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Mine Exploration Forum

Author new chappy
hrob

Joined: 16/03/2017

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new chappy
Posted: 16/03/2017 19:39:26
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good evening chaps,

me and a few mates are heading down to Cornwall over the summer. we're fairly experienced climbers and general outdoorsy types.

what i was wondering is mine exploration safe without any specific training so long as you're repetitively sensible and have some experience with these types of things or am i being way to over confident?

what mines would you suggest visiting for beginners?

are there any companies that run these types of trips like caving, to be safe?

cheers lads
IP: 86.176.182.243
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 08:42:47
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Hi, welcome to AN.

You may have noticed something of a resounding silence in response to your post: As far as mine exploration is concerned Cornwall is problematic. There is very little formal access to abandoned mines; a significant proportion of landowners seeing them as a serious liability. This being the case most Cornish mine explorers tend to operate well under the radar and consequently play their cards very close to their chests. The situation is further complicated by a fair degree of internecine politics.

That said there are a lot of accessible mines if one is discreet. The key is to find something that looks interesting and have a look. The Hamilton Jenkin annotated 6" maps on the Carbis Bay Crew's website is a good starting point (free download).

Make sure that you are properly equipped i.e helmet and at least two light sources per person, warm clothes and solid boots as a bare minimum.

Don't explore alone. Always make sure someone on surface knows where you are, what time you are due out and what to do if you don't get in contact at the appropriate time.

Always remember that mines are a man made environment and, as such, need constant maintenance to keep them safe. Most of the abandoned mines you will encounter have had no maintenance for over a century and can prove to be a death trap for the unwary. Be very wary of touching timbers or stacked deads (waste rock). Be very conscious that the floor you are walking on may not be solid (false floor), a few rotten timbers might be all that stands between you and a drop of several hundred feet. Treat everything in an abandoned mine with extreme suspicion otherwise it will bite you on the arse.

Bear in mind that Cornish mines can become very very vertical, which is something you should avoid until such time as you get a bit of experience under your belts. Unlike horizontal mine exploration vertical mine exploration cannot be learned by trial and error as the error is likely to prove fatal.

It is also worth bearing in mind that most mines are archaeological time capsules and need to be treated with respect. The cavers mantra: Take only photographs, leave only footprints is highly appropriate.

Sorry if this sounds a little preachy. Give it a go but don't bite of more than you can chew in your enthusiasm. Take it easy and stay safe.
IP: 81.153.35.62
crickleymal

Joined: 12/03/2009
Location: Gloucester

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 09:50:31
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Tamarmole wrote:

Hi, welcome to AN.

The cavers mantra: Take only photographs, leave only footprints is highly appropriate.


What he says and if you can avoid leaving footprints so much the better Big Grin

--

Malc. Rusted and ropey, Dog eared old copy Vintage and classic or just plain Jurassic All words to describe me.
IP: 194.176.105.159 Edited: 17/03/2017 09:50:49 by crickleymal
hrob

Joined: 16/03/2017

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 10:32:03
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Thanks for the reply and honesty. i have done a lot of background reading with regards to beginners, some of these seems very naive, 'a builders helmet with a torch taped to it will do' hmmmmmmmmBlink. With what you've said i think I'll stick to caves for the time being unless i find something exceptionally horizontal or someone willing to show me the ropes. Even if you do sound preachy it's an appropriate stance to take, better to make someone have another good hard think that rush into something and get hurt.

Cheers!
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crickleymal

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 15:35:09
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You could always try getting in touch with the local guys and see if any of them would take you along.

--

Malc. Rusted and ropey, Dog eared old copy Vintage and classic or just plain Jurassic All words to describe me.
IP: 194.176.105.159
sinker

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Joined: 13/12/2010
Location: North Wales.

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 19:37:25
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hrob wrote:

Thanks for the reply and honesty. i have done a lot of background reading with regards to beginners, some of these seems very naive, 'a builders helmet with a torch taped to it will do' hmmmmmmmmBlink. With what you've said i think I'll stick to caves for the time being unless i find something exceptionally horizontal or someone willing to show me the ropes. Even if you do sound preachy it's an appropriate stance to take, better to make someone have another good hard think that rush into something and get hurt.

Cheers!


Come up to North Wales one weekend.....plenty of places that you can just walk in and out of and friendly local mine explorers who love meeting new folk! Thumb Up Lots of slate workings up here to cut your teeth on. They tend to be inherently safer in my mind, not to mention more interesting than most boring, cold, wet, filthy, miserable metal mines! Laugh Wink

--

Ah, well, now, you see.... IP: 109.155.48.135
gNick

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Joined: 19/03/2012
Location: Pity Me, Durham

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 19:47:57
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Or come to the North Pennines where there are miles of interesting walk in mines with not a razor sharp slate or achingly vast empty void with rocks the size of your house desperate to give you a cuddle in sight Smile

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sinker

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Location: North Wales.

