Last Thursday/Friday we had some very consistent rain. Two days & two nights of pretty heavy rain. That is very unusual for the Queenstown area. It didnt seem that cold but when it cleared snow was low down in the hills. This from our front door. Still a bit cloudy.
By late afternoon it had stopped raining so I decided to get out for a local detect. I ended up going back to the last little spot where I got 3 bits for .76 of a gram . With the wet ground I liked my chances of getting more off the same ground. I E-Biked in there & there was snow on the tops.
This looking across to a lateral glacial moraine that has been cut through by that trickle of water over time. This trickle is usually dry & only flows with snow melt or heavy rain.
Looking in the opposite direction more snow on the tops & schist bedrock in the foreground that has had gold in it.
Despite my confidence the signals were not coming. I finally got a signal over some bedrock that I had detected the time before & had got nothing. This time it was a definite signal. The damp ground had brought it to life.
Hacking into the schist bedrock & peeling it out before the signal finally had moved. It still took a bit to isolate it & get it in my hand. But gold it was.
.22 of a gram. But that was it. Oh well....at least I beat the skunk.
The next day Mrs JW was keen to go out somewhere. She had twisted her ankle badly & has been two weeks on crutches. She was sick of being cooped up inside & not able to get around very easily. She wanted a change of scenery & was content to just head off up into the hills. Even if it still meant just sitting in my truck. So off we went. I hadn't been detecting over this way for quite a while & the last two months has been lambing time so I had not really even considered it. I called in to see the farmer & to ask which paddocks to keep out of. He said the lambs were far enough advanced & I could go anywhere. So that was good. I was amazed to see how much snow they had over this way up in the hills. He told me that they had had 58mm of rain in the last two days. That is close to two & a half inches. The grass had gone mental so that wasn't going to be too good for my detecting. Good for the farmer though as this time of the year it can be pretty dry. I decided to go higher up in the hills where hopefully the grass growth hadn't gone too crazy. I got over to Doug's Gully, as l call it, & dropped down into it. Mrs JW had no phone signal down in the gully so I drove up to the top of the spur for her. Meant I had to walk back down.
A few days earlier that snow in the background was all gone.
Oh well.....down to the gully & the old turned over gully floor piles.
I have detected this gully countless times with all my gold detectors & I usually always still come away with some gold. Albeit small bits these days. What would today hold? I was backing the wet conditions & damp ground to really help me out here. I took down the Zed & the GB2. I still have a soft spot for the GB2. It has found me numerous small bits down there but so to has the Gold Monster. But I chose the GB2 today. In fact I started with the GB2 as I wasn't feeling very confident with the Zed. On getting down to the gully floor & in all the times I have been down here I have never ever seen any water in this gully. Let alone any flowing water. There is a first time for everything.
5 minutes into it I had my very first signal.
Could have been a shogun pellet.
But it wasn't .03 of a gram.
10 feet away another signal. Purple flowers are wild thyme bush flowers. It is that time of the year.
Another small bit of gold.
Looking up the gully & the old turned over piles.
Looking down gully
I decided to detect down the gully. Nothing for an hour & a half but shot gun pellets. I worked my way back up to the Zed with no more gold to show. So I swapped over to the Zed & retired the GB2. It had saved a skunk any way. I wasnt too long in getting a nice mellow signal with the Zed.
The photo doesn't do justice to the depth of the dig but it was a bit of gold.
I was just detecting the old timer piles as I have done countless times before. The damp conditions were certainly giving me an edge today. Another signal. This looking up the gully & over a few of the old piles.
Another bit of the good stuff. But small.
.03 of a gram with the Zed & its 14" coil.
I was on fire.
The signals & gold kept coming off these piles
And the signals kept coming
As did the gold
Looking down gully. The back filled hole to the right of the GB2 was the last piece.
This the next piece & ended up being my last before heading out.
All up 7 pieces for just .89 of a gram. 2 for the GB2 & 5 for the mighty Zed. The damp conditions helping me out again.
The next day was my E-Bike mission with Simon of which you have had that story from Simon, Phrunt.
These are the two bits that I ended up with.
