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TOPIC: Pandora Mine Trip Report

Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40428

  • Ian
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Trip Report – Pandora Mine Sunday 3rd October 2021


So, we all met at the car park at the designated time with our ex-member Richard S for whom the trip had been laid on. He was in high spirits as was everyone else except, perhaps, Richard T who seemed to think that there was a possibility of us being shot making our way to the first shaft.

Nevertheless, we made our way in full gear up the road and through the woods in less than a furtive manner.

The first warning came around 10 feet into the first descent – there was an undue amount of water “raining” into the shaft, even though it wasn’t raining outside … hum.

The bottom of the first pitch was reached only with an accompaniment of several gallons of imbued water within the fabrics of our caving suits (except a couple of smarties who had waterproofs – but I bet it went down their necks!). This set the tone for the trip.

From there, we made across a short traverse. I did ask the trip leader (Richard T) if there was “certain death” below the traverse. – he said not. I asked if there was any danger below the traverse, he again said not. So, I undertook the traverse and noted an abyss below it. Marvellous I thought.

Upon arriving at the second pitch head, I noted some rigging I had seen on a previous trip where I had entered by an adit on that same level. Daylight and a short circular trip proved the case and I did wonder about all the extra freezing water I was now carrying … still, it would prove to be only a small amount of water of what was to come…

Descending the second pitch proved only that the amount of freezing water that my suit could hold could actually be increased substantially. This was due to the torrent cascading down as I descended. I concluded that mine explorers had something to learn from cavers who would rig deviations out of such water. Too late for today though.

After a quick mooch and a quick ladder down to a small cart, we found an area of interest with minerals manifesting everywhere and “nails” hanging hither and thither. The bitter cold made looking around somewhat difficult and it became necessary to jump around to increase body temperate from -50 to something just over zero.

Next was the final pitch, which I have named “the pitch of untold water”. You thought there was a lot of water turfing over Niagra falls, right? Well you ain’t seen anything until you have done the 3rd pitch in Pandora. I went first and landed in a whore chute (that’s just wishful thinking) – I mean an Ore Chute. It was much easier to stand in this and “dis-embark” then slide out rather than staying attached to the rope and doing the whole thing (which some folk tried). Doing it this way resulted in much laughter.

Being the first down, I waited for the others. The amount of water I was now carrying in my clothing was about the same as the Pacific Ocean and the temperate was close to that of liquid nitrogen.

Once moving, I could feel some warmth returning. This proved short lived as we walked through (at least two) some waterfalls that completely filled the adits. Each time, any heat I had recovered vanished instantly and was replaced with the cold hard Antarctic wastelands of the southern polar regions.

The passageways here were festooned with goodness and amazing formations – most of which I missed partly because I so bloody cold, partly because my eyes were only interested in the exit but mostly because the “water haze” was so phenomenally bad that visibility was reduced (in some places) to only a couple of metres.

Eventually (it seemed like 10 years) we found the main junction (with a false floor) and I knew which way to head to get out and make it to the sanctuary of my car heater. Some folk continued their explore inwards while the rest of us made it out at quick pace.

Getting undressed by the car was troublesome because I could not make my hands work. But, after throwing myself around like a contorted moron, I finally managed to don dry clothes. I then remained in the car with the heater on full blast until we set off in search of a pub.

With teeth chattering and hands shaking, I sat down to a drink with the other stalwarts. It was suggested to me that I should have a cold drink – so I did. In hindsight, I probably should have ignored that advice.

Far too many times have I heard the phrase “it’s a dry walk in/walk out” and never again will I believe anything that is every said to me by any person wearing the badge of United Cavers Exploration Team.

Report ends.
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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40429

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Entrance to "The Milky Way"




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Inside the "Milky Way"




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Snakes and Ladders




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Collapsed Floor
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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40430

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40431

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40433

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40434

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The Ore Chute at the bottom of Pitch 3



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The Ore Chute at the bottom of Pitch 3



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Exiting the Ore Chute in style
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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40435

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"Oysters"



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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40436

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:lol: :lol: :lol:
I'm still sure this mine is just a little damp in places!
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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40437

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40438

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40439

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40440

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Good trip and nice photos (even if Ian used some old ones)
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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40442

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Nice trip report. I couldn't see any of the water that you were moaning about, in any of the pictures you posted...
It looked like a superb and very dry mine... :P
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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40446

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Really good trip report. Glad you didn't get shot at and I guess any of the excrement which was chucked down there was washed away. It's ages since I was last there - a pity I missed the trip

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40450

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Sweetie.jpg



So, seriously, that is someone landing in the ore chute on the 3rd Oct 2021.

Question is ... how long have those planks of wood been there?

You know mines, right? They are cold, damp and, in this case, suffer running water for most (all) of the year.

How long have those planks been there? Best guess? 50 years? 100 years?

How come "decking" doesn't last even 12 months?

:blink:

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40452

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All wood nowadays is from sustainable forests and so fast growing trees =shite.
Those planks of wood are from slow growing trees so very tight knit grain =not shite
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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40455

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Also the mine timbers are usually permanently wet and so do not suffer the wet, then dry, then wet cycle when outside in this country. This causes fine cracking which lets fungi and bacteria into the parts which the preservative fails to get to... Also wet rot is a slow process, dry rot which needs specific humidity levels not soaking timber is rather faster.

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Pandora Mine Trip Report 1 month 3 weeks ago #40456

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And they are probably something like Pitch Pine or Elm, wood that doesn't rot
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