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 19:52:02
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gNick wrote:



....not a razor sharp slate or achingly vast empty void with rocks the size of your house....



All our slate is cuddly and harmless Innocent

--

Ah, well, now, you see.... IP: 109.155.48.135
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 20:31:42
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sinker wrote:

gNick wrote:



....not a razor sharp slate or achingly vast empty void with rocks the size of your house....



All our slate is cuddly and harmless Innocent


Tell that to Margot!
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Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 20:41:19
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hrob wrote:

Thanks for the reply and honesty. i have done a lot of background reading with regards to beginners, some of these seems very naive, 'a builders helmet with a torch taped to it will do' hmmmmmmmmBlink. With what you've said i think I'll stick to caves for the time being unless i find something exceptionally horizontal or someone willing to show me the ropes. Even if you do sound preachy it's an appropriate stance to take, better to make someone have another good hard think that rush into something and get hurt.

Cheers!


What part of the world are you in? Most regions do have active mine exploration groups.

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Margot

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Joined: 07/05/2011
Location: Anglesey

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 20:56:35
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Tamarmole wrote:

sinker wrote:

gNick wrote:



....not a razor sharp slate or achingly vast empty void with rocks the size of your house....



All our slate is cuddly and harmless Innocent


Tell that to Margot!


My wrist is again as good as new, and the rock that cut it has been partially demolished, and subsequently toppled over and shoved unceremoniously aside I'll have you know! You just have to show that slate who's the boss...

(Coming to think of it, I couldn't have done that without Miles' equipment, so is that equivalent to cowardly bringing your big brother in? Blush)
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sinker

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new chappy
Posted: 17/03/2017 21:20:58
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Tamarmole wrote:

sinker wrote:

gNick wrote:



....not a razor sharp slate or achingly vast empty void with rocks the size of your house....



All our slate is cuddly and harmless Innocent


Tell that to Margot!


I inspected it in the Indian last Sunday and confirm that it is indeed a mere scratch. It didn't put me off my Rogan Josh LaughLaugh

--

Ah, well, now, you see.... IP: 109.155.48.135
Tamarmole

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Location: Tamar Valley

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new chappy
Posted: 18/03/2017 09:03:00
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Lots of slate workings up here to cut your teeth on. They tend to be inherently safer in my mind, not to mention more interesting than most boring, cold, wet, filthy, miserable metal mines! Laugh Wink

Slate mine exploration, lesson 1:

"Gosh what an exciting vast chamber with nothing in it except hanging death, I wonder what's round the corner, gosh another exciting, vast chamber with nothing in it except hanging death, now what possible delights could await me around the next corner...... could it be, yes I believe it is another vast chamber with nothing in it except hanging death and if I am not mistaken it is totally identical to the previous chambers, now I wonder what is around the next corner.........." (repeat ad nauseum). IP: 81.153.35.62
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
Location: Sir Caernarfon

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new chappy
Posted: 18/03/2017 13:27:53
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Tamarmole wrote:

Lots of slate workings up here to cut your teeth on. They tend to be inherently safer in my mind, not to mention more interesting than most boring, cold, wet, filthy, miserable metal mines! Laugh Wink


Slate mine exploration, lesson 1:

"Gosh what an exciting vast chamber with nothing in it except hanging death, I wonder what's round the corner, gosh another exciting, vast chamber with nothing in it except hanging death, now what possible delights could await me around the next corner...... could it be, yes I believe it is another vast chamber with nothing in it except hanging death and if I am not mistaken it is totally identical to the previous chambers, now I wonder what is around the next corner.........." (repeat ad nauseum).

LaughLaughLaughLaugh

What is Slate Mine Exploration Lesson 2? IP: 78.144.82.139
Miles-M

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Joined: 01/03/2015
Location: North Wales

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new chappy
Posted: 18/03/2017 13:34:04
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Dunno, nobody has lived through it yet

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Cogito ergo sum
IP: 87.224.72.55 Edited: 18/03/2017 13:34:29 by Miles-M
dwarrowdelf

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Joined: 09/02/2011
Location: Lost in Cwmorthin...and Oakeley too !!

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new chappy
Posted: 19/03/2017 12:04:32
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BlinkThumbs UpThumbs Up

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'I wonder how many breakfasts, and other meals we have missed inside that nasty clockless, timeless hole?' 'The Hobbit' J R R Tolkien.
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grahami

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Joined: 29/01/2007
Location: Telford, Shropshire

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new chappy
Posted: 19/03/2017 15:20:33
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O for goodness sake, you need a map! SmartassShockedSmartassShocked

Grahami

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The map is the territory - especially in chain scale.
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Wormster

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new chappy
Posted: 19/03/2017 18:07:49
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No just a tight sphincter!!!! Laugh

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Better to regret something you have done - than to regret something you have not done.
IP: 86.148.76.161
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