Good luck out there
I was excited about getting my Nox 12x15" coil and was hoping it would arrive in time for a trip up to the ski fields to do a detect for some jewellery, I've found the odd bit at the ski fields in the past and end up with a fair collection of coins at the same time so it's an easy day detecting and can be a bit of fun pulling up coins every 20 minutes or so. I'd already planned to do it and then it started raining but because I made the plan, I stuck with it. The drive up to the ski field I saw a weird rainbow, it was a tiny one, it struggled to get up off the ground 🙂
I didn't find anything amazing on the day, which is a bit disappointing as I may as well of been swimming as the rain ended up being heavy the entire day, much worse higher up on the mountain than it was down on ground level, when I drove back down the rain stopped halfway down! Lucky the Nox is waterproof.
I did find someones bank card, an old Cardrona Ski Area badge which is a competing ski field and a free Breakfast at Snowy Valley Resort, I had to look up what that was and it's in Australia and the food has a reputation of being awful which is why someone probably threw the free meal away 🙂
I've taken a more dig it all between VDI 5 and 25 approach lately as I'm trying to find more rings, I was originally just digging coin VDI's and the method is working, I did find a ring that was a very solid 18 on the VDI's, I'm not sure it's of any value, it's not magnetic and has some numbers on the inside that don't mean anything to me, it was about 20cm deep so it's been there quite a while.
Other than the ring I got my usual coins and something that I think is an ear ring. I'm pretty sure the ring is a junker.
Before the next weekend my 12x15" coil arrived for my Nox so I was itching for another ski field detect to compare it to the 11" I usually use. I found it decent, the extra ground coverage was great and sped up the mission, I was able to cover an area in what felt like half the time I took with the 11" I didn't notice any depth advantage and I honestly don't know how I could judge if there was without doing some "testing" burying targets but that doesn't seem viable as I've found coins buried for a long time react differently. It did have a bit more trouble with EMI than the 11", but I guess that's to be expected with a bigger coil. Dropping the sensitivity back two or three notches fixed that up. The ski field is bad for EMI as it has high voltage power for the lifts and Wifi all over the mountain with powerful boosters and a mobile phone tower all right near each other. The other big difference with the new coil is NZ $1 and $2 coins both came up as VDI 21 on the 11", sometimes flicking to 22 on the $2 coins but mostly 21, with the 12x15" the $2 coins are consistently 22 on the VDI's with the $1 being solid 21, I can now tell which coin I'm about to dig with some confidence.
My dealer, DredgeNZ threw in a snuffer bottle and gold pan with my purchase, he's a good guy and trustworthy, certainly not a "used car salesman" dealer 🙂
I did the dig it all approach with the 12x15" also, and recovered a number of coins and a reasonable amount of the usual ski field junk
After my ski field mission I drove down into town to buy dinner and saw a message from KiwiJW asking if I wanted to go for a detecting mission the next day using his EBIKES!!!!! that of course was an excited YES! I have ordered a Steelphase SP01 audio enhancer and it had arrived at my local post depot but as I got home so late at night and was leaving early the next morning for the gold mission I was unable to get it in time for the trip. It arrived this morning, just too late for this mission 🙂
Can't wait to test this puppy out, although I might let John take it's maiden voyage as he'll be better at testing it and also he'll be able to compare it to his B&Z Booster so that will be interesting. It's on charge right now!
I arrived at John's and we threw the Ebikes on the back of his truck and off we went, We went to a place we've done quite a number of times, rarely do we come away with nothing. John mostly does pretty well here, I sometimes get the odd nugget.
The Ebikes made the ride up the hillside much easier, it's still a workout for a guy who hasn't ridden a bike in 10 or so years but I think if I wasn't on an Ebike I would of been pushing the bike up the hill rather than riding. Once you get into more level terrain they really show their ability, you can cruise along with almost no effort at all. They even had a little throttle trigger that you can press and it behalves then like an electric motorbike, driving along without you even needing to peddle, but of course this drains the battery more so you only use it when necessary. I often used it to take off, you know how when you ride a bike the initial takeoff requires a powerful peddle, not so with this nifty little trigger. A BIG thanks to Mrs JW for allowing me to use her Ebike!!!!!! I was silly and forgot to get a photo of the Ebikes!
We started off detecting by going to some old throw out piles I'd never been to before, I don't think John had been to them either, the beauty of the Ebikes is you can go further than you could ever do walking. These piles had powerlines directly above them, I was thinking this maybe to our advantage as it keeps people with their detectors away, John's GPZ handles powerlines reasonably well, my GPX on the other hand doesn't with my coil configuration so I had my Monster with me just in case, and I was glad I did.
