Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mine Exploration

So the Saturday prior to going into Spanish Moss cave I had the opportunity to join with a group called Mojave Underground and attend a Photography workshop - A underground Photography workshop to be exact. That meant going into a local Mine and taking some photos :).

I invited my friend Sam to come along even though he is not much of a Photog at least he would enjoy the underground experience:)

So Sam came over to my place at about 11 AM on Saturday and we loaded up our gear in my Jeep and headed south to the area around Ophir Utah (about 25 minutes south of my house). We got there early so we could pop off a few shots with our 9MM's, the 44Mag and my little 380Auto drop gun my friend gave me saying that it didn't work (well if he would have cleaned it and oiled it with something other than 90W maybe it would have worked for him HEHE)

We finally met up with the Mojave group at 1 and went up to the main Ophir mine (never did get another name for it - I later found out that my Gpa Harold's brothers used to work in that mine. After BS'n for a few Sam and I went and explored some of the nearby buildings and the old hardware that was in them (I hadn't grabbed my camera yet but next time I am out there I will for sure as there were some great old relics - even an old drill press).
Soon we all lined up and headed into the Mine. we were in there for around 5 hours seeing many really interesting things from Blue green water, underground lakes, old hardware, nifty crystals and some scary bridgework and undermining there-of. all told it was a great time that went by way too fast. The only downfall to the experience was that they did not get into how to do things very much but given the opportunity to try what they were doing I learned how to take pics underground anyhow :)
Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Years ago when I was in Boy Scouts I got my first taste of spelunking in a cave called Horsetheif in Wyoming. I knew then that underground was a great place to be and have wanted to go back since. Here are some pics of Horsetheif

Recently I had the opportunity to go caving again and I jumped on it. I had to pick up some ascension gear and in the end a new harness (I guess I have gained some size in the last 10 years). Anyhow on Monday the 19th I met up with 3 guys Jeff, Jon and Dan and headed up to Spanish Moss cave. The initial hike in was a nice uphill stroll in 6degree weather to get warmed up for the ascent to the cave. we had to trudge up a 45* slope in knee high snow for about a 1/3 of a mile to reach the entrance. even this did not lessen my spirits for the adventure to come!.

Once at the entrance we all geared up and began rappelling into the cave. The first section of rappel is through a corkscrew for about 20 feet then to a rope change and then down into the main cavern about 150? feet of free rappel.

next some exploring, getting down the main slope about 150 feet of steep slick muddy rock face VIA rappel.

Then for some features :)

The ascent up the slope was a hand over hand with the rope ascenders and then up the rope we went out the same rope we dropped in with going using a "frog" ascension system a real full body workout.

As we came out blinded by the sun to a beautiful view and no inversion:)

now just to get out there and do it again :)