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Thread: Valentine Mine, Nevada (2009)

  1. #1
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    Default Valentine Mine, Nevada (2009)

    This week's adventure is a short one, where Dad & I explore the Valentine Mine in the Goodsprings Mining District. Virtually no information is available on the Valentine Mine that I've been able to find, not even on the Nevada Buruea of Mines website (but there are still a LOT of documents to browse though, so who knows what may yet turn up). I assume that Zinc, Lead, Copper, Silver, and Gold were the primary minerals extracted, since the geological composition is similar to others in the area (Accident, Bullion, et al).

    We knew that this would be an arduous hike, but figured that since we could park at the base of the mountain, it shouldn't be too hard to reach. As it turned out, this is one of the hardest hikes we've experienced! The pack trail is steep, loose, and very washed-out...it is very hard to follow in some spots.

    **NOTE: Please do NOT explore abandoned mines! They are EXTREMELY hazardous! The BLM has postings on these sites advising against entering for a reason! Many hazards await inside: vertical shafts, steep & deep dropoffs, possibilities of cave-ins & collapses, rotten wood, unstable rock, unfriendly animals & creatures (rattlesnakes seem to have a particular fondness for mine entrances), and worst of all BAD AIR & DEADLY GASES. Carbon Monoxide & other dangerous gases like to collect at the lower levels and remote nooks & crannies of mines; you will NEVER smell them before being overwhelmed & asphyxiated. So please STAY OUT AND STAY ALIVE!**

    The road up to the base camp gives a good indication of what is to come; check out how rough & little-traveled it is:


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    Our destination lies high up on a steep mountainside, with barely a pack trail leading up to it:


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    At the base camp, mere dozer scrapes and pieces of wood are all that are left:


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    Just a small set of concrete piers are all that is left in the base camp; it is pretty well stripped clean:
    Last edited by silverstate55; 11-08-2009 at 04:43 PM.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  2. #2
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    We found the remnants of the pack trail and began our hike up:


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    Getting closer, we can start to see some wood headframe or tram tower remains near the mine tailings:


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    Sure enough, evidence of an aerial tram system shows up about halfway through our ascent:


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    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  3. #3
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    As we near the vertical rock face just below the mine tailings (in the canyon below the mine), our way is blocked by a HUGE spiderweb, complete with a monster spider nearly an inch across its body:


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    "NONE SHALL PASS."

    "As King of the Britons, I command you to step aside!"

    "I move for no man."

    "So be it!"

    OK, I'll just leave that there for now...who knows where that may lead (at least the spider didn't demand that we bring it a shrubbery).
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  4. #4
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    Once past the Spider Gatekeeper, we close in on our goal:


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    This appears to be the remains of the head of the aerial tramway:


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    Looking back down the canyon, the steepness of our climb is just not done justice in photo format:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  5. #5
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    From the head of the aerial tramway, we can see the entrance to the mine:


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    Small piles of debris are all that's left to explore; this site has also been heavily salvaged:


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    Even the 10-pound rails from the top of the incline have been dropped aside:


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    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  6. #6
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    Piles of wood and small debris are scattered all around:


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    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  7. #7
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    The mine itself is an incline, worked on several different levels; very little of the headframe for the incline remains:


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    What wood remains in & around the incline is heavily weathered & in bad shape; the rungs on the ladder are torn up & broken, and the ladder itself only goes a little ways down the incline...but luckily the angle isn't too steep, and no steep dropoffs appeared to be present, so I held on to the wood beams and worked my way down it:


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    Partway down the incline is a wood foot bridge connecting 2 side adits:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  8. #8
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    Given the poor condition of the wood in this mine, I wasn't about to trust this footbridge with my weight:


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    Luckily, I didn't have to cross it; just behind the rock to the left of this photo was a large open stope that connected both sides:


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    The only piece of rail I could find inside was this short section of 10-pound mining rail, with one end ground to a point for use in a switch:


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    I could only find this explosives box that was still together; plenty of pieces abounded throughout, but this is the only one that had more than 2 pieces still connected:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  9. #9
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    Looking back up, we can see the short distance the ladder covers before it disappears:


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    Not much to see in this mine; this is a small side adit that didn't go very far:


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    One of the side adits:


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    Several wood ore loading chutes were still present:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  10. #10
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    The Valentine Mine was pretty well cleaned out:


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    The incline continued downwards, but the farther down it went, the less there was to see (and the less was left behind; it was stripped pretty well bare beyond this point). The air quality began to deteriorate as well, so this was as far down as I got:


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    Time to head back out:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

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