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Mtn. venting?

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Mtn. venting?

Postby Rarefied » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:49 pm

I've wondered about this long enough -- it's time to turn to the pros. This puzzle might be for the mining/geology types but all are welcome to play.

A few years ago I was going up the 12er Busk-Ivanhoe near Turquoise Lake. Around 12,000' I saw & heard a very strange event. Suddenly with no prior indication, a loud, vent-type "Whooshing!" sound shot out of the ground about 100' from me. It lasted perhaps 2 seconds, followed by a pause of about 1 second, with a final, lesser "Whoosh" of perhaps 1 second. Both times it sounded much like an air compressor venting when it kicks off.

The first blast was so strong it instantly dislodged hundreds of leaves from nearby bushes and sent them skyward to about 25'. Initially they looked like a swarm of insects until they finally started to flutter to the ground. As I said, there was no prior warning (Ex: ground shaking, a rumbling sound, etc.) and the discharge did not contain any visible component (Ex: smoke, mist, etc.) and or any discernible odor.

Not knowing what I had just witnessed, I backed off a bit but kept my eyes trained on the spot for 5 minutes or more. But nothing else happened. Slowly I approached the location where it all seemed to occur. I ultimately stopped about 3' from the approximate spot feeling that was close enough! But try as I might, other than the stripped bushes I just couldn't identify any kind of irregularity in that area. No observable hole, nothing. I revisited the spot on my way back down but still couldn't find anything.

My best guess has been some sort of venting action from an old mine as that whole area is riddled with them. But having said that, I did not see any equipment, relics, etc. anywhere nearby although I tend to think old shafts were probably down below me somewhere. So I'm wondering if a mining expert can comment on it or if anyone else has ever witnessed something like this. I've had cliff bands break apart right above me and other such "routine" mountain occurrences. But this sure was both a first & quite different.

R

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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby ebnhils » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:14 pm

UFO take off?
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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby Screed » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:16 pm

Sounds like the mountain farted.

Just my expert opinion.
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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby Waggs » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:26 pm

Fletch wrote:Dicfurs.


We talking landscape or manscape here?

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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby crojo » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:21 pm

I have observed this phenomenon near the Chalk Queefs by Princeton, but never in this area.
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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:50 pm

An underground water tunnel that is part of the Fryingpan-Arkansas diversion project runs under the ridge between Hagerman Pass and Busk-Ivanhoe, right about the 12K' level. It's marked on the USGS topos. Probably you saw air coming from an air vent (or natural crack) on the ridge, and driven by a change in the flow in the tunnel.
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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby peter303 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:01 am

Colorado has a lot of promising geothermal areas with Buena Vista as a top prospect.

San Luis Valley to the south is the top tip of the Rio Grande spreading ridge.
In New Mexico there are volcanic deposits Indians may have witnessed happening.

Almost all the gold and silver was emplaced hydrothermally during the Rocky's rise.
This hydrothermal activity isnt completely dead yet.

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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby Rarefied » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:32 pm

As he has with other topics, I think Jim might have delivered the goods. I was aware of the tunnels in the vicinity but had not imaged them being as complex as they are described in various places on the web (starting with the URL Jim provided). The venting noise I heard definitely sounded more mechanical than natural and I think the pieces fit well enough to consider that the likely cause. It sure was impressive -- and startling! -- at the time! Thanks.

R

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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby Gabe » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:32 pm

Fletch wrote:
Waggs wrote:We talking landscape or manscape here?

You know, a dicfur... :wink:

Why no... What's a dicfur?

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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby ChrisRoberts » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:27 pm

Seems like the underground tunnel is the most likely cause.

I'll throw this in; a couple of times I've been on a summit when its been somewhat windy (as in not enough to make you seek shelter, just a light wind) and a bird will shoot past out of nowhere and make the most unexpected WHOOOOOMSH! noise 10 feet from you. Damn SOBs fold up their wings and fly past you at 100mph riding a wind current and sound like a missile, duck and cover, hit the deck sort of stuff. Terrifying. Horrible.

The smaller the bird, the worst the sound. Clarks Nutcrackers are the worst.
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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby mountain_man » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:48 am

ChrisRoberts wrote:I'll throw this in; a couple of times I've been on a summit when its been somewhat windy (as in not enough to make you seek shelter, just a light wind) and a bird will shoot past out of nowhere and make the most unexpected WHOOOOOMSH! noise 10 feet from you. Damn SOBs fold up their wings and fly past you at 100mph riding a wind current and sound like a missile, duck and cover, hit the deck sort of stuff. Terrifying. Horrible.

The smaller the bird, the worst the sound. Clarks Nutcrackers are the worst.


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Re: Mtn. venting?

Postby Waggs » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:28 am

Gabe wrote:
Fletch wrote:
Waggs wrote:We talking landscape or manscape here?

You know, a dicfur... :wink:

Why no... What's a dicfur?


:cartman:

Waggs
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