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cage cat donnie
08-14-2006, 01:25 PM
Does anyone have any resources (websites, books, etc) that discuss safe exploration of abandoned mines? My initial searches yield "the sky is falling" websites that say DON'T EVER DO IT. I realize there are dangers, even significant ones, but I would bet many hobbies such as ATV riding or rock climbing have greater potential risk. I am interested in learning as much as I can and taking reasonable precautions. Any suggestions?

bad bob
08-14-2006, 04:08 PM
Kitty Kat
It's one thing to take all necessary precautions, have a 2nd and/or 3rd person along, rope, boots, powerful flash lights, etc., but at least two things remain possible, both of which are most likely to result in death. First is residual toxic gas fumes, which I acknowledge may be remote, and the air could be tested. The second is possible ceiling/walls collapse (cave in), from which there MAY be no recovery.

To quote Humphrey Bogart "You pays your money, and you takes your chances", or words to that effect.
bb.

LauraA
08-14-2006, 05:34 PM
Donnie, You're right, there's virtually no information to be found except those sites with the caveat "KEEP OUT" but of course, those disclaimers don't help out those of us who have a natural curiosity and want to explore the place it took us so long to locate. My general rule of thumb is, if it's got timber supports, I don't go in for the obvious reasons. It's probably not in any way scientific, but if my guts says no, I don't go.
You don't mention which state you're wanting to explore mines in, if it's an earthquake prone area, I wouldn't even consider it.
Bad Bob mentions the best precautions,to take, he's old and very, very wise ;)
There are a few folks on this forum who have experience in caving and mine exploration, hopefully they'll weigh in on the subject. Keep us posted, it's an interesting topic.

cage cat donnie
08-14-2006, 06:28 PM
The gas fumes are actually my greatest concern because I don't know much about them. Are there affordable carry-along detectors? Do pro's/serious hobbyists use oxygen?

I can't think of a worse nightmare than getting trapped in a collapsed mine, but I am not planning on going into questionable sites. Famous last words...

I live in Idaho, and I was thinking of exploring the mines on Slacks Mt near Silver City.

bad bob
08-14-2006, 06:56 PM
One way to get info is to check with the old timers in the exploration area. Especially those that may be familiar with mines.
Laura, is the wise owl and mentioned mines with timber supports. Those would have to rated once you got there, and perhaps either steer clear, or don't venture too far in. But hard rock mines that have been around for many years are probably sound enough to explore. You can "Google" test kits to see the feasibility of using them. My level of info is based mostly on common sense rather than "mensa". But I'm much obliged fer the kind words anyway Lori.

Yer absolutely right about worst nightmare. I s'pose drowning would also be less than pleasant, another experience similar to suffocating in a collapsed mine. I'm due back at the rest home now, so I'll have to sneak in to the nurse's office to use her computer, if I can remember how, with my alzheimers. Good Luck, and be safe.
bb.

brian10x
08-14-2006, 07:22 PM
Kitty Kat
It's one thing to take all necessary precautions, have a 2nd and/or 3rd person along, rope, boots, powerful flash lights, etc., but at least two things remain possible, both of which are most likely to result in death. First is residual toxic gas fumes, which I acknowledge may be remote, and the air could be tested. The second is possible ceiling/walls collapse (cave in), from which there MAY be no recovery.

To quote Humphrey Bogart "You pays your money, and you takes your chances", or words to that effect.
bb.

A friend of mine that used to work a claim says you can run into toxic air in as little as TEN feet inside a mine!!!
That scared me enough so I only went 30 or so feet in last time I found a mine. (Stupid, but curious)
I wonder if I try breathing through a garden hose from the outside, if that would be ok?

brian10x
08-14-2006, 07:26 PM
The gas fumes are actually my greatest concern because I don't know much about them. Are there affordable carry-along detectors? Do pro's/serious hobbyists use oxygen?

I can't think of a worse nightmare than getting trapped in a collapsed mine, but I am not planning on going into questionable sites. Famous last words...

I live in Idaho, and I was thinking of exploring the mines on Slacks Mt near Silver City.

I recently read a post from a mine explorer on an ATV forum. He says to be safe, you need to take a four gas ****yzer with you. I think its similar to the one they use to test car emissions. Very expensive and fairly heavy, not to mention you have to also have a power supply.

I wonder where you insert the probe?:confused: :confused: :mad:

cage cat donnie
08-14-2006, 07:49 PM
Here is a picture of a mine entrance near Silver City. We didn't have flashlights or other gear, so we didn't go in very far. There is a pile of dirt and rock in the entrance, but beyond that the floor is smooth and once had rails. There are several other places on the mt that look like mine locations. We didn't check them, so they may be closed off.

brian10x
08-14-2006, 08:14 PM
I know how tempting it can be!!

bad bob
08-14-2006, 08:50 PM
.

I wonder where you insert the probe?:confused: :confused: :mad:

I'm pretty sure the probe goes up the proboscis!
...I mean unless it's....well, an
**** probe, then it goes up the ****yscis.
bb.

GaryB
08-14-2006, 09:00 PM
I'd start off seeing if you have a local grotto (spelunking group) and maybe hang out with them. Likely you'll learn all you need about repelling safety and gear, helmets, lights. And probably get a list of safe mines/caves to check out as most grotto's are in charge of mapping and other general data recording of caves. We have a few mines in Nevada that are well known homes to large bat colonies, and the local grotto's do their part to keep an eye on them.

www.caves.org (http://www.caves.org)

You could stock up on canaries too :D

bad bob
08-14-2006, 09:01 PM
I recently read a post from a mine explorer on an ATV forum. He says to be safe, you need to take a four gas ****yzer with you. I think its similar to the one they use to test car emissions. Very expensive and fairly heavy, not to mention you have to also have a power supply.



cc don
You could spend the money for ****yzers, but maybe you have a buddy, that's kind of a pest.
Jes' send him in first to check the air. If he doesn't come out, it's a win-win-win.

LauraA
08-14-2006, 09:38 PM
I found this message board where someone posed the same question about air quality.


Mine Exploration (http://www.deathvalley.com/dvtalkarc5/messages/8749.shtml)



If anyone sees Bad Bob, please tell him the nurses are looking for him, it's past time for his warm milk and medications.

High Desert Drifter
08-14-2006, 10:52 PM
before probing myself with meters or lowering my friend down a rope, I would recommend contacting CAMACE - California Association Of Mine And Cave Explorers. At www.mineexploring.com They are a group of people who frequently explore accessible mine sites and I'm sure have answers to your questions.

cage cat donnie
08-15-2006, 09:03 AM
I believe that link has a .org instead of .com. Thanks for posting it.

http://www.mineexploring.org/

bad bob
08-15-2006, 05:29 PM
If anyone sees Bad Bob, please tell him the nurses are looking for him, it's past time for his warm milk and medications.