The Monster doesn't care about power lines, worst case scenario I had to drop it back to Manual 9 instead of my usual highest setting of Manual 10, but even still that was to make it operate completely quietly, if on Manual 10 I got a bit of broken pulsing noise occasionally from the power lines and wasn't sure if that was causing any harm so I knocked back to Manual 9 just in case, both Auto and Auto+ were completely silent so I assume they were dropping back to Manual 8 and 9. John's GPZ was having a little more trouble than usual with the power lines but it may of been the wind, there was a warm breeze and we've both noticed sometimes wind direction seems to effect the EMI.
The Monster performed well for me, I had found a signal, it was a very faint one so I scraped a bit, the signal then went all the way to the ferrous side so I scraped a bit more and it started to get random readings, a much more positive sign, the more I dug the more erratic the signal became until I got right down to the bedrock when then the signal went all the way to non-ferrous and I was now very hopeful of breaking my skunk. I've had about 6 weeks I think it would be with no gold.
After a lot of messing around trying to recover the target and dropping it in the separation process I eventually found it, a tiny little bee poo bit of gold.
It's to the left of the Minelab Logo on the coil, tiny little thing, you'll also notice a spider took up residence on my coil, not one of the life threatening touch me and you die spiders I'm used to from Australia, a friendly little chap who moved on doing his business when I took my gold off the coil.
The depth was pretty amazing, It was at a depth where my scoop changed to it's handle, hard to see in that blurry photo but it's the only one I got.
All 0.035 grams of it 🙂 but it's official, my skunk was broken!
Another thing we both wanted to do on this mission is find a secret cave, there is one here but it's not easy to find and not marked on any maps or anything, we rode around for a while trying to find it, and then we parked up the Ebikes and went for a walk using John's google maps photo of the area, exploring around trying to find it.
There was a cool looking rock formation in the area
I call it the hotel rock, the old timer gold miners used to use rocks with hollowed out bits for accommodation, well this one was a multi level hotel, with hollowed out bit's all over the place.
We even saw a rock that looked like someone had decided to cut in half with a giant saw
I have no idea how that can naturally happen. We were wandering around for some time trying to find this cave, comparing where we thought we were with the google earth satellite photo and the location John thought the cave was but with no luck so we headed back to where we parked the bikes and you wouldn't believe it, the cave was right next to where we parked up, within 30 feet there were two cave entrances. We rode right past them both to park the bikes! unbelievable!!! John's navigational skills were better than he thought, he stopped right at the cave 🙂
The entrance is well hidden, that's it below me, the little dark hole! We didn't go down in there this time, it was a bit muddy from a massive rain storm we had a few days earlier, the most rain I've had at my place in years. A job for another day, maybe detect the walls of it with the GM 1000 🙂
Next we rode off to find somewhere else to detect, and stumbled across some old chinese workings and some nice terraced walls they had made to get their wheelbarrows up and down into a gully
We started detecting again and John was trying to break his skunk (at this location), the last time he came here he was skunked and spent most of his day exploring, this time I was ahead with my little bee poo so the competition was on 🙂
We spent an hour or two detecting and found nothing then all the sudden John yells out he got one... uh oh, his is no doubt bigger than mine as the Zed can't find bee poo so I was in trouble, he was going to win again!! I've never won in gold tally, it's usually 10 to 1 if I'm lucky but this day I thought I had it in the bag. John had a forgetful day, it happens to the best of us but his was out of control He forgot to bring his gumboots he usually detects in so he has no metal on his feet, but to make it worse he had steel capped shoes on!!! I often found his shoes laying around where we were detecting as he ended up having to detect in his socks Lucky the ground wasn't wet. He also forgot his phone so I was chief photographer, Not a role I excel at as I always forget to take photos.
He also forgot his scoop so he had to separate out his targets the old fashioned way.
It wasn't 2 minutes after John yelled out he got his nugget and I was yelling back, I GOT ONE. I was getting desperate to find another one and scanning the ground wasn't working for me so I started kicking over rocks. This has worked in the past and it worked again.
I put a red circle around my little nugget so it can be seen, tiny little thing for such a big coil.
