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 Post subject: philips mine failed rafting exploration
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:17 am
Posts: 755
Location: Monroe, CT
view photos here http://www.ironminers.com/mineforum/vie ... 217#111217


here are some photos from mondays failed trip to explore phillips mine. the plan was to rappel down about 100' into some inflatable rafts to get to the far reaches of this very large but technical mine. the rappel went fine but the problem was that we could not descend directly into the rafts like we had anticipated, at the water level the foot wall had pitched to 70 degrees thwarting any attempts to drop directly into the raft while suspended from the rope. so i clipped the raft rope to my harness so it would not get away, then with my feet planted against the foot wall just under the water i began easing the rope through the rapelling tool lowering my butt toward the raft. but with my gear bag hanging from my harness i could not get squarely into the small raft without it tipping or taking on water. this i decided was not the best way to do it, although i was wearing a life vest i knew i would eventually end up in the water. we need bigger and more stable rafts. so with nowhere else to go but up, i clipped on the ascenders went up 20' and swung over to a ledge. here i unclipped from the rope and walked in a ways to gain a better perspective of the stope and take some video. i found bat guanno piled up over 6 inches thick and another drift accesable by raft. disapointed i began my ascent up, nearly half way up i came to the undercut in the stope, as i reached the ledge i noticed tons of shiny gold pyrite in the rockthat i did not see on the way down. to get my ascenders over the ledge of the undercut i had to climb up my footloops a bit unclip one ascender reach up and clip it on over the ledge then do the same with the other. once on the surface we all decided we would practice getting into boats from a rope in different scenarios and return to phillips mine another day.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Some great pictures Mike. Yeah, maybe bigger rafts might be the trick. Perhaps multiple life cords hooked on the raft might help too to ensure that you have control of the raft before coming down into it. The problem with water and these missions are getting all of the gear wet.

The area which you saw the pyrite, was that a drift? How big was that area there? In the area raft able, were you able to tell if any of the area hit dry ground? Sounds like it was a great adventure!

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
Posts: 1764
Location: Winnemucca, NV
Mike, stellar photos! You've clearly shown it is not about getting the lighting perfect, worrying about a spotty lens, or insisting on capturing every detail. Your pictures are REAL and they feel like a true representation of the mission. In fact your choice of perspective looking up the rope and seeing tiny full size trees above is captivating. As always, safety is far above photography in any rappel.

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"If you thought old, abandoned mines were only in the west, then you haven't been to IronMiners.com!"


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