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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Tips for Abandoned Mines?? (Viewed 1980 times)
Jared Kat 


Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA


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Tips for Abandoned Mines??
< on 11/14/2011 3:40 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Hello to all on the forum.

If anyone can tell, i kinda have a thing for the underground, Drains, Mines, ext.

I live in Colorado Springs, and travel up to cripple creek quite often, and i run across many mines on my hikes. Its usually a small hole, but whenever i do find something major, half the time its a shaft, and half the time its a horizontal tunnel straight into the hillside.

Any tips for exploring the horizontal type of mine?? anyone else do it?? I am kinda new at it, and never have gone into much of anything further than the sunlight can reach.

I have gone in with a helmet and a spare torch a few times before, but these few times have been my only

Any one have suggestions for gear i might want to take into mines??

I'm also very curious as to the shafts, due to my position of no climbing knowledge on abseiling, i am not going to attempt to climb in, and even if i did, i would be nervous about entering the shaft.

Any tips, ideas, warnings, rants on the dangers i am accepting??
Thanks to all. I hope to post pics soon!

In a society that has destroyed all adventure, the only adventure left is to destroy that society
fiftyone_eggs 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 1 on 11/14/2011 4:01 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
There is bad air in mines that you can't detect with your senses and it can suffocate and kill you. You need a way to test the air quality. Digital gas detectors can be pricey, but you can pick up an old fashioned Flame Safety Lamp on eBay for pretty cheap. Make sure it's in good working condition and familiarize yourself with its basic operation. A rebreather or portable oxygen supply is also not a bad idea.

Jonsered 


Location: Back in New Mexico where I belong
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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 2 on 11/14/2011 4:04 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Mobile
 
There was a decent thread on this a couple of years ago. Might do a search in the archives. Might also PM Therrin or Hoodrat, who seem to be solid active mine explorers.

I have changed my personal exploring ethics code. From now on it will be: "Take only aimed shots, leave only hobo corpses." Copper scrappers, meth heads and homeless beware. The Jonsered cometh among you, bringing fear and dread.

Jared Kat 


Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 3 on 11/14/2011 4:12 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I do have a respirator somewhere hanging around, although i think it will do no good with this particular situation, as i believe it mostly just stops particle matter, not gas.
Thanks for the help so far

In a society that has destroyed all adventure, the only adventure left is to destroy that society
Ghostofthelens 


Location: Pearland, Tx.
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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 4 on 11/14/2011 4:37 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
One thing you might take is a co detector. A cheap one that I have heard works can be found at a Harbor freight Tools shop. http://www.harborf...etector-92514.html
senses all halogenated gases containing chlorine, fluorine or bromine,
and CO gases because of freon.

http://en.wikipedi...ds.2C_nomenclature

Because both gases are related, this makes a good cheap detector to get you started. Of course if you decide to do more of this, I would definitely get a better unit as soon as you could afford one.
And do not do mines solo, for many reasons.

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fiftyone_eggs 


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 5 on 11/14/2011 4:39 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Unless you're exploring an asbestos mine a respirator is a worthless piece of equipment in an underground mine. I did some deep coal mine explorations last winter. After scouring eBay for a couple weeks I found an unused 1970s-era Kohler Flame Safety Lamp, a small, portable O2 tank w/mask, and a rebreather all for under $150. Best $150 I ever spent. They gave me tremendous peace of mind while underground. Once you understand how a Flame Safety works, you can use it to detect layers of gas and simply keep your head above or below it. The Flame Safety is all you need if what you're worried about is either methane or CO2 (which are what you're typically worried about in coal mines).

You'll also need a helmet cause you'll be bumping your head plenty. And lots of good, bright lights. And never go alone. If something happens to you down there (and lots can happen) you'll probably die if you're alone.

Don't get me wrong: it can be a lot of fun. But you have to take safety very seriously.
[last edit 11/14/2011 4:43 AM by fiftyone_eggs - edited 1 times]

Jonsered 


Location: Back in New Mexico where I belong
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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 6 on 11/14/2011 4:47 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Here. There are about 50 of theses threads archived.

http://www.uer.ca/...urrpage=1&pp#post5

http://www.uer.ca/...urrpage=1&pp#post9

http://www.uer.ca/...asp?threadid=32361

I have changed my personal exploring ethics code. From now on it will be: "Take only aimed shots, leave only hobo corpses." Copper scrappers, meth heads and homeless beware. The Jonsered cometh among you, bringing fear and dread.