They got me Lonnie. I was on my way to Tucson to show Brian the new **** probe, when the "doctors" stopped me just north of Lake Shasta. Then they made me wear this heavy white shirt thing with shoe laces, where I couldn't swing my arms.
They gave me something for sleeping, and when I woke up, I was back at the home. My new room has bars on the windows, so it may be a while before I can escape again, and head back up to Tucson Idaho,
but they can't keep a magician locked up. See ya soon,
Gilbert

LauraA
08-16-2006, 01:43 AM
awww you poor old timer. Don't worry, I've got a cake in the oven right now...I didn't have a file to put in it, but there's a stick of dynamite inside.

Lucinda Lenore Cakeblaster

bad bob
08-16-2006, 10:13 AM
awww you poor old timer. Don't worry, I've got a cake in the oven right now...I didn't have a file to put in it, but there's a stick of dynamite inside.

Lucinda Lenore Cakeblaster

Thanky Julia
What flavor is cake? You know I'm a chocoholic. And please write on the outside of the box in big letters, "This cake contains no file or dynamite". That way the guards...'er I mean nurses..won't bother to check. I'll have to owe ya the IPS charges.
B. Ron.

HollyDolly
08-16-2006, 10:42 AM
:eek: I personally would stay out of any old mine.That's also the same for abandoned buildings.
You have to worry about falling through floors etc.
Yes,you can buy portable oxygene tanks.You can contact a medical supply house.My dad due to COPD ,a lung diesase used oxygene,but a medium or large tank that was portable and carried in a metal holder with wheels.
But there a small portable ones.Don't know if they use batteries.

dvsww2
08-16-2006, 12:48 PM
Donnie, tell you what. I've been around as old Bad Bob and the reason that we are still around is we listen to our elders and old timers who have been there and done that. It was sort of beat into my head by an old time hard rock miner who knew what he was doing....And the message was don't go into abandoned mine shafts. I have talked to professionals who have explored the mines around Silver City as part of their job and the timbering is so bad in many cases it is just unsafe. The is also a lot of bad air and poor ventilation. One was the chief geologist for the Delamar open pit and they explored the neighboring mines to see what things looked like from the inside of the Mountain. He had a crew with the proper equipment and this was probably 20 years ago. Some of the big mines are multi-level and had main shafts and also dump shafts for the ore and they were boarded over after the hoists were removed and the boards have rotted, so all of a sudden the floor caves in. On many of the mines, there are no maps so rescue would be an impossibility. Also many have not been worked since the turn of the century or since the depression at the latest. Also since some of my friends would probably be the first responders to do a rescue, I don't want to see their lives endangered by having to rescue someone who is stupid.. Use common sense. If every one tells you not to go, then don't go. There was a post by a member of the Grete family who is a pioneer Silver City Family who lives in AZ and he says not to go either. BTW, I first went to Silver City in 1954, so have been at it for a long time. How old are you?

LauraA
08-16-2006, 03:00 PM
Thanky Julia
What flavor is cake? You know I'm a chocoholic. And please write on the outside of the box in big letters, "This cake contains no file or dynamite". That way the guards...'er I mean nurses..won't bother to check. I'll have to owe ya the IPS charges.
B. Ron.

B. Ron Hubbard,
Chocolate is the only breed...err Flavor! Please close the back of that hospital gown, the view from here ain't purty :eek:
Flo Nightenmare


(we'd better get back on topic or the other GTers will send a lynch party to git us)

bad bob
08-16-2006, 03:22 PM
B. Ron Hubbard,
Chocolate is the only breed...err Flavor! Please close the back of that hospital gown, the view from here ain't purty :eek:
Flo Nightenmare



(we'd better get back on topic or the other GTers will send a lynch party to git us)


Ooops solly....didn't realize it was open...but I guess it was a bit drafty..also, thanks fer the confidence builder.

And this "other" cat has no specific topic to be "on", but I need ta have me neck stretched anyway. Maybe I can eliminate one of my chins!
B. Reuben

LauraA
08-16-2006, 05:38 PM
B Reuben Saurkraut, fer an old feller yer a pretty sharp cookie (chocolate chip of course) Why didn't I notice we're in the "other" category? Prolly my guilt complex :rolleyes:
Shucks Pappy, I'd even trust you as my honorary mine sniffin, jerky tastin, mule skinin' guide out on the trail.
Unsolomonlike Solly

brian10x
08-16-2006, 06:15 PM
I feel I'm perfectly safe breathing the air in any mine I explore. I usually filter any contaminants through a pair of old underwear. No germ or toxin could possibly survive that journey.:mad: :mad: :confused:

old judge
08-16-2006, 06:27 PM
But not all of us have a pair of your underwear. OJ

bad bob
08-16-2006, 06:41 PM
Why didn't I notice we're in the "other" category? Prolly my guilt complex :rolleyes:
Shucks Pappy, I'd even trust you as my honorary mine sniffin, jerky tastin, mule skinin' guide out on the trail.
Unsolomonlike Solly

It's ok Mary, better to be safe than...lynched. Have yer nurse...er husband bring ya some warm milk, and don't forget your meds.
Now, isn't honorary just a figurehead? I can live with that.

Brian.
First I pictured you with yer jockey shorts strapped to your face as a filter. But you did say underwear, which could also be a t-shirt, so you're back off the hook until it is determined which filter you use.

OJ....Try searching "Tucson underwear filters" on ebay. Hope that helps...If not try Austin Tx thrift shops. Won't necessarily be Brian's but should still work.

old judge
08-16-2006, 06:44 PM
I ain't got either one. OJ

GaryB
08-16-2006, 08:05 PM
While I agree safest way is not to even go in the mine in the first place, I am reminded that I would rather die doing something I enjoy than die stuck in traffic on I-15 as some truck load of illegals runs me over on the way to work. That being said, I agree with and support doing things in the safest manner as dieing because of a stupid mistake is not high on my to do list. Experienced spelunkers/mine explorers can teach others the best, safe way to explore mines/caves.
My point is, we all do things we shouldn't as it harms our health in one way or another, but if in fact we find we must do it, at least take the measures and steps to ensure our safety as far as our control will allow us.

