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Posts Tagged ‘looking for caves’

IMGP2229, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

It is a well known fact that 90-95% of Ontario’s caves are within 100 feet of a road. As of late we have taken to exploration in dense tracts of forest over a karst terrain that has been long suspected to harbor the best caving possibilities in Ontario.

As a rough guide we have been using an old manuscript that was produced by Martin Davis, he had already visited the area andf for the most part his initial reconnaisance has been invaluable to our success in finding, or re-finding significant karst features. we believe this shaft was first marked on one of Martin’s maps and in looking down it appears to exceed the depth of the abyssthat we found last month and also several other cave shaft features that we had recently happened upon. Most exciting about this shaft is the belling out of the bottom reaches so that we cannot see the bottom of the wall beneath where Jeff is standing – in fact we are believing that it could be a tunnel as a surface joint also leads in that direction. We are intending to descend the pit this coming weekend and answer the question as to whether there is going cave tunnel at the bottom.

Check out this video of the cave shaft and also another feature that we are calling the void – cave shaft video here.

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Creepy Tree , originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Looking for caves we spent a long hot day slogging through the forest near Toronto. The bugs were really bad and we were pretty much disoriented for a significant part of our search. Jeff had located some deep conical sinkholes on a high-rez aerial photo. It appeared that here were 4 or five of these pits somewhere out in the bush. we began by following fields, then a fence line that disappeared in the forest and then finally, just us, the mosquitoes and a bear.

Not having drunk enough water, this creepy looking tree seemed to have qualities other than just natural ones. I imagined it as some sinister kind of entity, inhabited by all sorts of odd figments of my imagination – but sinkholes and finding caves, were those a figment of our imaginations?

See video of our day of cave hunting here.

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Natural cave gate, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Last weekend we enjoyed a feeble sunshine and weather that made it seem like spring was just around the corner. On a plateau that was totally cleft by grykes and pocked with sinkholes we found a joint that had several likely entrances into the underground. Jeff also explored a crevice cave that soon became a solution passage.

This is an intriguing shot of tree roots that spider over top a water worn crevice on the surface. As you can see the soil is thin and tree roots block entrance to this crevice. No big deal, it looks like a natural cave gate, and a short distance further in the tunnel is blocked by sticks and twigs.

It seems that the water percolates through many fractured rocks and leaves the nearby clifface from multiple locations. It’s not that the rock is un-cave like, its just that the water remains unconcentrated. When wear is spread over so many possibilities, the tunnels can only be small and crawley. For good cave tunnels you need nice thick layers, less joints and fewer points of water entry. That natural cave gate hardly brings me much concern. In what they are calling a potential flash freeze, Wolfmaaan, JC and I are preparing to do a wetsuit crawl in some very exciting circumstances. Weather and courage permitting I will have some amazing cave pictures by tomorrow night.

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Beaver Valley, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

I was out scouting for a possible cave dig location today. Caving in Ontario can sometimes involve a little digging. Beaver Valley has a few promising possibilities. Investigations from a past trip revealed the likelihood of a bedding plane tunnel, there was no remarkable amount of solution taking place. Again I was drawn back here. There is too much sinking and all the signs that would suggest that something very active is taking place beneath the surface – huge sinkholes all lined up, elevation, exposed rock (the right kind of rock) and plenty of serious corrosion on the surface.

There has to be more to this place than beautiful colored leaves.

Check this out – it was under the search term of a “sink”, but it’s really a washout, but still worth seeing. I gotta ask myself what the odds of catching this on video was. Here

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Nothing like Cuba – but more to come on that!


 

Just a little something from Ontario – The water is cold and the tunnels black. I had the experience a few years ago of dredging out a sumping tube somewhere near Hamilton – where the temperature on the surface was many degrees below zero and I had to submerge myself up to my neck in this horrendous muddle puddle to scramble away with my hads to try and loosen the boulder that was blocking our way. It took us more than one visit to the location to clear our route and even so – beyond that the tunnel did not go on that far – but what a rush when we broke through.

Caving in the tropics is much more spectacular than what we are used to up here, but still, in Ontario you need a special kind of dedication; it is a pursuit that sometimes leaves you wondering – What is wrong with me?

Here I am just feeling the atmosphere. The cave is not so big, but it leaves one with the hope of something else further up the stream. I am yet to investigate.

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