Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘geography of Ontario’

IMGP1872, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

JC and I have a lead on a Pre-Cambrian marble cave that we will be exploring on Thursday. Most exciting is the fact that the area is host to several known tunnels – they are small but beautiful and where there are some, there are more. Best thought in this area will be to speculate on what is buried. The surface geography will be our initial clue, we will be looking at unexplained dips in the soil, sink points and resurgences, contacts between marble and granite, and possible funnel points that have been created by glacial erosion.

Either way there will be some good pictures of the known cave (assuming that we can find it) and hopefully we can find something else in the area that presently lies waiting for us to discover it.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Exploring Stone Church Cave, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

When the railway engineers sealed Stone Church Cave they must have thought they’d done a pretty thorough job, and in reading E.D. Ongley’s 1965 BA. thesis, I had thought the same myself, however, on the off chance there might be some surface clues I visited this area with a friend (Jeff) and was immediately able to access the suspected Stone Church Cave as the retaining wall that had been built by the railway has collapsed. Ongley was entirely correct when he theorized that there might have been a buried system in the area, this thought being derived from his observation of an albino crayfish in the railway tunnel.

There is a sizable space that leads off from the railway drainage tunnel and because of blowing air from a hole nearby I suspect that there might still be a tunnel sealed behind the retaining wall on the opposite side of the tunnel as well. When I look at that wall to the right of the above picture I suspect that I can see points from where a tunnel might lead, deeper into the rock. Just because the railway blasted their own drainage route, across the natural tunnel path does not mean that where the water now leaves the rock is where the water always left the rock. There is a low lying area nearby that has been cut off from Stone Church Lake and I wonder if the old drainage route had taken the water that was sinking from the swamp, moved it underground and then either had it meet the surface in that low lying area and from there it drained down through the rubble against the wall of the hill. I noticed that there was a seam of rock about 20 wide in this hollow that was eroded back into the side of the hill. Debris covers the natural seam, but the cleft that is made suggests that the rock is easily worn or decomposed; could this be the subterranean route by which the area is drained?

A surface search revealed a shaft leading down into the natural cave near the upstream insurgence.

To see a short video of the exploration of Stone Church Cave – click here.

Read Full Post »

This is an extract from my book (a screen shot of part of a page), that is finished as of now – with about a half hour before the new year. It should be available for purchase from Lulu or the Edgehill Press site within about 2 or 3 days (depending upon the size of their backlog). You would not believe the complications at the final stage of preparation. I have spent my every spare minute since the last post uploading, downloading, readjusting, making PDFs, more uploading, using photoshop, learning how to do things I never wanted to do; any way it’s done and the book looks amazing.

This section of page from my new book, “Caving in Ontario; Exploring Buried Karst”, speaks a little about how cavers see spelunkers. To be called a spelunker by a caver is a derogatory remark.

So the point is, and I need to make it quick, as there is no more than about a half hour before midnight(new Years Eve) and I have a big glass of scotch and my hot tub waiting – if you are a caver, or underground explorer of any type, somewhere near Ontario, this book is a must have (excuse the massive sentence). Caving in Ontario tells you about the caves, how to find the caves, the geography of Ontario, the geology of Ontario and the culture of the sport of caving (in Ontario). Caving in Ontario is in full color, and it contains information and pictures of places that have never been publicly seen or written of before.

You think you know Ontario?  I bet most have not seen it from this angle – a caver’s angle (looking from below).

Read Full Post »

Caving in Ontario

Exploring an Ontario Cave - Canada

Here are 2 links to video that I took this weekend. Both these short clips are of Pilgrim’s Crawl, an Ontario cave that is yet to be followed to it’s end. I’d say the biggest problem are the tunnel’s scallops, it’s like crawling against a cheese grater and my cave suit shows it after doing so.