My biggest of the day, 0.162 grams! Now this brings up a question, this nugget was an absolute screamer, a nice loud "wee woo" even with the coil 10cm above the nugget I get a nice "wee woo" yet this area has bucket loads of shotgun pellets, if I use my Monster I can find one every square meter, yet the GPX wasn't seeing them, yet it screams out loud on this bit of gold which incidently weighs less than a pellet. An example, here is a pellet I found with the GM at the same place
It's bigger, and weighs more yet the GPX with NF 14x9" Evo coil completely ignores it, yet it will find a nugget than weighs less and is smaller in size with a loud screaming signal, so loud I thought I had a 22 shell. I completely don't understand this so if anyone has an idea why, please do tell.
Now it was game on again, I had two nuggets and John had one, we were walking along finding piles to detect on and our detectors had an argument, his was making noises at mine, mine was making noises back at his, then all the sudden mine makes a police siren noise, scaring his detector off... my detector feels a little intimidated by his superior detector so it faked a police siren to scare his off.
It wouldn't even be ten minutes later and John's yelling out he's got another one, 2 for 2... I knew he had won as I had a bee poo, and his would have to be bigger and of course they were. His were .12 & .22 of a gram so he won again 🙂
We called it a day and jumped on the Ebikes and headed back to the car, fastest trip back I've ever had, often we are walking out and it gets dark as it's an hour or so to walk back, we were back in under 10 minutes thanks to the bikes... best time of the day for an easy trip down as we were both pretty exhausted.
To top off John's forgetful day he even left his sunglasses in the toilets at KFC at dinner time
A big thanks again to Mrs JW for the use of her Ebike! Sure made the day a lot easier and more fun and of course to JW for taking me along 🙂
Warning: Pull up a comfy chair and grab a coffee!
We decided being school holidays we would take our daughter for a camping trip, up to near KiwiJW's house at my summer sluicing area. The main reason for the trip was it's coming to the end of ski season and the camping location is only a short drive to the two ski fields we had a season pass to access.
I packed my Equinox 800 with both coils, T2 with Mars Tiger and GPX 4500 with NF Evo 14x9 for the trip anticipating a lot of metal detecting opportunities.
The first week was very busy skiing, we had perfect weather with the only rainfall I can remember happened overnight one night which caused a dump of about 12 inches of fresh snow over the ski fields so we can hardly complain about that.
After the snow storm the Avalanche risk went up significantly and due to all the extra snow they extended the ski season another couple of weeks. This was a bit disappointing but good at the same time as I was waiting for the ski fields to close as I've had good luck finding coins under the lifts last season.
Considerable avalanche risk, we did see the leftovers of an avalanche the next morning but I didn't have my phone with me to take a photo. It could be one the ski field caused as they bomb the hillside overnight sometimes if they think there is a big risk.
My wife didn't really like all the extra snow the morning after the overnight dump as they hadn't yet groomed it so the ski field was a bit wild. However by the next day it was all back to it's usual self.
I went metal detecting most nights to the beach front of the lake. I was digging up a lot of coins, mostly modern coins but a few really old NZ coins and a number of foreign coins, mostly American and British coins but some odd looking coins that I suspect are Asian.
A couple of American coins and a British pound, I ended up finding a few pounds as they came up the same VDI numbers as NZ Gold Coins.
Some old NZ coins. I got quite a few of these, most of them come from where the water meets the land on the lake, whereas most other coins were always further up on the beach.
Some more unusual coins and an old 1810 necklace bit of bling. It's some religious thing about Mary. The ring I suspect is just junk and that was my first Australian gold coin of many more to come. The funny shaped coin is an old Queenstown Gondola Coin. I don't know much about it or why they have coins.
One of the many American dimes I found.
I was fortunate enough to find 5 rings on the trip, one of which is a Lord of the Rings gold ring which appears to be worth quite a bit of money, it weighs 15 grams and after doing my research it appears to be the 14k gold ring as it weighs approx 15 grams. They don't put gold hallmarks on the rings unless the purchaser requests it to keep it authentic to the movie. Also it has the engraving on the inside and outside which costs more, it seems it's possibly worth $2,654 NZD
This was the nights take when I found the Gold Ring
I called it early after finding the ring to go back to my Poptop Caravan to tell my wife of my find. This started to get her and my daughter interested in trying detecting so the next day we hit the lakefront in a quiet area where no people were during the daytime
It was only about 30 minutes after my wife took this photo my daughter decided to take her Go-Find 40 onto the rocks in the background, neither of us were paying attention as my wife was on my T2 and I was on the Nox detecting around and she took a tumble and landed in the water, the Go-Find was submerged but she quickly turned it off and ran over and said what happened. I was pleased she turned it off quickly and had no idea how she knew to even do that but I took the batteries out of it and we jumped in the car with it hanging out the car window to dry it out, then we went back to the Caravan and put it in a plastic bag with about a kilo of rice in it and left it overnight. By morning I was game to try turn it on so I put in the batteries and fired it up, worked a treat, no issues at all.