GaryB
08-16-2006, 08:13 PM
I tired to eBay some of Brian's dirty drawers, but I couldn't afford the coinage they went for. Seems he wears a popular size in Tuscon :p

LauraA
08-16-2006, 09:14 PM
It's hard to overcome real curiosity and not enter a mine that it's taken you months to locate in the first place. I agree with Gary, try to be as safe as possible, but to actually stay out, that's probably more willpower than I've got. Some mines look more inviting than others. A huge swarm of bees at the entrance, a few rattlers coiled up inside or rotted wood beams will definitely keep me away, but if it looks ok, I'm curious enough to venture in, and so far, so good. If it involves old wooden ladders, nope, I'm not going and since I'm a lousy climber, I wouldn't go down into a vertical shaft either. I think it's human nature to take risks to achieve the results we want within our capabilities.

bad bob
08-16-2006, 09:49 PM
These are all valid points indeed, and I also agree wit the bote'a youse for the most part. But this is life or death folks. Who makes the decision that I've done all I can to ensure safety to the best level controllable. You do! In other words, should I have taken lessons from explorer A in Idaho, or sought more experienced help from explorer B in Missouri, or Mexico.

I guess you can live life and go when you're # is up, or you can increase the odds of going while doing something you enjoy. Experienced spelunkers die too, tho their survival odds are better of course, depending on degree of experience.

Whatever it is, racing cars, rodeo bull rider, skydiver, or stuntman/woman, is up to you.
I don't think suffocating or drowning would be enjoyable for me.

I'd prefer a gorgeous nurse holding my ...uh my hand to be my last earthly vision at the age of 165 or so.

cage cat donnie
08-17-2006, 09:07 AM
Hi dvsww2,

Thanks for the post. Yes, at 37 I am a whippersnapper by comparison. I may end up agreeing with you that abandoned mines should be avoided, but I want to quantify the risk on my own through knowledge. I have never been very good at doing (or not doing) something just because someone else says to. My natural instinct is to assume they are wrong, lol. I think the risk depends somewhat on the condition of the mine. The one I am considering is solid rock, no beams and it is in a well travelled area. Considering there is a 4x4 road to it, I have to believe hundreds of people have been inside. The bad thing is getting seduced into making a bad desicion once inside. If conditions take a turn for the worse, the excitement of exploration might make a guy do something dumb. I just don't want to be suprised by a hazard I didn't anticipate. If you are a local, you know about all the kids drowning in pools and ponds this year. If you compare the risk of mine exploration to drowning risk, people should all drain their pools. But people all take risks in life. Understanding is the best prevention, and pools are safe with the proper precautions. That said, I am also not going smoke at the gas station. (I actually am not going to smoke at all) There are some things that are just plain dumb to do. Some things are dumb to do, but the reward you get makes it worthwhile. I am not trying to get surly with you, by the way. Just a friendly debate :-)

cage cat donnie
08-17-2006, 09:15 AM
Hey dvsww2,

A little off topic, but since you are a veteran of the Owyhees....

Is there any private land in the area for sale that one could build a small cabin on? I am not thinking of the town of Silver City, since there are building and renovation restrictions due to historical value, but in the surrounding area? I have tried local real estate agents, but I find next to nothing. I wondered if there was a way "insiders" find property to buy and sell. I imagine a lot of it is BLM and large ranches, but I would love to find a small parcel to get away from the crowds.

GaryB
08-17-2006, 02:07 PM
http://www.sunnyland.com/auction/

http://auctionacres.com/

http://realestate.search.ebay.com/Idaho_Real-Estate_W0QQfkrZ1QQfromZR8QQsacatZ10542


I've been looking for land myself ;) Wish I had a $100K laying around, 680 acres would make for a nice back yard.

dvsww2
08-17-2006, 04:59 PM
Sort of a hard thing to find. A friend of mine who lives in Jordan Valley looked all over for land on the Idaho side and couldn't find much. And he lives down there. He finally settled on a place in JV. You might check with the county assessor and see if anything is coming up on tax deed for back taxes. The Stoddard Mansion in Silver was up for auction a year or so ago, so things happen. The building codes are not bad, it just have to replace an original building in size and use material that looks vintage. No aluminum or plastic windows or metal doors. Some of my friend'
s kids tried to winter in one of the old cabins at Delamar one winter and the finally got froze out. The cabin had no insulation and the snow was blowing so hard it would come in through the cracks in the walls. The even tried wrapping the cabin in black plastic. They were trying to save gas as they were working at the open pit..

modette
08-18-2006, 02:53 PM
I say go in and enjoy. Like others have said, if it does not look good, don't go in.

I have crawled in many holes in my life taking risk.

Usually I know I am safe when I see Beer cans laying on the ground while going back into a mine. Why do people think that the mine will colapse when YOU happen to be there, it is not waiting like a venus fly trap to eat a person. Don't go and beat on the timbers.

Explorering is common sense, if you don't have any then you are better off staying home.

Mine gas: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9052825

As far as gases that might be in a mine, remember these are multi level structures...so unless your going DOWN then I would say staying level with the openning your pretty safe as far as "mine gas" goes. Plus it seems mostly the gases are produced while the mine is working...they don't just appear out of nowhere.

Just my .02 ont he matter...maybe I am wrong...but like others I like to have fun now...you live once...so enjoy life now and worry later.

bad bob
08-18-2006, 03:18 PM
I say go in and enjoy. Like others have said, if it does not look good, don't go in.

I have crawled in many holes in my life taking risk.

Usually I know I am safe when I see Beer cans laying on the ground while going back into a mine. Why do people think that the mine will colapse when YOU happen to be there, it is not waiting like a venus fly trap to eat a person. Don't go and beat on the timbers.

Explorering is common sense, if you don't have any then you are better off staying home.

Mine gas: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9052825

As far as gases that might be in a mine, remember these are multi level structures...so unless your going DOWN then I would say staying level with the openning your pretty safe as far as "mine gas" goes. Plus it seems mostly the gases are produced while the mine is working...they don't just appear out of nowhere.

Just my .02 ont he matter...maybe I am wrong...but like others I like to have fun now...you live once...so enjoy life now and worry later.

Hey Peeps.
I think we found someone here to go in and test the mines fer ya.
Mod, you don't have any distance restrictions, do ya? Pretty sure it'll be limited to western 1/2 of U.S. TIA.

(To calypso beat) "Don't Worry, Be Happy" tra da da la la boom boom la ti da "Don't Worry, Be Happy". hmmmm hmmm

modette
08-18-2006, 04:15 PM
Mod, you don't have any distance restrictions, do ya? Pretty sure it'll be limited to western 1/2 of U.S. TIA.


No, no distance restrictions that is why I have a vehicle...lol Get in and take at least one trip a year...my friend in CA and I do one every year, even now being married it is something "we" do without the wifes. This year we decided to do a Ghost Town trip...usually we do motorcycle trips but that has gotten old. Plus this year we are mixing it up with going to Baja and renting ATV's in Bishop, CA along witht he Ghost Towning and Metal Detecting.