Check these videos out – my first attempt with video of Ontario caving …

Pilgrim’s Crawl 1  – Caving in Ontario 1

Pilgrim’s crawl 2 – Caving in Ontario 2

At this time I’m still getting the hang of this video thing, I like it and see it’s potential for documenting our explorations in the newly discovered “Wasteland Waterway Cave”. One point is that I need to increase the lighting – especially as Wasteland  Waterway has much larger tunnels. Some are well above your head. More on that in the following weeks and hopefully I’ll have my new caving book in about 2 – 3 months. It’s taking a while because I’m trying to get it right.

Read Full Post »

IMGP0810, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

This is JC as he and I wiggled our way on deeper into this unexplored Ontario cave system.

We have a mapping planned. Some time soon we should be able to provide more definite dimensions.

We finished the day’s exploration with (For me) a difficult crawl from our excavation hole. With a narrow tube such as the one down which we dropped down into the main tunnel, it does not make for an easy exit. Down below there is nothing to put your feet on, and higher up, the surface is just at that spot where you are unable to lift yourself. I struggled for some time with JC offering to help pull. Anyway I am now suffering from a multitude of delayed injuries including weird rashes, tiredness and bruises that I don’t remember getting. I was sitting at my desk yesterday and discovered a chafing on my belly – not entirely explained by the friction of rubbing against the keyboard. I had 11 hours sleep last night and I seem to be on the mend. Caving gives me both a mental and physical thrashing. This exploration of virgin tunnel keeps me on this mental overdrive that I suspect is costly for several days after.

Is that weird?

Check out JC’s pictures of Wasteland Waterway here – in particular the flowstone that looks very much like melted cheese.

Read Full Post »

Wasteland Waterway - an Ontario cave that just keeps on getting bigger

Wasteland Waterway - an Ontario cave that just keeps on getting bigger

Our aim today had been to reach the underside of a sink some 200 surface meters as the crow flies from the “Blue Barrel sink”.

The initial squeeze beyond the blue barrel sink seemed tighter than I remembered it last visit, but beyond that, as expected, the tunnels opened up well beyond our most hopeful expectations. The above picture was at the squeeze just beyond “Blue Barrel Sink”.

JC and I followed into a vadose trench where the roof was soon well above our heads. We left a decorated upper level behind (with it’s own exploration possibilities) and found ourselves following a zig zag course downward through sheets of rock and layers deeply pitted with scallops.

Today’s exploration ended in a shallow pool with 3 choices of tunnel moving forward. I suspect that a rightward leading tunnel could well underlie the sink for which we had been heading – but then it’s just purely speculation (well not entirely). We must already be quite deep beneath the surface and confirmation as to this passage’s eventual termination would require a stoop walk along the said passage which at first glance looks very jagged – though to it’s credit it is a little above the trunk passage in height so possibly a feeder passage leading from the suspected sink.

As an Ontario cave this one ranks up there with other more impressive local caves – who knows how big it will eventually get, it certainly blows a healthy draft. So far the formations have not quite matched those of Spanky’s Paradise, but they come a close second. This cave is certainly deeper than most Ontario caves (and I have been in most Ontario caves that are known to the caving community). As a straight line tunnel – thus far only branching now, it is definitely impressive for Ontario.

Read Full Post »

Ontario Cave - Down the rabbit Hole

Ontario Cave - Down the rabbit Hole - Wasteland Water Way

Though we were disappointed by the flooded entrance to Wasteland Waterway we decided to check a nearby sink and in hearing noise JC and I burrowed away and opened a karst window in the bottom of what looked like a meteor crater – the roar from within was encouraging.

The picture above shows what my camera picked up, a vadose passage that had airspace and was sucking more from the hole through which we peered. as we left we packed the sticky soil over a framework of sticks to keep our tunnel safe till we return next week. Hopefully the water will have dropped by then and we can push the cave.

From the guy who bought you the book Rockwatching, stay posted for the release of my new book about 2-3 months from now on caving in Ontario it will feature some 38 good Ontario solution caves (some possibly unknown even to experienced local cavers), along with details of their exploration and formation, lots of pics (no locations). Check out my last book –  Tamarindo; Crooked Times in Costa Rica here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »