Posts Tagged ‘video on caves’

This weekend Jeff and I descend to the bottom of a cold and dripping sinkhole in Ontario, Canada. It would appear that most are unaware of the existence of these pits, thinking that they only occur in Florida and other places where there have been some well publicized swallowings of people and posessions. Sinkholes occur for several reasons, but in stable rock they develop slowly and predictably over thousands of years and it is only the careless who end up lying broken and dying at their bottom.

In Toronto, it is most likely an underground pipe that has broken and eroded the lake deposited sediment beneath the city streets that would pose a sinkhole hazard. On rare occasions there have been collapse windows that have unexpectedly appeared in farmer’s fields, and of course there have been the celebrated cave-ins around mining communities like Cobalt and Kirkland Lake that have resulted in the loss of buildings. I believe it was in Timmins that a school bus was swallowed up one night with a sleeping beggar who had sheltered there, little suspecting that he would wake up entombed within the earth.

See the Documentary video on the sinkhole that we had explored this weekend – a Deep Mysterious Pit in Ontario Canada – here.

I spend my weekends caving and it appears that for the scarcity of horizontal cave openings near Toronto, it is now the vertical shafts that we are breaking open in hopes of exposing buried tunnels. Pictured here is one such shaft that sinks deep into virgin rock.

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This is a shaft at the back of a well known sea cave on the Bruce Peninsula. It might appear that I am desperately fighting a giant serpent that is in the process of swallowing me. Well gravity is on it’s side and I slid quite easily down its throat.

This particular weekend was a very successful one for caving in that area. JC and I located a swarm of deep rock shafts and we are returning quite shortly to conduct further investigation. We had been pointed in this direction by the exploits of cavers from decades past. The majority of our cave discoveries had been from building upon the investigations of others.

See my video on some caves beneath the Bruce Peninsula here – video on caving beneath the Bruce Peninsula.

It is here at the very tip of the Niagara Escarpment that Ontario caving is at its very best. And the discoveries of what lies beneath is just beginning. There are countless kilometers of bush and limestone alvars that remain to be explored.

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Argument Hole – so named for the dispute that took place at it’s discovery and subsequent exploration (that was many years ago).

JC and I had spent some time scouting along the bottom of the escarpment beside the sometimes flowing resurgence river. I was real tired and had slipped several times on ice coated rock, not to mention having fallen through several thinly covered snow roofs – beneath there were crevices of varying depths – fortunatly there was nothing that did any permanent damage.

As we were leaving we decided to quickly pop into the Argument Hole and it was then that the real potential of the feature became apparent. At it’s first exploration, the hole had seemed to be going nowhere. Maybe my impression of what was tight was more finely honed at that time. Today, in following inward, the tunnel jogged deeper into the escarpment, over a crevice that had been running with water from deeper inland last time I had visited. Admittedly there is a lot of breakdown, but up ahead, past this mid passage icicle there are troughs that run perpendicular to this crawl way and down which water flows parallel to the resurgence valley. Further exploration is dependent upon the stability of the tunnel.

Check out my video on caves that JC and I made here – It is a brief discussion on Argument Hole, Another Entrance to the Marmora Maze Caves.

Also see my book on caves here – ‘Caving in Ontario; Exploring Buried Karst’.

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