I wont go out of my way to find a mine, but have been known to see one ont he side of a backroad and go crawling in...LOL I'm more afraid of bats then gas, or colapses. :D

bad bob
08-18-2006, 04:27 PM
No, no distance restrictions that is why I have a vehicle...lol Get in and take at least one trip a year...my friend in CA and I do one every year, even now being married it is something "we" do without the wifes. This year we decided to do a Ghost Town trip...usually we do motorcycle trips but that has gotten old. Plus this year we are mixing it up with going to Baja and renting ATV's in Bishop, CA along witht he Ghost Towning and Metal Detecting.

I wont go out of my way to find a mine, but have been known to see one ont he side of a backroad and go crawling in...LOL I'm more afraid of bats then gas, or colapses. :D

You thrill-seeker, daredevil you.
Your first assignment will be somewhere in Idaho.

Now ahhh, ya ever do any metal detecting in ghost towns? If so, didja find anything?

LauraA
08-18-2006, 04:35 PM
You thrill-seeker, daredevil you.
Your first assignment will be somewhere in Idaho.

Now ahhh, ya ever do any metal detecting in ghost towns? If so, didja find anything?

BB, looks like it's time for us old folks to yield the adventures to the younguns. What kind of rocker do you want, padded or plain, maple or oak? I'm getting one of those new-fangled ones with the donut cushion, lifted and locked of course. :cool:

bad bob
08-18-2006, 04:42 PM
BB, looks like it's time for us old folks to yield the adventures to the younguns. What kind of rocker do you want, padded or plain, maple or oak? I'm getting one of those new-fangled ones with the donut cushion, lifted and locked of course. :cool:

Uhhh what was your name again...oh yeah Laura, can I get a heavily padded, oak one with auto-rock, and massage/heat back rest? That laced-up white jacket here at the rest facility is very uncomfortable. I think me lumbago is worsening. No donuts tho please, I'm already grossly obese.

bad bob
08-19-2006, 09:39 AM
I recall that you aren't exactly ready to be fitted for a rocker jes yet missy. You're only waitin' for the heat to go away before ya'all hit the dusty trail again.
Tryin' to trick me into an early rocker eh? But... why? Did Queen put you up to this?

LauraA
08-19-2006, 09:58 AM
I recall that you aren't exactly ready to be fitted for a rocker jes yet missy. You're only waitin' for the heat to go away before ya'all hit the dusty trail again.
Tryin' to trick me into an early rocker eh? But... why? Did Queen put you up to this?

Well, Queenee did say you were off your rocker...isn't that what she meant? :D :p ;)

We did hit the dusty trail again this morning, no luck reaching the Blue Bird, but a super trip anyway. I'll probably post it later after I've gotten some rest.

bad bob
08-19-2006, 10:39 AM
Well, Queenee did say you were off your rocker...isn't that what she meant? :D :p ;)

We did hit the dusty trail again this morning, no luck reaching the Blue Bird, but a super trip anyway. I'll probably post it later after I've gotten some rest.

LOL good one Maggy.

Now how 'bout gettin busy with this last adventure? How much rest could ya need from jes sittin' in a jeep? :D

LauraA
08-19-2006, 11:11 AM
LOL good one Maggy.

Now how 'bout gettin busy with this last adventure? How much rest could ya need from jes sittin' in a jeep? :D

You're right Maynard, I was too keyed up to rest and went ahead and posted it, go take a look.
Maggy ;)

bad bob
08-19-2006, 11:47 AM
You're right Maynard, I was too keyed up to rest and went ahead and posted it, go take a look.
Maggy ;)

That's the spirit, Betty.
Jes got back from upstairs, and found the 3 good pics...but where's the rest of 'em? "Stills" in the camera? Yank 'em out & glue 'em on pgs 2, 3, 4.
Henry.

LauraA
08-19-2006, 08:26 PM
Bad Bob, Queenie sent this to you, she said it's part of her dowry.:)



357

bad bob
08-19-2006, 10:21 PM
[quote=LauraA;21281]Bad Bob, Queenie sent this to you, she said it's part of her dowry.:)

Well, that 'ol hide has got some nerve thinkin' a rickety rockin' chair is the answer. "Once fooled, twice a fool", er "Twice fooled, three times an eloper," I ferget, but I think I already found a suitable replacement on eHarmony.org

Anyway, this new gal, most of her remaining teeth are fair, and she's built solid enough fer my intentions. Her name is Bertha, but she wanted to change it from her Russian name, Miroslava Nastenka Viktoria Marishka Tatianna Barishnikov Baluga Wang. (Her father was Chinese).

We're currently looking for a creative way to finance her move to California from Ust-Kamenogorsk, northeast of Lake Balkhash, but so far nothing but RED TAPE!

Queenee had her shot, now that boat has sailed, but thanks for passing the message along Ruby.
bb.

cage cat donnie
10-16-2006, 07:01 AM
This is a mine entrance near Silver City, ID. It is probably an excellent example of one NOT to enter. The timbers at the entrance are moldy, probably rotten, and broken in several places. The road actually goes over the top of it. There is only a couple feet of gravel between the timbers and the roadway, as you can see, so I don't imagine there is any steel holding it up. We went in a short distance just to pose for some photos, then exited promptly!!

I would love to see a map of all the mines. Not for exploration purposes, but for curiousity. Supposedly there was a tunnel from Silver to Dewey, so the miners could go between them in winter. Is it a labyrinth of tunnels in there, or just a few straight shots that go in from several entrances on the mountains? I'd love to know.

GaryB
10-16-2006, 08:36 AM
Nevada has a mining authority with online info regarding most of the mines in the state broken down by districts or counties. Some of the bigger ones have detailed maps showing the adits, tunnels, etc. Might check to see if Idaho has the same.

Here's the Nevada link for kicks: http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/sales/pbs.htm

Go to "home" then to "links" then down to each state's listing and they have one for Idaho.

LauraA
10-16-2006, 11:10 AM
If figures, Arizona hasn't got much online except some poop about "Keep Out" and the measures they're taking to close abandoned mine adits all in the sake of public safety. :mad:
The Arizona Department of Mines and Minerals does have some mining maps available for sale, but nothing as detailed as you're describing for Nevada.

NWNative
10-16-2006, 05:15 PM
I read somewhere that it was not uncommon for small mine enterances to be inside the miner's home. Has anyone ever seen that? I am always a bit hesitant to enter a cabin thinking about that floor giving wy to a shaft of some sort.

GaryB
10-16-2006, 06:16 PM
I read womewhere that it was not uncommon for small mine enterances to be inside the miner's home. Has anyone ever seen that? I am always a bit hesitant to enter a cabin thinking about that floor giving wy to a shaft of some sort.


