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Timber Stopes Mine

When Brind and I were laying out the trip this past summer, we knew that our path would be taking us close to Ontario Abandoned Mine's stomping grounds. Naturally, we reached out to him, and the Timber Stopes Mine came up. OAM said he had been before, and also added that of the mines we had on the plan, this was the one he wanted to go back to the most... high praise from someone with a lot of underground experience under his belt.

Location attributes for Timber Stopes Mine
Ontario, Canada
Built :: Closed   Status   Difficulty
Unknown :: 1937   Abandoned   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   Security Risk   AUE Rating
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Hazard Observations   Security Observations
Bat Habitat, Loose Rock   None Specified

Hooking up with OAM earlier in the day, we made our way out to the mine site, first stopping at the remains of the processing facilities on the Lake Superior shoreline. Amongst the concrete ruins, mechanical parts of the crusher remain, as well as a giant crankshaft. Our best guess is that it was originally part of a generator for the facilities.

Making our way up the hillside, we found the adit; a narrow opening to the underground, easily missed if you didn't know where to look. Thankfully, OAM made sure that we didn't miss it.

And the Timber Stopes Mine delivered. Just around the bend from the entrance, we came across the large timber frame, capable of supporting two now-missing levels of false floors. From there, the mine didn't stop delivering; the timber frame was followed up with a tall raise, another rotting timbered section with ore chutes, and then three small drifts at the end. For good measure, there was also a section with soft rock ceilings, as I discovered when I clipped the roof with my bag and showered myself with some loose rock.

Down the drifts we found some modern graffiti, but also some carbide graffiti left by the miners, dating back to the 1940's. I only poked down the one drift at the end, having noticed some roosting bats down the other two drifts. Still not fond of bats after my experiences at the Swoop Bat Mine last year, I decided not to push my luck and gave the bats a wide berth.

Pushing my way back through the rotting timbers and remains of ore chutes, I headed back to the entrance with Brind and OAM. Once we were back top-side, OAM had one last secret to show us... the remains of one of the old mine haul trucks, rusting away with the forest growing back around it. Nearby way the remains of an old building, badly decayed and well collapsed on itself.

At the end of the day, a big shout-out to OAM for confirming to us that this one was worth the effort, and for assisting us in checking it off the list!

Of Frames and False Floors - August 2023
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