Traveling back to the outskirts of Tecopa, CA to spend my third year exploring the Shoshone Mines at Underground 2018.

A large portion of Furnace Creek Rd from China Ranch all the way to the turnoff that lead up to the event was closed…

…but that didn’t seem to stop most of the attendees from getting there.

This was the third year in a row that I attended the event.

Since this years event was expected to be larger than ever before, my friends and I decided to show up on Wednesday instead of Thursday like we did the previous two years.

Prior events allowed attendees to choose where they wanted to set up camp, but at this years event all camping sites were assigned once you arrived.

We got lucky and were assigned to a nice little corner of the War Eagle dump. It was off the beaten path and came with some of the nicest neighbors around.

My view during the five days I was there was sublime and unobstructed by other nearby camps.

I woke up early the next morning like I usually do so I could hike up the hill above camp and capture the sunset. That small orange pop of color in the middle of the shot is my tent.

Thank God for the 4 porta-potties at the event. They not only provided everyone a nice private place to do their business but also were one of the only places I could get a cell phone signal.

My friends and I thought it would be a good idea to pull out our gear and do a little practice run before heading into the mines.

Both Cole from Great Basin Explorers and Xavier from Abandoned Mine Explorers were part of my camp at last year’s event.

Even though our ages are separated by many years, all of us are about at the same level technically, share the same twisted sense of humor and love exploring abandoned mines.

Time to head into the War Eagle Mine.

Maps to most of the main mines in the area were on display as you entered.

A topo also helped explorers map out their weekend.

We decided to explore the lower levels of the War Eagle Mine.

We made frequent stops along the way to document our time underground.

Looking down the eastern winze of the War Eagle Mine, where we would be accessing many of the lower levels that we planned to explore.

Checking out a collapsed section of one of the lower levels.

Got wood?

Pick tricks deep underground.

Some interesting rocks found within the lower section of the War Eagle Mine.

On the following morning I was greeted by a familiar face.

It was my friend Grant over @glow_wonders and his dog Lucky who I met the year before while attending Underground 2017.

One of my favorite moments from this year’s event was attending a workshop about mine safety, proper gear, and the correct way to rappel and ascend using rope. Even those with experience learned something new.

After our nice little refresher course, we set off to practice what we had just learned.

Cole rappelling into one of the lower sections of the War Eagle Mine.

Let’s do this!

We ran into this guy on our way down to our next challenge…

…a rappel into a 50-foot pit.

Getting back up is always the hardest part.

After a long day of exploring, we headed back to our little corner of the camp for some much needed food and drinks.

We began the next day by making our way up and out through the Grant’s massive inclined shaft.

Taking our time to enjoy the view before making our way over to the Noonday Mine.

Noonday Posers

Heading down the rear winze ladders of the Noonday Mine.

It was a long way down.

Our friends Sam and Ian check out some of the lower workings of the Noonday Mine.

After a long search, we finally made it to the spot where we would be rappelling 100 feet down in order to reconnect with the War Eagle Mine.

The first 50 feet of the rappel was down an incline while the second 50-foot section was down a vertical shaft. We had a blast and thanks to the experience of Xavier and Ian, we all made it down safely.

During Saturday night’s raffle and bonfire, many of the people in our camp won prizes, including myself.

We had a great time at this year’s event but some of us were a little tired after all of the exploring we did. Goodnight Xavier. Check out our trip to Underground 2016 to see how we spent our time during our first year at the event and follow the Underground Explorers on FB to learn about future Underground events.