New Spot

ProspectorALEX

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Apr 14, 2013
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184
Clam Gulch, AK
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So, My dad and I went out to try a new spot we had been eyeing for awhile. The reports had said that decent size gold (pieces up to 1/4 in) had been found by the state surveying team in the 80's and 90's and it has been relatively untouched since. Only a few small suction dredge operations worked the lower creek, and it was estimated that the total recovery was less than 15 oz. the real gold was supposedly up the creek, where it becomes a continuous or near continuous set of waterfalls or rapids.
Our first day, we got a late start, and we arrived around 5pm. That gave us around 6 hours to either hang out at the camping spot or try and get as far up the creek as was possible and drop our sampling stuff for the next day so it would be an easier and faster trip up. We decided that we would go and drop our stuff, so we would have an idea what the creek looked like and what we were dealing with the next day. Bad idea. We made it up the creek to where we were stuck because the creek was a bedrock canyon and there was a series of waterfalls with no way around them besides scaling the bedrock walls, which would be a whole other project. By then, it was 8:30pm, and my dad wanted to do a quick sample, so we dug a small hole and panned out some dirt for a half hour or so. There was nothing. We then began to walk out, figuring that it was going to be a faster trip back than it was in, which was not the case. Walking in, we had to cross the creek around 15 times, and each time it was knee to waist deep in fast-ish moving water and slippery rocks or bedrock. Not something you want to do in the day, much less in the dark. Luckily, before we went on the trip I stopped and bought trekking poles on a whim. Without them we definitely wouldn't have made it up the creek, much less back. We made it about half way back before we had to use our headlamps, and it is hard to use headlamps to cross creeks in the dark because of all the glare off the water. By the time we got back, we were wet from our waist down and since the water was all alpine snowmelt, our feet and legs were pretty much numb. we then set up our tent in the dark and started a fire to warm up, before cooking some food and going to bed around 1:30am.
We woke up the next day around 9am, and after eating a quick breakfast, got our wet clothed back on to go back up the creek. After all, why get 2 pairs of clothes wet? We started walking around 10am, and got to our gear around 1pm. We then started to sample behind some large boulders that were sitting almost on bedrock. We ran a bucket of material through a sluice, and we only got 2 small specks. We decided to start working our way downstream, and it was the same the whole way down the stream. The only time we found any gold that looked promising was when we started to pry up pieces of bedrock that was a part of the old stream bed. We found 3 little flakes in about 2 tablespoons of material.
One interesting thing was a spot that had a considerable amount of black clay sitting on bedrock. When the clay was washed, it was bluish gray like glacial clay. There were no large stones in the clay, all that was there was smaller than 1/4 inch and it was all jagged grey-black stones with quartz throughout. I took one pan out there, which contained nothing and we took half a sandbag full home, which also had nothing. We really wanted the creek to at least seem worthwhile, but it looks like there is just nothing. my only idea is that we would need to dive in the pools and that the gold is concentrated in them almost exclusively. It wouldn't make sense in my mind that there can be decent size gold and we cant find even some flour unless that is the case.
I will upload pictures but its being difficult right now
 

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russau

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May 29, 2005
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St. Louis, missouri
That looks like it would be a hard pack in BUT a very promising location ! with that many water falls you could use that in a venturi type dredge and NOT need to carry in a eng/pump combo or big floats.. Say a 60 foot roll of 3 inch hose and 100 foot of 4 inch venturi nozzle and a light weight sluice. once you've done for the day ,screen it all there on the stream to keep from hauling all the rocks back to your camp and deal with the sore back's that would come from it !:hello2:NICE FIND !! GOOD LUCK ! many pictures are needed to show us how you end up !!
 

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ProspectorALEX

ProspectorALEX

Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2013
292
184
Clam Gulch, AK
Detector(s) used
Whites GMT E-series
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
There were actually quite a few trout in the pools, I was regretting not bringing at least a roll of line and a spinner or something. I was wondering about setting up some sort of gravity dredge or something out there, with how it drops so fast it shouldnt be too hard to build up enough pressure. Across from the headwaters of this stream there is another stream that I know has very good gold, I spoke to the guy that worked it and he pulled lots of pickers and several nuggets out of it. It would be hard to convince my dad to go back just because we didnt really find any color. He needs to see to believe and he was disappointed we didn't really find anything. The biggest problem with working it would be getting any supplies out there. It was one of the hardest walks we ever did and even with a helicopter there would be very few places it could drop stuff at.
 

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ProspectorALEX

ProspectorALEX

Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2013
292
184
Clam Gulch, AK
Detector(s) used
Whites GMT E-series
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
We did a little picking at crevices and prying up bedrock and we didnt really get anything. However, most of the crevices we could get to were the same direction as the water flow so it kinda made sense that they didnt have much.
 

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