Seen it first hand no, read about it and seen actual pictures yes. They usually built the cabin in front of the shaft, not on top of it. Made for great a/c during the summer :D

NWNative
10-16-2006, 08:25 PM
Hmmm. I had read that the cabins were actually built over the shafts and that there would be a trap door in the floor.
I have not seen that but I don't walk into old cabins with sunken looking wood floors either.

LauraA
10-17-2006, 02:42 AM
Hmmm. I had read that the cabins were actually built over the shafts and that there would be a trap door in the floor.
I have not seen that but I don't walk into old cabins with sunken looking wood floors either.

NW, you're right. There was one outside of Phoenix before BLM in their infinite wisdom bulldozed the entire thing and filled in the vertical shaft. I wish I had taken pictures, now it's gone forever. It was a small cabin with a trap door in the floor, the door was gone, leaving a gaping hole with a wooden ladder leading down into the netherworlds. I'd love to find a few more of these, but no luck so far.
It must have been convenient, you didn't even have to dress to go to work, sorta puts an old spin on "working from home."

Here's a short story written about such a miner's cabin.

http://www.andrews.edu/~greigj/sam.htm (http://www.andrews.edu/~greigj/sam.htm)

GaryB
10-17-2006, 08:21 AM
Would make getting up in the middle of the night to empty the bladder interesting, especially if you forgot to close the door when you came back up. :D

I have never heard or seen of a cabin being on top of a shaft. Seems dangerous to me, but then again hard rock mining wasn't known as a cushy OSHA job either ;)

LauraA
10-17-2006, 04:39 PM
Here's a good article that mentions a cabin being built over a vertical mine shaft.
I've been searching the internet for the one that used to be located outside Phoenix, but can't find it and can't remember the name. :confused:

Gold Prospectors of the Rockies - Breckenridge Experience (http://www.lornet.com/prospector/articles/breckenridge.htm)

XterraMan
06-17-2008, 10:53 PM
After speaking with a miner in Bisbee, AZ who has mined for over 20 years and explored many mines, a good rule of thumb is to check for airflow, if there is no airflow, or very little, light a candle before you go any further. If the candle goes out and you can't relight it or burns out again, DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER IN!!! Wet rotting timber is the leading cause oxygen displacement in mines due to carbon monoxide buildup, and with not enough airflow to circulate oxygen to proper levels = BAD DAY

Hope the info helps!!

brian10x
06-17-2008, 11:52 PM
After speaking with a miner in Bisbee, AZ who has mined for over 20 years and explored many mines, a good rule of thumb is to check for airflow, if there is no airflow, or very little, light a candle before you go any further. If the candle goes out and you can't relight it or burns out again, DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER IN!!! Wet rotting timber is the leading cause oxygen displacement in mines due to carbon monoxide buildup, and with not enough airflow to circulate oxygen to proper levels = BAD DAY

Hope the info helps!!

I wonder if thats why I've never been quite "right in the head" since visiting the Tres Amigos mine?

Search my thread, see the pictures, you will understand.

RockRacer
07-08-2008, 01:48 AM
After speaking with a miner in Bisbee, AZ who has mined for over 20 years and explored many mines, a good rule of thumb is to check for airflow, if there is no airflow, or very little, light a candle before you go any further. If the candle goes out and you can't relight it or burns out again, DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER IN!!! Wet rotting timber is the leading cause oxygen displacement in mines due to carbon monoxide buildup, and with not enough airflow to circulate oxygen to proper levels = BAD DAY

Hope the info helps!!

Sorry to keep bringing this to the top, but I am very interested in this topic.

I had seen on another site talking about lighting a candle, and then again on this post, but I though that some of these dangerous gases were flammable and in no way would you want to cause a spark or light a candle??:confused:

LauraA
07-08-2008, 04:22 AM
Sorry to keep bringing this to the top, but I am very interested in this topic.
I had seen on another site talking about lighting a candle, and then again on this post, but I though that some of these dangerous gases were flammable and in no way would you want to cause a spark or light a candle??:confused:

I don't know about the flammability issue, but I wouldn't depend on a candle to indicate bad air. Some gasses found in mines aren't easily detectable, Hydrogen Sulphide for one.
I think a good bad air detection method would be taking someone you don't like along with you and let them go in first. (this might work well for ex-spouses too) :rolleyes: :D

Joel
07-08-2008, 04:51 AM
Wish that I could get my ex to go in first. Cheaper than canaries! :)

brian10x
07-08-2008, 11:47 AM
Wish that I could get my ex to go in first. Cheaper than canaries! :)

I'll go with you! Just tie a rope around me and the other end around my Bronco's bumper.

If I pass out, just shove it into granny low and pop the clutch.

cheever
07-08-2008, 01:25 PM
I invested in a good air monitor to in take in the mines with me that I calibrate to OSHA standards before every trip. I know that bad air does indeed exist in mines, but I have been in over 50 with this air monitor and have yet to find anything besides CO2 and O2 even in the deepest parts of the mine that lack air flow. And the CO2 levels were still within OSHA tolerances.

Derek

David A. Wright
07-08-2008, 06:52 PM
Though the original question posted is from a long time ago, still a very good thread.

I was going to suggest a caving group, but see that it's already been suggested. Many of the caving people also do old mines. I would think that would be the safest way to go, as a valid, responsible group would do their homework on the mine, the legalities, the equipment and the safety aspects of the sport.

Me? I'm not into old mines, although I've been in a few. If I see solid rock, I feel safer. However, never have I lost that "what if" aspect that keeps the hairs on the back of my neck raised. And I seldom go back in farther than necessary to get some good photos. Then I get out. And I've never done it alone.

Two of my buddies love to explore mines. So we have a system. I stay outside, they go inside. We agree on a meeting time. The plan, if they don't show up within that time and a reasonable amount of time over that (in case they're having too much fun and forget to check their watches), then after a reasonable time I go for help. Works fine for us. And so far I've not needed to go for help.

RockRacer
07-08-2008, 09:29 PM
I invested in a good air monitor to in take in the mines with me that I calibrate to OSHA standards before every trip. I know that bad air does indeed exist in mines, but I have been in over 50 with this air monitor and have yet to find anything besides CO2 and O2 even in the deepest parts of the mine that lack air flow. And the CO2 levels were still within OSHA tolerances.

