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Denver Symposium and Field Trip

Last Updated: 2nd Oct 2011

Denver Symposium and Field Trip



Last month I was fortunate enough to be invited to talk at a symposium in Denver about Russian Mineralogy. Here is a quick photo-report from the symposium and the fieldtrip that the invited speakers went on afterwards.

The Symposium was held by the Colorado Chapter of Friends of Mineralogy, the Colorado School of Mines Museum and the Denver Gem and Mineral Show. It was held in the Colorado School of Mines on a beautiful September Saturday.


The School of Mines



Some of the attendees


Igor Pekov from Moscow, Russia gave two talks, one was on the unusual iodide mineralization at the Rubtsovskoe deposit in Russia.


Igor giving his presentation.


Peter Modreski gave a talk entitled "A Comparison of Kola Peninsula Mineral Localities to those of North America"


Peter Modreski's presentation


John Watson talked about Anatoly Skrigitil, a Russian mineral collector and dealer who went missing (presumed dead) in suspicious circumstances in 1999


John Watson presenting


I gave two presentations.


Mineral Museums of Moscow



Russian Mineral Classification Systems


After the conference we went on four days of field trip.


Driving away from Denver



First stop, Turkey Creek Canyon, Jefferson County.



Where we collected Sillimanite



Driving into the mountains


We took a group photo, left to right: Igor Pekov, Anna Turchkova, Claudia Watson, Pete Modreski, John Watson and myself


Group photo with the collegiate peaks in the background.



11,312 feet (3.4km) up


First collecting stop was the Powerhorn carbonatite, near Gunnison.


A hill made of carbonatite



Perovskite crystals to 1cm were found in this roadcut



Igor makes a new friend



Igor's friend


The next day we head east to the Pike's Peak batholith, where we have permission to visit the Smoky Hawk amazonite claim.


Digging on the claim



Amazonite


After a successful day in the Lake George area, we head off towards Cripple Creek.


As dusk arises, the scenery is even more beautiful



There's a pot of gold (tellurides) at the end of the rainbow


Next day, we arrive in the town of Victor ready for our tour of the Cripple Creek gold mine.


Mostly not much happens in Victor.



Telluride specimen in the company office display.


Before we were allowed in the gold mine, we were given a safety briefing and a brief geological guide to the deposit.


Map of the underground workings at Cripple Creek



Ally, company geologist and our guide for the day.



The mine workings are huge



We didn't find any tellurides, but the visit was great



One of the many abandoned underground gold mines in the area, now right at the edge of the open pit.


For the final day, four of us (Pete Modreski, Igor, Anna and myself) went to South Platte, a famous pegmatite region.


"... but it had positive reviews in Tripadvisor"



Sense of achievement after clibming up a hill



Walking towards the White Cloud pegmatite workings



The quarry was worked for feldspar and quartz, but is especially rich in REE minerals



We sit on a pile of slightly radioactive rocks drinking vodka from a Mindat.org flask.



Lots of REE rich rocks. These specimens are rich in Synchysite and possibly Gadolinite


Straight after collecting, we drove back to Colorado to attend the annual open-night at the Colorado School of Mines museum.


The Museum entrance



Museum director Bruce Geller thanks people for attending



On loan to the museum, this incredible Rhodochrosite from China



Kerith Graeber with her display of Minerals from Mexico at the museum



Live music



Visitors enjoy the displays



Colorado minerals



Super rhodochrosite



From slightly farther afield, a caledonite from Arizona



From slightly farther afield still, a piece of moon rock on loan from NASA






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Comments

Looks like you had a good time with everything! Too bad that the field trips were limited to the speakers, I'm sure that quite a few attending the symposium would have loved to join in. I was actually looking into collecting at your first collecting location since schorlomite is listed from there, I wasn't just sure if the area was still accessible since a large part of the Powerhorn White Earth district is within the Powerhorn Wilderness Area where no collecting is allowed.

James Pool
2nd Oct 2011 1:35pm
Excellent report as always Jolyon, and great sense of humour in the captions! Do you by any chance know if they are planning to make the speakers' presentations available online for those who couldn't make it to the syposium?

David Parfitt
2nd Oct 2011 8:45pm
James,
I would like to know where you found out that there is no mineral collecting allowed in the Powderhorn Wilderness Area. You are allowed to collect on any wilderness area as long as there is no special prohibition that is listed in the Forest Service or BLM plan for the area. 75% of the wilderness area is on USFS land and the remainder on BLM land. Strangely enough non of the links for the forest service plan work and I can't find anything on the BLM websites.
Thanks,
Jim

Jim Gawura
7th Oct 2011 4:23am

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