The next day after skiing my wife wanted to try metal detecting again so we went to another quiet section of the lakefront, these were the finds that day
I like the coin with the dude with the glasses, no idea what country it is but I know if I wore glasses and was going to be put on a coin I'd be throwing on some contact lenses 🙂
My wife got a couple of NZ gold coins with the T2 and also the little silver ring that's a bit buckled up, I straightened it up as good as I could as it was worse than that originally. I found the dolphin ring with the Equinox, it came up solid numbers which was a surprise as I'm sure at some point I'd seen a video of someone finding a similar ring which was a bit wild on the numbers due to the two dolphins and the way they join. My daughter never did find anything with the Go-Find but that's no surprise, it's hard to use a detector without VDI numbers in a place that has so many bottle tops and pull tabs as you spend all your time digging them.
This was my next night detect on the lakefront, I got quite a lot of older coins that night as I'd already mostly cleaned up that area other nights of the modern gold coins.
The view from the lakefront where most detecting took place.
I found two cell phones on the night detects, one I didn't get a photo of as my daughter claimed it for a toy but it was an I-Phone 5 with a smashed screen, it works fine but wants a password to get into it. The other phone is a Chinese android phone and also works fine although it also has a broken screen. Both phones were buried in the lakefront gravel.
I ended up finding 4 sets of keys but didn't bother with photos of junk.
One of the two ski fields finally closed as they didn't have enough staff to stay open with a majority of the staff being from overseas and they had already booked flights to the Northern hemisphere for working at the Ski fields there. The snow was getting pretty thin on the lower part of the mountain where the beginners area is also which would have forced the close. We drove on up and all three of us gave detecting on the beginners magic carpet area a go. We picked this area as beginners fall over the most and are most likely to lose coins falling over 🙂 My daughter lost interest pretty quick and ended up reading books on her kindle most of the day.
The Equinox was getting some gold coins at stupid depths, I wasn't able to get photos as my phone was flat and charging isn't easy when you are in an unpowered camping area and your Caravans battery goes flat, mainly because I forgot to charge it before we left so it just had charge leftover from last summer.
I am sure I was digging gold coins in snow at about 45 cm sometimes, way deeper than I can get in air tests, I can't understand why this happened, the Nox just liked the snow and ice.
Here was the take from the day, the $10 note was just sitting there in some melting snow.
We then went up for another ski for our final day at the other ski field which extended another week, no doubt using some staff from the one that closed as they're both owned by the same company.
This is how it looked first thing in the morning, pretty neat with the clouds below. The drive back down later in the day was just as nice, KiwiJW's house is just out of view to the left in this photo. I couldn't get a photo of his spot as a lump in the mountainside got in the way blocking the view of his area from where I parked.
The next day was showing my daughter some gold mining history in the area by taking her to old chinese gold miners huts
They are pretty cool to see, I detected for a bit in the area but the black sand was too much for the Equinox and I had to block out VDI's -9 to 10 to get it running stable so gold was going to be out of the question, I think I only found one coin.
It snowed a bit on us, but nothing too major on the ground, it all mostly landed up higher
The next day was skiing again but JW sent me a message asking if we wanted to come over for a BBQ, my wife had a friend visiting so that seemed a great excuse for me to escape that and go visit JW so off I went, and to my surprise he had his Jet boat ready to go for a spin so off we went, really awesome fun, love the little thing, it goes like a rocket. We went for an hour or more but it was starting to get dark so we had to head back, the water was so clear even in the really deep bits you could see the bottom perfectly. I took too long to decide to get a video so it was starting to get dark when I took it.
Another day came and a rainbow formed over the area where JW's taken me before to find some nuggets so I went off with the Nox and 6" to try find more nuggets high up in the workings above the creek.
This is my favourite sluicing creek where we parked up our Caravan
I ended up never finding the workings and got myself quite lost in the dense bush above the creek, it was starting to get dark and I was hoping to make it out before dark. I eventually found my way down to the creek and got myself out of there. I did find lots of old stacked rocks and detected around them but had no luck on the gold.