Derek
Derek, are you serious? You are my new best friend! I have been searching for anything like that all over and all along the info has been right here! I need to know everything you know. Can I like rent you or your equipment? Not only for the fact that you have equipment, but also that you have been in so many mines with no signs of health hazards. And because you are actually using equipment, there's no room for speculation on your findings. And, to top it off, you are right here in Utah! BONUS. I am wondering if you could PM me later on which mines you have tested and how your equipment works, how much it costs, what it tests for, etc. Thanks man for piping up!

teds280z
07-10-2008, 02:50 PM
I have this magnificant 2" horshoe magnet but haven't found much>:rolleyes:

Tommyknocker
07-10-2008, 03:40 PM
It can be dangerous, but I have explored a lot of them over the years. I found a front page section to Los Angeles Times dated August 29,1929 down an old mine shaft at Skidoo site in Death ValleyNever explore alone of course. As dangerous as it is, some exploration has revealed incredible artifacts. Be sure to take a camera or video camera down with you to record what you find!

Joel
07-11-2008, 07:13 PM
Brian! You ought to know that being a yo-yo isn't a career!:rolleyes:

RockRacer
07-12-2008, 07:58 AM
Yeah, I filmed in night vision the entire time I was going through the Lucky Strike Mine and have edited the footage. Still didn't turn out great. Need to do more. I plan on always taking cameras and video cameras with me. I am also putting a safety equipment list together. (Even though I have never had any equipment in the past)

Norman Johnson
07-13-2008, 04:38 PM
1799

I have been in many, many old mines.

CO2 is heavier than air and can pool in low places with no drainage. Mines near the coast can have algae that use oxygen and produce CO2. Mines in volcanic regions can just plain emit CO2. One time years ago, in the Mammoth Lakes area, some campers pitched their tent in a low spot. There was CO2 expelled from a nearby vent during a windless night and they never woke up.

I always leave something outside the mine at the entrance to show people where I have gone.

The "room and pillar method" was a common practice for supporting the roof. Once the mine was resold or abandoned, one way to continue mining was to remove the pillars.

The Darwin, CA, Postmaster (and suspencion eyewear manufacturer) told me in response to my question about nearby Talc City, "Is it safe to go into a talc mine?" the following, "Talc is a lubicant. Blocks of talc slip against each other. I would never go into an abandoned talc mine." I went in anyway.

Mines are inherently dangerous. I never go into a mine where the footprints on the dusty floor are only facing one way-- away from the entrance.

NJ.

Joel
07-13-2008, 04:46 PM
I never go into a mine where the footprints on the dusty floor are only facing one way-- away from the entrance.

Good advice!:)

RockRacer
07-13-2008, 05:11 PM
Yes, good input and information.

I though that I would start leaving a big bright orange stake hammered in the ground with florescent string wrapped around it. (Mostly if we need to follow it back to the entrance.) Our vehicles are usually real close to our mine entrances also.

caver
02-22-2009, 10:56 AM
At work we use Impact Pro units for confined space. These were previously under the Zellweger/Neotronics names but now appear to be a Honeywell product. I recall conversing with one of the CAMCE guys and this is also what he/they used. We calibrate our own units and up until a few years ago I could borrow one from work. Tool loans have now been stopped due to management concerns over liability. Sounded like a BS response to me.
I was watching one of the guys on a gold prospecting show yesterday. Big feller, a bit clumsy like me. Broke every rule in the book when it comes to safety and got into some bad air. It might have just been fabricated TV drama but gives kids wrong ideas. Bear Grylls does the same thing with his hand over hand rope climbing BS going into caves. Sending out the wrong message to the novice explorers.

Keep in mind that if you buy a used monitor it really does need to be calibrated with calibration gas. Ours get heavily abused and fail quite often or have to be recalibrated before the normal calibration cycle.

45-70Ranger
02-22-2009, 12:25 PM
Hi Caver. :D
Yep,Bear Grylls can get you to not come back.He does have questionable techniques.
The idea,is to stay alive,and not come back in a bodybag.....that is IF they find you.
You have a good week.

danbo
03-05-2011, 08:59 AM
Breaking news......
Man falls 190 ft. into mine shaft,
still alive, rescue abandoned.

Link to the news story....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1363255/Rescuers-attempts-save-man-fell-190ft-abandoned-shaft--despite-video-showing-breathing.html

Dave A
03-05-2011, 06:18 PM
The authorities have now pronounced him deceased. They abandoned all rescue attempts because of the extreme danger to rescue personnel, as the vertical shaft was unstable and 190 feet deep. My guess is he will be buried where he lies.

This was a 28 year old man who was part of a geothermal exploration crew working nearby. According to one article there are a number of shafts in this area, last worked in about 1945. Nothing had been done about shaft safety because this mining area is apparently out in the middle of nowhere in Pershing county.

Sad story, but a reminder about the danger of old mining areas.

Norman Johnson
03-06-2011, 04:10 PM
Open mine shafts are not just a hazard for humans, but are actually, a much greater hazard to wildlife. This past weekend, I spent camping at Black Butte Mine in the southern Cady Mountains. Something as simple as a shallow spring box caused a tragic end to a desert tortoise that had probably been living in the area for many years. I found his burrow and it was freshly dug out and ready for his return, which sadly will never happen.

Arriving on the scene, I saw a wooden box structure and decided to investigate. At the bottom of this shallow spring box was a desert tortise. At first I almost thought it might be still alive and when I picked it up, the legs were flexible but the head had those x's where the eyes should be. No rigor had set in, so I placed it under the shade of a creosote and dumped some water on top. Then I left it alone. At the end of the weekend, the flies were gathering and it hadn't moved. Man's carelessness, however unintended has claimed another innocent.

NJ


6778

6779

6780

6781

6782

David A. Wright
03-10-2011, 10:35 AM
Since it has been brought up, let's put a human face on the recent Nevada mine shaft incident:


The Humboldt Sun (Winnemucca, NV)
Issue of March 8-10,2011
WYOMING MAN DIES AFTER FALLING DOWN ABANDONED MINE SHAFT
Man has family members in Winnemucca
By Heather Singer
The Humboldt Sun

WINNEMUCCA - A 28-yearold Evanston, Wyo., man died March 4 after extensive injuries obtained in falling approximately 182 feet down a crooked abandoned mine shaft in Jersey Valley.

The accident happened just before noon on March 2 and Devin Westenskow, who has relatives in Winnemucca, was pronounced dead by the Pershing County deputy coroner at 11:55 a.m. March 4.

The mine shaft was located approximately 36 miles south of Battle Mountain, just over the Lander County line into Pershing County.

A massive search and rescue effort, which was led and coordinated by Lander County Sheriff Ron Unger, failed to reach the man, who died at the bottom of the shaft. Pershing County Sheriff Rich Machado also assisted in the rescue efforts, said Unger.

