Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mine Exploration - Heading Back in Time

Its hard for a history buff and former adrenaline junky to stick to the rules sometimes.  When family comes into town and they don't like to fish...exploration is next on my list.  This silver mine has been calling my name for sometime, every time I come across it wheeling down desert roads in western NV I always say "wish I brought a ladder".  Well.....this time i did.  You can't access this mine w/o one unless you'd like to never see the light of day, once you drop off the overhang 10ft, there is no way out without one, the mine becomes your new home.  Below is the entrance, its a very steep approach.
 Doesn't look like much, this drop occurs 12 inches after you enter, in other words, your first step.
 The pillar below was left as roof support.  They mined a silver ore vein going vertical down the column if you look close.
 A 12' ladder just makes it.
I Left my brother-in-law up top for safety (plus there was no way he was going down) so I went it alone.  This adit probably had an ore track in it at one point, it was in good shape.  Back in the late 1800's the average height of man was 5'4", this tunnel wasn't working well for me.
 This Winze was really cool, it must have gone down 50ft or better, I dropped some rocks down and there was a bottom to it.  The fact that I was alone kept me from going any further.
 Look at the size of the main cavern, I estimate 35' bottom to top, also look above the entrance/ladder, that's a vertical raise which I didn't see until I saw the picture on my computer.  These photos were taken with a huge flash; down there in person with a little flash light its extremely dark.  The entire cavern may have been square set with timber at one point, but given the scarcity of wood in Nevada, mine companies often times pulled the good lumber out as they left to prospect elsewhere.
This little tunnel below had a HUGE friggin rat or squirrel in it, no doubt trapped down there as there is no way out.  It had a little white nest that you can make out in the picture below.   It jumped out and ran back into the cave as I shone a flashlight on it.  Scared the SHIT out of me...sorry for the language but you'd have to be there alone in the dark and come across and you'd understand.
 This tunnel was at a 35% grade and obviously had a big cave in occur as some point, you can see the 6x6 timber buried in the debris.
 Looks like they chased a vein near the ceiling, this hole is 15' up.
 Yeah, bats kept coming out of this one, I'm not a big bat guy so didn't need to see what was at the end.
 From this angle you can truly appreciate how impossible entry is without a ladder.
 Getting to the site was half the fun, maybe triple the fun as the snow/moisture made the road a slick clay mess.
 Trout Truck made it through unscathed, locked up the axles and put her in 4 low a couple times.
 Wild horses guard the entrance to the mine.
 You can see just how wild these mustangs someone feeding them?
 I love to freak the wife out with these pictures, told her we went rock climbing with the kids but I forgot rope so we went freestyle.  (I don't rock climb)
I think I'm destined to check out that winze one day, need to find someone loco enough to do it with me.  Till next time!


Unknown said...

Can you share directions to this mine?

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