Another day came and another message from JW asking if we wanted to pop in for a BBQ, this was the last day of our trip and my Dad's Birthday so the BBQ was once again out which is unfortunate but I did manage to get to visit as the ski field had to close as the road up to it had far too much ice from a big freeze overnight. My daughter was very upset as she misses the last day of skiing for the season so my wife took her 10 pin bowling and to a movie as an alternative source of fun while I visited JW.
The weather cleared up about midday so we went detecting with JW on his Zed and me on my 4500, JW managed to score 7 bits and I continued my skunk getting nothing. I was really struggling with hot rocks in this location digging about 50 of the damn things, they gave me a good signal so I kept digging them, some of them tiny, the size of a small nugget. I was getting annoyed at the things and couldn't work out how to ground balance them out. I guess I have to learn the different sound they make on the GPX over gold as at my ability level I just have to dig everything.
Our total finds from the trip, a majority with the Equinox but my wife managed about $10 of it with the T2.
I promised my daughter earlier in the trip she could keep all the gold coins I found expecting to find about $20, I was wrong, We ended up finding just under $150 in modern coinage so she bought herself a tablet with the money, big smiles!!!
Disclaimer : This post is probably full of errors and the days all mixed up, I'll fix it when I get time, still unpacking and sorted stuff out from the trip
Hi Guys, I am giving this its own thread as I think it deserves its own separate topic. It started with a Reply to Jim_Alaska's Query on my Continued On From My Previous Gold Finds post.
Jim_Alaska Posted yesterday at 04:24 AM
“JW, the gold in your pictures seems to be water worn. Is it glacial gold or was there once a river at the height you were working that slope?”
kiwijw Posted yesterday at 01:46 PM...
Hi Jim, It is a tricky one. Most definitely was a glacial valley & with more than one advance.This particular valley was just one finger of this massive glacier that buried the countryside for many thousands of feet with just the rugged mountain tops protruding above the ice. Evidenced by there jagged rugged peaks as opposed to just below them the ice grounded & smoothed styrated mountain sides. There is a river way down below. That river is believed to have not used to have been there & is fairly recent geologically speaking. The glacial lake that now flows out through that river used to flow out many many miles way further south at what is now the southern end of Lake Wakatipu. Possibly the last major advance of the glacier pushed up a terminal moraine, like a giant bulldozer blade of ice pushing material ahead of it. Effectively blocking off this glacial river draining system like a natural earth, rocks & boulders, dam. Today the main highway passes through the boulder field of massive rocks & debry that was pushed & carried many many miles & traveling on the ice. And then literally just dumped when the ice retreated & melted away never to advance again. Dropping these massive rocks to the ground. A lot of these rocks are very foreign to the local geological makeup of the surrounding mountains. Having come from a long way back. These foreign rocks are known as erratics. I know Jim that you will have an understanding of all this but I am being a bit more thorough in my description for those that don't.
After traveling this highway a bit further it climbs up & over the moraine & then drops down into, across & up the other side of this now cut off & dried up riverbed. You can see it as plain as day. Even one not up to play with what has gone on will recognize it as an old river despite that it has grass growing in it now. Well sort of among the rocks & gravels. The banks are still there & the dried up river trough "flows" & winds its way down this glacial valley, although very wide, for miles. The road still passing through older boulder fields & moraines. About the same time as this last advance that blocked off this river, give or take a few hundred or thousand years geologically speaking, it is believed there was a major event that ripped open the ground in this valley where I have been detecting that caused this "new" river & the present day out let for the lake. This major event affected & changed many other land drainage localities in the Otago region. In some cases draining massive lakes. Along with mountain building, land upheaval, faulting & folding, subsidence & glaciation, Otago is a tortured landscape like no other. Bearing in mind that the Southern Alps, from which these glaciers flowed from, are caused by the collision zone of the pacific tectonic plate with the Indo Australian plate.