RunkPock 


Location: Vancouver
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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 7 on 11/14/2011 5:23 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Jared Kat
Hello to all on the forum.

Its usually a small hole, but whenever i do find something major, half the time its a shaft


Wear protection

MrSivalls 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 8 on 11/14/2011 9:45 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Jared Kat
I do have a respirator somewhere hanging around, although i think it will do no good with this particular situation, as i believe it mostly just stops particle matter, not gas.
Thanks for the help so far


If it's a low O2 atmosphere you will most likely be blacked out before you know what hit you.

Your security measures were inadequate.
How unfortunate for you.
blacklines 


Location: the red stick.
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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 9 on 11/14/2011 10:14 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by MrSivalls


If it's a low O2 atmosphere you will most likely be blacked out before you know what hit you.


and even if you werent, a particulate respirator will do nothing for you....

MrSivalls 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 10 on 11/14/2011 10:25 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by blacklines


and even if you werent, a particulate respirator will do nothing for you....


My point exactly. Methane can smother you and it's odorless. Worse, a respirator increases the amount of energy you use, and O2, which would accelerate blacking out.

Your security measures were inadequate.
How unfortunate for you.
Tamara 


Location: Toronto
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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 11 on 11/16/2011 11:45 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by fiftyone_eggs
There is bad air in mines that you can't detect with your senses and it can suffocate and kill you. You need a way to test the air quality. Digital gas detectors can be pricey, but you can pick up an old fashioned Flame Safety Lamp on eBay for pretty cheap. Make sure it's in good working condition and familiarize yourself with its basic operation. A rebreather or portable oxygen supply is also not a bad idea.


Cannary

blindly ever onward
AnAppleSnail 


Location: Charlotte, NC
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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 12 on 11/16/2011 11:55 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Don't explore mines until you know about that particular one. The type of mine gives you information about what risks you'll face. Iron mines are different from coal mines, which both have different risks from limestone mines. The local geology is also of interest, since it suggests flood risks (Mines can flash flood), collapse risk, and other hazards (gas, etc)

Get in touch with a local caving society. It might be some legwork to make their approved list, but then you'll have equipped buddies to go places with in reasonable safety.

Don't explore mines until you've researched risks and risk management involved. And are comfortable with the real possibility you might die. (That said, you take that risk going to school/work/stairs)

I strongly suggest you go with a more-experienced buddy. Good luck finding one! UER's best resource is people. I know the above stuff about mines and I've never been in one. But I've got plans...

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Jared Kat 


Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 13 on 11/19/2011 6:17 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
My area is low in O2, because of being on pikes peak, in colorado. Its a mine near cripple creek, and i am sure that it would be a gold mine, due to the reason that there are no coal/iron mines nearby that i know of. One place i scouted had a lot of tailings and a header tower, (or whatever those towers above the shaft are called) A lot of tailings are nearby, which lead me to believe that it is quite large. the tailings also make climbing the hill to the tower is more difficult.

I will read up on the links provided.

Any gear suggestions other than a detector??

ropes, harness, peztel gri-gri, ext i imagine

In a society that has destroyed all adventure, the only adventure left is to destroy that society
Glass 


Location: Chicago


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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 14 on 11/19/2011 6:21 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I highly recommend getting in touch with local explorers who have already done Cripple Creek (which I am 90% sure mined gold). Colorado has one of the most helpful and inclusive exploring communities in the country, and I'm sure they'd let you know exactly what you need to survive in whichever hole in the ground you want to wander into.

