Rockhounding week

Guest Author
Rockhounding is the recreational collecting of rocks and/or mineral specimens from their natural environment and this is one of my hobbies.

Recently, I spent a few days collecting crystals with a friend, in the Oisans mountains,1 hour drive from Grenoble.
This time, I took a camera with me in addition to the standard heavy-weight equipment: mountainieering equipment (harness, rope, ice axe, helmet etc) and rock breakers tools (sledge hammers, stone chisels, shovel, pickaxe, drinks ...).

Early in the morning, we began to do some "gardening", and started to work on a quartz crack looking for crystals.

Crystals are deep inside the crack and as usual quite difficult to extract.

Quartz in place covered with dirt. Cleaning required when we are back home!

Here is the working area after significant efforts:

When rocks resist manual tools, let's speed up the work with a gas hammer drill.

The tactic here is to drill holes, then use driving wedges along with a hammer to break the rock. Here is the typical sequence: First, drill a hole with a specified diametre, insert driving wedges edges,

insert chisel

then hit.

Here is the result.

I'll show you what we've collected in a next post as cleaning is in progress.

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