Unger said Westenskow and two friends were exploring the area just before Westenskow crawled into the mine shaft and slipped and fell.

During the three-day period, around 30 to 40 rescuers were on scene each day. Unger said no one was able to reach the victim and his body will remain permanently at the bottom of the mine, which was active until 1947.The mine shaft is to be sealed up soon by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), said Unger.

Family members from Winnemucca and Westenskow's parents, Denise and Carl Westenskow, were at the scene.

Unger said all rescue efforts were halted just before dawn on March 4 after it was determined that further rescue attempts would be too dangerous and could cost other lives. At that time all available resources had been exhausted. said Unger.

"We tried absolutely everything humanly possible to save this young man," said Unger.

Reaching the victim was too treacherous since the mine shaft was unstable, said Unger, who added that several people did descend into the mine shaft, but could not reach the injured man.

Rescuers and volunteers came from numerous agencies across the state and included Lander County Search and Rescue, the Lander County Public Works department and the Lander County Sheriff's Office, the Battle Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, Battle Mountain Ambulance Service, the Pershing County Sheriff's Office, Pershing County Search and Rescue, OSHA and the BLM.

Those on scene also included Phoenix Mine Rescue, two teams from Newmont's Carlin Underground Mine Rescue Team, the Washoe County Sheriff's Rescue Hasty Team, a helicopter from Naval Air Station Fallon (that air lifted rescuers to the scene), the Nevada Department of Minerals, a Nevada mine safety inspector and Ormat Technologies Inc., said Unger.

"It was a very stressful situation for all those involved," he said. "I thank God for all the resources that were out there to help us."

The victim was a driller for DHS Drilling Co. and members of the company were also on scene, said Unger.

Unger used the office at the Jersey Valley Power Plant as the incident command center.

Unger said the Nevada Division of Emergency Management was not on scene but coordinated NAS Fallon's helicopter service. An Access Air helicopter was on standby.

A Newmont camera was originally lowered into the shaft March 2 to find the victim, said Unger. When that camera broke and was unable to be repaired, a robotic camera was obtained from the Lander County Public Works Department, said Unger. Rescuers had to partially descend the mine shaft in order to feed the camera through the twisting passageway.

The camera reached the victim on the second day and could only capture Westenskow's chest area, which showed he was breathing, said Unger. The camera remained trained on the victim's chest area until Westenskow stopped breathing March 4.

Unger said anyone who finds an abandoned mine shaft should contact the BLM.
"I hope people out there who find these old mine shafts stay away from them," he said.


OTBITUARY
JAMES DEVIN WESTENSKOW

http://panamintvalley.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10003/westenskow.jpg

Died on 03 04 2011 at 11:55 AM due to blunt force trauma caused from a fall in the old Murphy (Rex) Mine. The Murphy Mine is located in Jersey Valley, Pershing County, NV. Devin was exploring mines with fellow co-workers and he slipped and fell 180 ft. to his death. Extensive efforts were made by the Lander Co. Sherrifs office, Search & Rescue Teams, Newmont Search & Rescue Teams, Washoe County Search & Rescue Teams, NAS Fallon Search & Rescue Teams.

Devin was born on May 13, 1982 in Layton, Utah, to Carl and Denise Westenskow. Devin lived and attended school in Evanston Wyo. Devin attended grade school and high school in Evanston. Devin completed his GED in Rock Springs, Wyo.

Devin worked in Oil Rigs and Drilling Rigs, throughout Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and Nevada.

Devin was currently employed as a driller for DHS drilling in Jersey Valley, NV. Jersey Valley is about sixty miles south of Battle Mountain, NV. His company worked with geo-thermal energy.

Devin was the proud father of Alexis Marie, Carl James (CJ), Solon Moroni, Damian Everett, and Kooper James.

Devin was a good father. Devin was an avid hunter and snowmobiler. Devin had a great love for horses.

Devin was preceded in death by his Grandfather; Don Westenskow and DJ (Chuck) Hickenbotham, uncles; David Westenskow and Craig Hickenbotham.
Devin is survived by his parents Carl and Denise Westenskow, Evanston, Wyo., sister Misty and Travis Moesser, Jack and Charlie Moesser.

Grandmothers; Charleen Hickenbotham, and Lois Westenskow of Layton, Utah, aunts Kaylene and (Jim) Carter, Sunset, Utah, Terrie and (Kevin) Hughes, W. Point, Utah, Kristie and (Don) Ruth), Denise and Alisa Westenskow, Kathryn and (Brad) Brown all of Layton, Utah. Uncles; Bret Hickenbotham, Syracuse, Utah, Alan Westenskow of Layton, Utah.

Devin had numerous cousins and two nephews.

Devin is survived by his daughter Lexi and four sons; CJ, Solon, Damian and Kooper. Devin's fiancťe, Lori Revelli of Evanston, Wyo.

Devin will be greatly missed by his children, parents, sister, family, friends, co-workers and all who knew and loved him.

Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, March 11, 2011, at Noon at the Catholic Church in Evanston, Wyo.

Norman Johnson
03-10-2011, 05:07 PM
Thank you, David, that does explain everything about who was involved; and explains nothing about why a rescue was not able to be performed. There are hints, but the reporting lacks someone who would step forward and say what the real problem was. In other words---was the shaft too narrow, the body wedged, or what?

NJ

Ron B.
03-13-2011, 10:00 AM
Great website on mine exploration and safety: http://www.mojaveunderground.com/forum/portal.php

Ron

east_coast_john
03-13-2011, 11:45 PM
BB.... I worry about you sometimes lol... (Cactusman)

east_coast_john
03-13-2011, 11:50 PM
It’s been a while since I frequented this board. I ‘m glad to say that no matter how busy I get, I just can’t seem to stay away from here. Now that we have that out of the way, I have been seeing some questions re-surface from years ago. I’ve been caving and crawling around in environs that were better left alone for over 40 years. I’ve learned a thing or three along the way.
Underground safety: First… Stay above ground. These places were closed for good reasons. Some gasses can displace oxygen. When this happens, the first thing to go is good judgment. After that is your balance, discipline, and memory. The effect is like getting drunk without the fun parts. Assuming you don’t pass out, you are now in a position to stumble into the physical hazards. There are plenty of fun things to do underground like wander up on a critter that calls the place home, Stumble head over heels into a vertical shaft , or just plain get lost underground while you are impaired. Dry rotted timbers don’t get better with time and unless you have taken proper precautions, nobody knows where to look for your body.

