Moving rocks at the Golden Optimist

The following series of pictures are from a video tape taken at the Golden Optimist during the fall of 1996 on moving rocks. The pictures are in a series of 3 per page to allow reasonable download times. There are 12 in all. Happy viewing! 

  Gold dredging is just a fancy way to say "moving rocks". If you are dredging in a place that doesn't have any rocks, there probably isn't any gold either. Gold is so heavy that it likes to hang out around big rocks. The bigger the rocks, the bigger the gold. This means that the big rocks may have to be moved to safely get to the gold. This takes special equipment. 


My trusty come-along

For manually moving rocks the most economical approach is a hand operated come-along. This particular one costs about $40. and "they" say it will dead lift 4,000 pounds and drag 8,000 pounds. My experience with this particular model is that a 4,000 pound dead lift would take a lot bigger gorilla pulling on the handle than what I am. Maybe if I drink more beer??????

Many hands make light work

  The easiest way to move a large rock is have plenty of willing help. It is always more fun and safer to work with a group of prospectors anyway. This makes extra hands available when required. Here a group of prospectors make easy work of moving a small rock using a come-along, a large steel pry bar, and plain old hand power. Notice the "lack" of rocks. By the earlier presented theory of "lots of rocks, lots of gold", I ought to be rich. Most of the rocks in the foreground have been moved at least once. It seems like all the good planning in the world isn't enough to prevent re-moving rocks. All the good gold seems to be under rocks that you have already moved at least once.

There has to be some big gold under this

  Here preparations are being made to move a large rock. Gravel has been dredged from around the rock and a rope has been looped around the rock. When moving something this large, it will be easier to roll it rather than drag it. The hardware being used is the come-along pictured earlier, a length of 1/2" poly rope, and a 25' section of steel cable connected between a solid rock or tree to pull against with the come-along. Poly rope stretches to much to use for anything other than connections. When looping cable or rope around a tree, be sure to place something between the cable and the tree to protect the tree. Several 3' to 4' sections of the 1/2' poly ropes with eyes woven in them are also handy to have to interconnect the whole mess. I also have about a half a dozen 3/8" chain spliceing links to connect the eyes together. There is one just to your left of my left hand. I'll have a better picture of one further down the rock moving section. Weaving the eyes is a technique that is easy to learn but hard to describe. Come to one of our Gold Prospectors of the Rockies club meetings or go prospecting with me and I can teach you how in about 15 minutes. These are used to interconnect the different ropes, come-along, and cables.

Moving Rocks (page 2)

Return to Menu