Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rockhounding the Lake George Intrusive

We got off to an early start this year.  Although I was somewhat skeptical of the conditions at 8500ft, we drove to Lake George and found the conditions tolerable.  The sunny slopes were fairly dry and thawed, while the north facing slopes had slushy snow in spots and some frost in the ground.  Unfortunately all the places we wanted to go were on the northern side of the hills.  The Lake George Intrusive is part of the Pikes Peak Batholith, a granite pluton that was formed under the earth's crust more than 1 billion years ago.  While crystals can be found throughout the batholith, it is at the intrusive areas that the crystals are most concentrated.  Finding crystals takes time and effort along with experience.  In the early spring, when weather cooperates, Bob and I do most of our prospecting.  We prospect first while the vegetation has died off and is trampled down by the winter's snow.  This time of year makes it easier to find the elusive pegmatites that contain the miarolitic cavities that contain the crystals. We mark promising areas with rock cairns and GPS coordinates. We also go back to our previous year digs and chip away at the edges of the pits to see if we missed anything.

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