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Frozen Ground


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I think it helps a VLF. Just like damp ground. Things run a little smoother.

It also seems that the coarse gold is right at the frost line. In areas where the main force moving things downward is freeze/thaw cycles you are going to find the gold at frost line. Here, where wind blows the light stuff off and there is no water erosion to speak of the nuggets have stayed put and worked themselves down to about 4". I see this over and over again in deflation placers on the hilltops and slopes above the gulches.

When the ground is frozen I can generally get the point if a pick under it and pry up about 4". It is surprising how often the gold is near the bottom of the frozen chunk or near where it lifted out. Unless it is wet, frozen mountain mud a foot deep I think frozen ground can sometimes aid recovery.

I suppose you have to find some sort of a silver lining to frozen ground ...

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fun as frozen ground OR water either. Having to empty engine oil at end of the day and take home to keep warm to even run in the am,breaking ice, and that first blast a frozen water on the mouth/ forehead climbing in---tooooooooooooooooooooo old for frozen ground or ice water as arthritis say LL NO-John

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Well went a tried to swing yesterday in a foot and a half of snow didn't turn up anything but bullets and shell casing and a couple of rusty nails...... hard searching for bare spots to be able to actually dig well ....not sure if there was any gold or I was setting the detector wrong for small nuggets or if I need a smaller coil or what but plan to figure it out when it's a little warmer lol this detecting is gonna take a long time to master.... are those faint changes in signal smaller targets deep down or changes in ground mineralization? not distinctive zip zips but noises lol maybe a smaller coil will help the area I'm working has plenty of pickers I usually get at least one a day by panning but couldn't get the detector to pick em up maybe they are too deep no shallow bedrock rock but the ground was previously worked in 1880 an they piled up alot of dirt that was gold bearing an never ran it just been working it the stripped ground but they never went to bedrock hmm.....

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Those faint trips in the threshold can be generalization, but can also be deeper or smaller targets.

Use your boot to scrape off a little if the surface and see if the signal becomes more distinct.

Most nuggets are found by a slight dip in the threshold.

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OK I'll have to try that I might as Well dig every signal thinking i might do better with a smaller coil too just because the area is littered with old mining equipment (cables, chains,bolts etc.) and there are grain sized pieces of gold all over the area

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Some guys out in NV actually like to hunt in snow and they claim the moisture in the ground and frozen temperatures helps them find targets they couldn't find before in hot dry weather. I don't know if there is any truth to it.

Edited by bigrex
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I tried to dredge in freezing weather a number of years ago north of Downieville.

I had a brilliant idea; I'd build a fire right beside where I was going to dredge,

that way I figured, I'd just jump out and be able to warm up.

I was wearing a 3/8 inch farmer john wetsuit with thermal long johns under

and had a water heater coming off the exhaust pipe of the dredge.

I got all dressed up, started the dredge and jumped in.

This is not embellishing anything;

it was so cold I could not remember what I had jumped in to try to do,

my brain went as numb as my body.

After thirty seconds, I could hardly move anymore from the cold.

I got out after a few feeble minutes in the 39 degree water

and never did get warmed by the fire.

All in all, a total disaster.

I do like detecting in damp ground.

Frozen ground?

Never had the pleasure...

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Whoa, Dave, you came close to fatal hypothermia. Once, while goose hunting in Nor Cal, I fell through the ice, getting totally immersed. I managed to get out, still holding my shotgun, and I literally ran to my car. By thte time I got there my mind was going numb. Ripped off my stiffening clothes, got inside my car, and sat there starkers with the heater going full bore. FINALLY, I got warmed up enough to put on dry clothes, the wet ones had frozen like carboard. For the record, Little Jimmy DOESN"T walk on ice anymore. HH Jim

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Nuttn' to it as 39 is a tropical heat wave to dredge in. You just need a nice HOT WATER HEATER and a prewarmed cozy warming tent to hop right into and life is good :thumbsupanim . Trick is to stay warm even when outta the water and NO wind please. I dealt with frozen ground on a great number of occasions living in Reno and CC(blackrock desert was 100% misery when frozen) and never could figure a way around that cement as even harder than impacted caliche??? :old: John

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Since this is about frozen ground maybe this is not too far off-topic.

I taught school in Washington State for a year.

One of the classes taught at this school, not my class, was kayak building.

When all the kayaks were finished - it was early April - a few of the teachers

took all the kids who had built kayaks to a river outside Seattle so they could test run their boats.

The water in the Tolt River looked like it had been photoshopped a garish ice blue color, it didn't look real,

but it was real, it was snow runoff water.

The kids who where in their early teens, floated around in the eddies of the river trying out their projects

but didn't paddle out into the river.

For some reason I was offered a kayak to try.

I had no experience but it looked like fun and without thinking much about it I accepted the offer.

The sun was out, it was in the lower fifties, I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt.

People held the little boat steady as I scrunched down myself into it,

then they turned me out into the current and I paddled away.

For about fifty feet;

then, in the blink of an eye, I turned completely upside down.

The kayaking terms it is called "turning turtle."

The shock from the cold was instantaneous. I clawed my way to the surface.

I had come out of the kayak when I flipped over and now it was floating beside me in the current.

I splashed around frantically trying to reach it - I couldn't believe how fast I was starting to stiffen up -

I grabbed for a lanyard at the bow and hooked it with my hand but that was all I could do,

I could no longer function physically.

I floated helplessly downstream holding the kayak with one frozen hand, conscious but not able to move.

Some quick-thinking people jumped in their cars and drove downstream

to the next ploint where getting into the water was possible.

They formed a human chain, waded out and snagged me as I floated by.

I cannot remember how long it took me to warm up but it was hours.

Yes I know how lucky I am.

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Flak ... being a kayaker and an ocean kayer at that I have to practice self rescue every year before I venture out on my 2-7 mile runs out into the ocean ... no human chain to help rescue you there ... If you can't get out of the ocean water in 45 seconds to a minute & a half you will become fodder for the sea lice! No fun to turtle in 45 degree or colder water when I practice self rescue but if I had never done it I would have failed the first time I turtled for real and would not be hear to write about it. Being told how to and actually doing it is two different worlds ... and the beauty of actually doing it in practice gives the confidence you WILL need if you find yourself in the water instead of on top of the water! But that water sure numbs you fast ... even when I an wearing my protective paddle gear ... similar to a dry suit but you still get a little wet around the neck and waste.

Mike F

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