Introduce yourself to the Four Corners board, if you haven't already, and tell them what you want to do.

robk700 


Location: Los Angeles / D.C.
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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 15 on 11/20/2011 5:25 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
If it's hard rock mining as in gold you should be fine. And yes I've saved a few trips to the hospital by wearing a helmet. Never fully trust a ladder and file a flight plan with a family member. I disagree with blacking out before you know the O2 is low. Just like climbing a mountain you can tell as levels dicrease. CO2 and other gas are a different story but again it sounds like hard rock mining. Don't worry about rope work. Explore several dozen first. Your lights need to be BRIGHT. I rarely use anything lower than 75 lumens. The NSS rule of thumb is 3 lights and three sets of batteries for each. JaredWooden may be in your area. I've done lots of exploring in the past with him. Oh and the hoist is called a head frame. As much as people will try to scare you off from mining I've been in hundreds and have never come out with worse injury than ehustion and dehydration. Collapse is joke. These things have been around for a hundred years so as long as you're not poking the ceiling with a stick...Truth be told gas aside (seems a non issue for you) the biggest threat of injury is by falling. This is where ladders and not having a bright light comes in. Your first time, if it's a good mine, will be as good as sex.

Edit: Dammit, I keep thinking of things to say. Waders! Youre in the mountains so you'll probably have water. You'll ruin new shoes. Much more so than a drain. Also (very important) scope out flooded areas before kicking up sediment. Falling into a sunken shaft will ruin your day. Moms did the same in an open man hole while living in Thailand.
[last edit 11/20/2011 6:17 AM by robk700 - edited 5 times]

MrSivalls 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 16 on 11/20/2011 2:21 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by robk700
I disagree with blacking out before you know the O2 is low. Just like climbing a mountain you can tell as levels decrease. CO2 and other gas are a different story but again it sounds like hard rock mining.


The drop off will not be as gradual as climbing, and can be much lower, faster.
Heavier gases like methane will displace O2, sometimes completely.
There is no way to tell O2 levels are low other then maybe heavier breathing, but by then, if you are still conscious, it's unlikely you will get out. You already have an O2 deficit before you know there's a problem, with no way to replace that or for the O2 needed for the way back. Low O2 effects your brain function as well.


Your security measures were inadequate.
How unfortunate for you.
robk700 


Location: Los Angeles / D.C.
Gender: Male




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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 17 on 11/20/2011 7:49 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Anyone who's been in a mine with areas of low O2 can tell you it's pretty obvious. I've encountered it many of times and am still kicking. My climbing reference was to give an example of effects. I'm not going to die because I suddenly have a hard time breathing. I know my turning back point but only reached it once after hundreds of mines. BUT a multi meter IS on my things to buy. Don't get me wrong about that. This is from undergroundexplorers.com:

From 2000 to 2008, thirteen people have died in mine related accidents in California.  Of those thirteen, three were off-roading in restricted areas and five were overcome by fumes while running a gas powered generator or pump in a mine without proper ventilation.  One person drowned while swimming in a water filled open pit mine and another man died after he walked into a mine adit without a flashlight (or any other gear) and fell down a shaft hidden in the darkness.  Three people died while actually exploring mines.  Two died of asphyxiation after they foolishly swam past a flooded section of mine only to discover the open space beyond it contained no oxygen.  Another person died after running out of air while scuba diving (presumably alone) in a submerged shaft.  All of these deaths could have been prevented with a little care, preparation and good dose of common sense.

As in other forms of potentially hazardous recreation, the ill prepared and foolish often fare the worst.  For properly equipped and prepared mine explorers, the drive to and from the mine is more dangerous than the mine itself.  Even the government admits that the majority of accidents involve people who are unprepared.


To original poster: I've found time and time again that if you say you're gonna do something everyone will try to talk you out of it because of all the ScArY dangers. But when you say you won't everyone reverses their stance. Just an observation.
[last edit 11/20/2011 8:41 PM by robk700 - edited 2 times]

MrSivalls 

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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 18 on 11/20/2011 9:25 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Not having the proper monitoring or SCBA equipment means it's just luck if you survive in some holes. I've been lucky.
Feelin' lucky today?

Your security measures were inadequate.
How unfortunate for you.
robk700 


Location: Los Angeles / D.C.
Gender: Male




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Re: Tips for Abandoned Mines??
<Reply # 19 on 11/20/2011 11:54 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I'm not going near your holes.

UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Tips for Abandoned Mines?? (Viewed 1980 times)
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