a theory that this is a feeder passage to the main tunnel that we are yet to unearth. I think there is a possibility that this is possible. I have been trying to determine from my picture of the scallops which way the water was running. I recall last weekend I copuld hear water rumbling away beneath the rocks in an area that was quite different from where we dug to open this passage.

Hopefully within a day or two I will have some video up on the initial opening of Prometheus, and maybe some video of aliens – actually no – I’m gonna sell those to News of the World.

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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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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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