Getting back to your initial comment. Yes the gold is very alluvial. All the Queenstown area gold & most of Otago gold is very alluvial no matter where you find it. Could be 5 thousand feet up on top of a mountain plateau or any where up & along the flanks. No present day river or water for miles. No sign of water worn rocks or debris. Glacial debris....yes....tell tale alluvial river worn material.....no not always up in the hills except in present day rivers. Maybe glacial melt water river/creek type "alluvial" material. But they aren't as rounded & water worn in a lot of cases as a lot of that material is just ruble & debri that got carried on the glacial ice & not pounded & rolled like river material does. The Glacially carried material just being dropped when the ice melted away & only subjected to the dying glaciers melt water forming a river to give it an alluvial worn look. Until there was no melt water left & the river dried up. I am talking up in the hills & higher areas not the valley floors that carry present day rivers. I guess I am theorising in my own head trying to work it out. I know over the years I have given up but it still intrigues me. Possibly the alluvial gold that is now way up in the hills was deposited by river systems that no longer exist. That the glaciers came & wiped out the the rivers alluvial gravels & material. Leaving the gold buried down in the schist where I am finding it. The land also being pushed up to the heights it is now.
The higher sides of this valley I have been detecting in & where this"new" river now flows out from the lake has two hugely major gold bearing rivers flowing into it. The Shotover river, known in the early gold rush days as the richest river in the world, & running parallel & separated by a ridge line, the Arrow River. In turn these two rivers had hard rock gold mines developed near their heads. These loads being only a shadow of what they must have been to have released the amount of gold they did. On Lake Wakatipu, a glacial lake, all the gold deposits & loads are on this northern side going back to the lakes head. Nothing on the other side of the lake. The stamper battery & crushing plant being the glaciers which would have filled these side valleys of the gold bearing creeks & rivers of today flowing into the lake from the north & the Shotover & Arrow rivers flowing into this now "new" river that drains the present lake. The signs are there that the lake was much bigger & the water level much higher than today. Possibly held back by massive moraines until this major event happened & erosion from the lakes release cut through & washed the moraine away. Leaving pockets of lateral moraine & glacial silt deposits which are in there own right massive & obvious.
I have gotten carried away again. I may even add to this.
Good luck out there
kiwijw Posted yesterday at 05:14 PM
I have included this link of the Ree's & Dart track. More so just for the photos but it is an enjoyable read nonetheless. These two rivers enter at the very head of Lake Wakatipu & there headwaters were the source of this once immense glacier. The Dart glacier just a small Remanent & one of many now smaller glacier remnants up in the mountains heads. The photos of the Dart Glacier show what I was talking about with the rock debris sitting on top of the ice & just going along for the ride & just being dropped when the ice melted away. I have also included it to show just how very similar the glacial countryside is to what Steve has been sharing with us on his Chisana & Gold Hill post. Virtually identical. Enjoy.
Hi Guys, I have been a bit slack in coughing up posts of my adventures & finds over the last couple of weekends. So I will go back a couple of weekends to my first mountain E-bike mission up into the hills chasing gold. The challenge was always going to be just how do I carry everything on me on the bike. My only choice was to put it all into my backpack. Pro swing harness with WM12 & B&Z booster & twin speakers clipped onto it. Pick, pick holder & belt. Smoko bag & coffee thermos. The Zed with coil & shaft sticking out the top of the pack. That was going to be the biggest obstacle negotiating through bush & past rocky outcrops without getting the detector caught up on something & getting thrown off the bike, hopefully not down a ravine, or worse...breaking the detector shaft. Oh well....we will find out. So I was all packed up ready to go. Bike on the bike rack & I was off. Simon has committed himself to skiing every weekend day until the end of the ski season. So no Simon.
He was up there somewhere on Coronet Peak.
I got to as far as I could drive & got the bike all set up ready to go.
It was all uphill from here. Having the backpack on certainly didn't help too much with balance & poise on the bike. I need to centralise the detector & tie it tight so it doesn't flop about. Lesson one.
While it certainly was a lot quicker getting up the hill than walking, it was still bloody hard work & I was pretty knackered when I got to as far as I could ride. I then had to ditch the bike & carry on with backpack on & climb higher.
Tee shirt was soaking wet.
Still had a fair way to go
Still a bit of snow in the shadows. Note the high sluiced gully center top of pic & the material "flowing" into the creek.
Heading on up.
That horizontal line cutting across the browe of the hill is a water race that would have feed the sluicing of that gully in the above pic.
Up & up & time for a breather.
Absolutely stunning country. I love it.
Looking back down to the gully floor & the whole floor of the gully has been turned over by the old timers.
All done by hand.
After having a look around & a bit of a reconoscience I started detecting. I chose some exposed schist bedrock. I got a sweet sounding signal.
On the same run of bedrock another signal.
I am way up from the gully floor but in a bit of a natural run off.
Another small bit of gold.