If all that was not enough to scare some good judgment into you, let’s get started with being safe underground. A great first step would be to join a caving club near you. They can teach you far more in person than I ever could over the net. They will show you the equipment you need and how to use it. More importantly, they will be a source of fellow adventures. Here’s a good rule for you. Never ever consider going underground alone. Going underground with someone inexperienced or untrained is even worse. That puts you in a position to think for both of you. If you are considering taking a child, just call C.P.S. now and get it over with. In spite of my own stupidity as a kid, closed down mine shafts are no place for a child. It’s just too dangerous. My personal experience as a child was mostly in natural caverns. Nature is a much better engineer than man.
Observation :
There are six basic directions with which to concern yourself. You need to watch forward, behind you, to your left, to your right, up and down. Hazards come in many forms and can be in any direction including occupying the same space as you. You need to use all of your senses all of the time. You need to look, listen, feel, smell, taste (The air…not the rocks), and pay attention when that little voice in your head tells you that you have a problem. Be aware of your surroundings. Know where the solid floor seems to be. Know where the beams are. Know where the holes are. Know where the wildlife is. Be aware if the place is a protected are for the bats with “white nose syndrome”. You can’t catch it but you can carry it to other bats in other areas. This stuff is a killer to them.

Lighting:
The days of carbide lamps are long and gladly forgotten! The flame can be a source of an unwelcome kaboom in the cave gas and the shaft can come tumbling down. At least you get a free burial. Smarter is the idea of helmet mounted battery operated lamps. They don’t start fires. They don’t cook your partner’s eye out of his head when you look his way, only to find out he is closer than you thought. It is easier to change a few batteries than you change out the powder and water tanks. Always keep plenty of batteries on you and remember to keep one or three little cheap flashlights “Just in case”. As a rule, a light on your head is superior to a light in your hand. With the light on your helmet, your hands are free to explore and keep you safe. A small battery operated lantern is always a plus to keep in your pack.

Water:
Unless you are planning some kind of super world shattering expedition, two canteens should treat you pretty well. Be well hydrated when you go in and do the same at about the halfway point (Just before you turn around to come back out). The more contemporary cavers like water bladders but I’ve seen too many of those get torn on sharp rocks, each other’s equipment, and artifacts.

Adventuring partners:
As I mentioned previously, never go underground alone. Three is the absolute minimum. At least one of you should have some kind of first aid card and a kit. The idea id that if someone gets hurt you medic can stay with him while the other goes for help. It’s best if someone back home knows where you are, what you are doing, and when you intend to make contact again. If contact is more than an hour late they are supposed to call 911.

Obviously, I can’t write an all-encompassing paper on this topic in this forum. I can’t stress enough that you need to put safety first. Seek training from a reputable group. Gain personal experience, and sharpen your skills. I wish a fulfilling adventure that will provide memories to last you a lifetime. Just so you don’t become a memory.
I'm really not trying to keep you above ground. Just please get educated!

Your friend,
The_real_cactusman
Aka East_coast_john
Aka John Frye

east_coast_john
03-13-2011, 11:52 PM
Itís been a while since I frequented this board. I Ďm glad to say that no matter how busy I get, I just canít seem to stay away from here. Now that we have that out of the way, I have been seeing some questions re-surface from years ago. Iíve been caving and crawling around in environs that were better left alone for over 40 years. Iíve learned a thing or three along the way.
Underground safety: FirstÖ Stay above ground. These places were closed for good reasons. Some gasses can displace oxygen. When this happens, the first thing to go is good judgment. After that is your balance, discipline, and memory. The effect is like getting drunk without the fun parts. Assuming you donít pass out, you are now in a position to stumble into the physical hazards. There are plenty of fun things to do underground like wander up on a critter that calls the place home, Stumble head over heels into a vertical shaft , or just plain get lost underground while you are impaired. Dry rotted timbers donít get better with time and unless you have taken proper precautions, nobody knows where to look for your body.

If all that was not enough to scare some good judgment into you, letís get started with being safe underground. A great first step would be to join a caving club near you. They can teach you far more in person than I ever could over the net. They will show you the equipment you need and how to use it. More importantly, they will be a source of fellow adventures. Hereís a good rule for you. Never ever consider going underground alone. Going underground with someone inexperienced or untrained is even worse. That puts you in a position to think for both of you. If you are considering taking a child, just call C.P.S. now and get it over with. In spite of my own stupidity as a kid, closed down mine shafts are no place for a child. Itís just too dangerous. My personal experience as a child was mostly in natural caverns. Nature is a much better engineer than man.
Observation :
There are six basic directions with which to concern yourself. You need to watch forward, behind you, to your left, to your right, up and down. Hazards come in many forms and can be in any direction including occupying the same space as you. You need to use all of your senses all of the time. You need to look, listen, feel, smell, taste (The airÖnot the rocks), and pay attention when that little voice in your head tells you that you have a problem. Be aware of your surroundings. Know where the solid floor seems to be. Know where the beams are. Know where the holes are. Know where the wildlife is. Be aware if the place is a protected are for the bats with ďwhite nose syndromeĒ. You canít catch it but you can carry it to other bats in other areas. This stuff is a killer to them.

Lighting:
The days of carbide lamps are long and gladly forgotten! The flame can be a source of an unwelcome kaboom in the cave gas and the shaft can come tumbling down. At least you get a free burial. Smarter is the idea of helmet mounted battery operated lamps. They donít start fires. They donít cook your partnerís eye out of his head when you look his way, only to find out he is closer than you thought. It is easier to change a few batteries than you change out the powder and water tanks. Always keep plenty of batteries on you and remember to keep one or three little cheap flashlights ďJust in caseĒ. As a rule, a light on your head is superior to a light in your hand. With the light on your helmet, your hands are free to explore and keep you safe. A small battery operated lantern is always a plus to keep in your pack.

Water:
Unless you are planning some kind of super world shattering expedition, two canteens should treat you pretty well. Be well hydrated when you go in and do the same at about the halfway point (Just before you turn around to come back out). The more contemporary cavers like water bladders but Iíve seen too many of those get torn on sharp rocks, each otherís equipment, and artifacts.

Adventuring partners:
As I mentioned previously, never go underground alone. Three is the absolute minimum. At least one of you should have some kind of first aid card and a kit. The idea id that if someone gets hurt you medic can stay with him while the other goes for help. Itís best if someone back home knows where you are, what you are doing, and when you intend to make contact again. If contact is more than an hour late they are supposed to call 911.

Obviously, I canít write an all-encompassing paper on this topic in this forum. I canít stress enough that you need to put safety first. Seek training from a reputable group. Gain personal experience, and sharpen your skills. I wish a fulfilling adventure that will provide memories to last you a lifetime. Just so you donít become a memory.

Your friend,
The_real_cactusman
Aka East_coast_john
Aka John Frye


P.S. I'm really not trying to keep you above ground...just get educated!