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Posts Tagged ‘Caving in Canada’

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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IMG_8624, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

This section of the Wasteland waterway is past the blue barrel sink, it is where the cave air is now from well below the surface, camera lenses fog and the water is noticeably colder than what is coming from the surface. We were refering to the wide expanse before this as the cobble beach.

Just beyond here a vadose trench cuts deeply into the floor and JC and I explored some short distance into the canyon. You can here rushing water somewhere up ahead so I wonder if this is water flowing in from the surface sinks along the forest edge, or if the downcutting is a result of a shaft somewhere on beyond.

I believe that we should get some significant distance from this tunnel and it is standing height once in the trench. sheets of rock cut inward from either side and the trench winds erratically to either side.

Crawling back was a lot harder than going forward. I struggled to keep the camera somewhat dry and finally it quit. When the batteries died I got the new batteries wet and then something went wrong inside.

We will continue our exploration over the next few weeks.

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Caving in Ontario - Wasteland waterway

Caving in Ontario - Wasteland waterway

Today’s push in Wasteland Waterway, a new cave that JC and I recently discovered has thus far exceeded our best imaginings. As you can see the entry crawl is wet and it gets wetter and more laborious as you go deeper in. We passed the blue barrel in the sink – our bailout route if the water level increases while we are in there. I must admit I began to suspect that it was rising as we were leaving.  At times the roof is almost touching the water and you must pick your path to keep yourself in air.

More pics and story to come.

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New Ontario Cave - Flooded out

New Ontario Cave - Flooded out

It rained all night last night so JC and I slogged through the marshy forest – clumps of gooey clay sticking to our boots, only to find the entrance to Wasteland Waterway completely submerged, though it was taking everything that was washed in to it there was no airspace for a caver.

Important point – rainfall on clay surface above karst equals death trap for those who are caving down below.

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Well as much as I have used the post title before, it comes as no surprise that it should be used again, because if you keep on looking, you just keep on finding. As seems apparent both JC and I are two stubborn dogs who just won’t quit looking so we find our share of local (Ontario) caves each year. Last year it was “Broken rowboat Cave, the year before it was “Broken glass Cave”, now it’s wasteland waterway”

Sitting in the Centennial Parkway parking lot of the Home Depot we checked out the aerial photos of our target area. Jeff pointed out that there had been past mention of sinks around the destination. Well we drove there and after about an hour of slogging through the forest we came across a karsty sort of terrain – sinks about 20 feet deep and runnels cut through the clay overburden within which flowed cappuccino colored streams. We followed one such stream to where it disappeared underground and we had our first glimpse of the cave that we baptized “the Wasteland Waterway’ – henceforth it will be called as such.

As you can see, size-wise, the entry tunnel is about 4 feet wide and about 3 feet high and a brisk stream flows within. I believe there are some similarities to Nexus Cave and as we soon hope to discover, possible size comparisons as well, but being a cave and not knowing what is around the corner till you get there we also remain realistic to the possibility of disappointment – more to follow soon.

Oh, BTW – check out my new book “Tamarindo; Crooked times in Costa Rica” here.

And on the subject of books, I am giving serious consideration to another book on Caving in Ontario (Rockwatching was my first).

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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).

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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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