Monday, May 25, 2009

The Big Horn Mine (Part 2)

(GPS: N34 21.390 W117 44.680)

Alright, so I was at the stamp mill at this point. This was the main goal of the hike, but I wanted to see the mine. It does take a bit of work to get over to it. Although one could fall down the mountain side here, the issue is trying to climb back up if you do slide down a bit. I did have to use my hands a bit to grab and climb.
There is a lot of graffiti and trash around. I was just hoping the place would not cave in on me.
I crossed over the stamp mill and reached the ladder. You can see the entrance to the mine. This is probably the most dangerous part because the ladder is missing a few steps. Even still, while doing it I was even wondering if some of the steps would hold. I was really slow going up it while making sure I had three points down while continuing just in case.Origininally, I did take videos here, but I was not sure I wanted to expose my camera to whatever was inside. A few feet into the mine all sorts of mosquitoes were swarming the entrance. I quickly passed them and then took this picture.
From what I had read there are around 7 different levels to this mine that go on for miles into the base of the Baden-Powell mountain. One has to be careful of the drops that go down 50 feet. I had no intention of going that far into the mine. I had a flashlight and went in about 100 feet or so and turned around getting this.
There were some wooden beams around overhead. At my feet there was a lot of water. One of the reasons I did not want to go in that far was because of all the water at the foot level. This was good enough for me, and I am not much of a mine explorer anyways. I got to the entrance and looked back down the ladder.
Another shot down the ladder.
I have heard rumors they may close off this area to the public, or knock the stamp mill down altogether and close the mine.

I have purposely not mentioned the history of this mine. Although I split this hike up into two parts there is something I was looking for on the way back that I will reveal in the next blog. In the meantime, you can look at the history of this mine by reading this PDF file: