03-20-2012 08:25 PM
And what would a coal mine be without a cave-in? Located adjacent to the Dunsmuir's Old Slope mining site you can still find signs of a collapse. This one is easily accessed from Crystal Brook Way. No open mine, just a large pit. Follow the path into the forest and you will find it off to your right, just before the creek.
03-21-2012 04:58 AM
Last edited by Flugel Horn; 03-21-2012 at 05:16 AM.
Reason: change of mind
03-21-2012 06:16 AM
The first is definitely not any of the entries at Wolf Mountain: look at the rock-type, and consider that (with one exception) there never was a colliery-entry on Vancouver Island that started in crystalline rock.
The second and third are indeed of an air-shaft. Back when I was working for the Ministry of Mines (under one or the other of its then-renamings), our survey crew entered that shaft with all proper precautions, with the hopes of examining and sampling the Wellington Main coal. We had to make a considerable effort to push fresh air down into the shaft, owing to the fatally-low level of oxygen down there. It looked (and still looks) innocuously-safe, --but-- the last thing on earth you would ever want to do is risk climbing down into a pool of blackdamp. Please don't go down there. Please.
Our visit, incidentally, was in the late Eighties. The steel ladders and their attachments to the concrete were in ugly shape even then, from corrosion; we didn't even try to use the lower of the two ladders, as it was in such bad shape.
One amusing side-note was that the swamp near that shaft was the site of a very thoroughly-engineered pot plantation. I don't think that its owners were very happy when the RCMP (in helicopters, no less) came to eradicate the plantation after our visit to the shaft.
Oh, the coal? Never got down to it. The shaft was a concrete box down to rockhead, then bare rock down vertically through the M1 conglomerate (basal Millstream member of the Extension Formation). At the base of the conglomerate, the shaft connected to a steep raise driven upwards through the Northfield siltstone (above the Wellington coal zone); the water-level at the end of a very dry summer was still above the known elevation of the coal, and bubbles of gas were coming up through the water. We thought about it a bit and came to the realisation that pumping-out a mine full of acidified water was rather beyond the scope of our work.
I have a picture of our work-party somewhere in my collection: you'd laugh to see what wild garb passed for 'work clothes' in the late Eighties.
As to its being 'No.47'? If memory serves me correctly, that's the serial number I gave the shaft on my 1:5000-scale composite map of the Wellington-zone workings -- which is now safely on file in one of the Ministry's warehouses, I would imagine.
Last edited by gwyneth; 03-21-2012 at 06:18 AM.
Reason: atrocious typos pre-coffee!
03-21-2012 08:37 AM
Hey GR good to see you back. Nice to see some fresh pictures on here. Wondering if that first picture is that gold mine out nanaimo lakes rd. I still haven't gone to look for that but pretty sure I know where it is. Thinking about heading up there to check it out. That is a pretty wide tunnel by the looks of it. I heard that one goes under the creek? Could be wrong got to check it out myself. So I think I know where there are three gold mines in nanaimo now which i find pretty interesting. Spent alot of time up mount sicker last summer got that place mapped out pretty good. shafts, slopes that don't go very far. Lot's of history and stuff to look at out there. Got an idea up island but will probably require a mt bike. bit of a walk otherwise but I heard theres a loci out there want to go see for myself. Good times, weathers getting nice. get out there before the weeds grow over everything. be safe everyone! Kind of curious Gwyneth about the safe oxygen level GR and I were in a slope a couple years ago the sniffer got down to 12% didn't feel light headed or anything but figured we should probably get out at that level. all good, still have a few palm frond fossils from that adventure.
03-21-2012 08:42 AM
03-21-2012 09:21 AM
very perceptive Gwyneth. That's where I'm talking about thinking about making my way up the river a ways see that huge pile of high grade that got left there. See what else I can find. So when we were in there we were using a calibrated RKI eagle so pretty sure there was no gas present just low oxygen. Let me know if you're ever out in the field on the island I'd love to carry your bag around for you.
03-21-2012 10:45 AM
I,m a neighbor who has the good fortune to look out my window and see the train garden peter wherehe has so kindly restored and assembled many things from the past,, it is an asset to our neighbor hood and community, thank goodness we have proactive people who will put their nose to the grindstone and produce worthwhile things, in our minds he has all the right to do what has done on his property, as he and only he will suffer the consequences of failure due to design, or workmanship. Keep up the good work , we are behind you all the way, and have the faith that the folks who deal with the rules will have good sense and back away. I can assure you,, us and many of the other neighbors will stand by hand to hand to block any pressure in dismantling OUR GARDEN,, hahah you built it but were taking ownership!!1 keep up the good work, don,t let them steal your peace!
03-22-2012 06:46 AM
Glad to see around these parts again seaman. I have a few places I think you'd be interested in exploring when the weather warms up. We'll talk more a little bit later on. Seems daytrip shares similar interests and knows about Mr. Killer as he is also big on fishing, I was talking to him recently by PM. We'lll have to figure something out soon as he is interested in trading mines but we'll leave that info to the PM's were it belongs. I have some new stuff to post later on as I'm off to work shortly. Have a good day, folks.
Thanks again for your info, Gwyneth! Love reading about it from a professional perspective!
03-22-2012 07:21 AM
I d enjoy the conversations here, just find it somewhat wistful-making that my underground coal-mining adventures are nowadays everywhere in the world except Vancouver Island. Am booked to take a few days' leave at month-end and, if the weather is good, may take my camera around to collect some interesting pictures for y'all.
My other regret is that, back in the day, I did not take more photos. Photography underground **does** require its own set of actions and precautions, up to and including seeking a formal variance from the Chief Inspector of Mines. I always worked with steel- or brass-bodied photographic equipment; nothing of aluminium, magnesium, titanium or "light metal alloy" (read 6.43.3, 'Prohibited Metals', within the HSR Code for Mines in BC -- I was taught to take this prohibition seriously, for reasons I can explain further sometime). We never take short-cuts in gaseous or dusty conditions, and ever since the Westray disaster, have become even more aware of how rapidly conditions can deteriorate within a mine.
Westray's root cause may well have been a spontaneous outburst of gas and coal from the face of the Lefthander (the mine roadway which was inferred to be the seat of the explosion). I have only ever seen one outburst at an active working-face, but I can assure you that those few moments are indelibly in my memory as being unsettlingly-frightful.
Okay, I digressed there, but if I failed to remind folks of the Code I could well imagine some of my past and current colleagues reminding me rather less-than-subtly about it.
Last edited by gwyneth; 03-22-2012 at 07:22 AM.
Reason: pre-coffee spelling, alas
03-22-2012 04:54 PM
@GR74 - Damn son you never ended up showing me the one with the bat! That's a killer shot! Hey remember the one with all the fossils? Id like to get back into there soon. Couldnt wait for summer i've been out every day this week exploring.
@seaman - maybe you could PM for some gold talk