I noticed some rotten crumbling looking schist bedrock on a steep slope that looked promising. Got another signal.
looking down the gully.
A nice slug it was.
There were a few finds that I didn't bother taking any pics as it was pretty steep & I always turn my phone off as it interferes with the detector. So sometimes it is a bit of a pain turning it on to take photos, so on some I didn't bother.
I had to start thinking about heading out so I started my walk back down. Detecting as I went. I got to some alluvial/glacial gravels that were just above some old workings. I got a nice sounding signal.
Looking down on the same dig
Another sassy bit of gold.
On the same gravels I got another nice hit. This one went down to a bit of depth.
My biggest bit of the day.
Then on the edge of some bedrock & these gravels, another signal.
Another small bit of the good stuff.
That was my lot, I had to get a wriggle on to get out before dark. Still had a bit of a walk back to the bike & then a bit of an uphill grind to get up out of this gully for the big downhill back to my wagon. I had seen quite a few broken glass bottles & on my walk back to the bike I saw a bit of green glass only just visible in the dirt. I carefully scraped around it with my pick. Expecting it to be just another broken bottle. But it wasn't.
Gosh...that is a first. They are always broken. That one came home.
On my walk back to the bike I came across three of my mates, & the only other life I saw all day apart from a few rabbits, which sums up the type of country I was in. Mountain goats.
Had a close call riding the bike back down. I got a bit over confident coming down a very narrow part of the track with some over hanging brush. Sort of forgot about the detector sticking up out as much as it was. It clipped a bush & very nearly threw me off & over a bluff. Don't tell Mrs JW, ok Simon.....It tore the skid plate off the coil & I was so thankful it didn't break the shaft. Whew....& the skid plate did not sail off over the bluff. Sure was fun coming down, apart from that close call. WAY quicker & easier than walking.
End result on the gold front was 12 pieces for 3.54 grams & believe it or not. Not one piece of rubbish.
Good luck out there
Hi guys. Saturday dawned a beautiful clear blue sky day & Mrs JW was keen to take our mountain bikes, that I had recently converted to Electric Mountain Bikes.
Mrs JW's bike
Taking them for their first major uphill/mountain excursion to some old gold workings. Some of the highest & most remote in the country. I hadn't really planned on it & so wasn't organised for it. It took me a while to find my mountain biking box of bits & pieces, including a very handy bike tool kit that is a much needed accessory when off out in the middle nowhere. I eventually found it all & checked every thing. Yep all there including a couple of spare tyre tubes. We were ready to go. Mrs JW said, "Aren't you taking a detector?" I let on to her that I don't think you are quite aware of what we are in for. So no to a detector. I will just treat this as a reconnaissance mission.
We got to our destination & started off. The wagon is parked somewhere down by that clump of dark trees left of center in the background.
It was 3 hours of up.
Mrs JW broke her chain. It gave her a good chance to have a bit of a breather. Me to I guess. Luckily I had a chain breaker in my little bike tool kit. I had never ever had to use it before & I have done a lot of mountain biking over the years. It certainly saved the day. Not that it would have been difficult going back down. You didn't need to peedle going down.
So with the chain fixed, minus one link, we were off again.
Mrs JW having another breather further up & making noises about, this is far enough, I have had enough.
Our destination was that gully directly above her head & around that hill top. Only it isn't really a hill top. It goes on quite a bit further than that. I managed to coax her on a bit further.
In the above pic you will see some disturbed ground center right. They are old bucket dredging tailing piles.
After our second rest stop & coaxing Mrs JW to carry on we headed off again.
Getting up into spinifex, spear grass, Spaniard grass, country. Nasty stuff.
Things got even steeper & Mrs JW was calling for enough again. Bugger. I haven't even got to the beginning of any old workings. I knew they were not far off. Maybe another half an hour. But no...that was as far as we were going to get. Mrs JW dug in her toes. I was amazed she went this far & she had done real good. So that was it. Down we went. 3 hours up & not even half an hour to get back down. That was fun.
On our way down we went & checked out a little old Trommel plant I noticed on our way up.
From here I saw an old hand stacked schist stone wall off in the distance. I said to Mrs JW it is either an old road/track embankment or a water race. Lets go check it out.
Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great.....
It was a water race embankment. If you go back to the first pic of the trommel plant you will see the level cut continuation of the water race center right.
That was our Saturday E-Bike days adventure. Sundays detecting with Simon to be continued. Cheers
Good luck out there