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Posted: 5/21/2005 1:33:19 PM EDT
Whew, what a way to end the year! The other day, I noticed that a grating near an on-campus construction site had been moved. I peered down and noticed a ladder; I checked and discovered that the grate was still unlocked! Later that night, myself and four others ventured down into the “tunnels” underneath Gustavus Adolphus College. We proceeded about 300 feet in the direction of our dorm, and the tunnel became increasingly hotter. As we approached the “physical plant” some of the guys were getting anxious so we headed back and left via the ladder. We were all psyched about finally entering the tunnels. I would find out that the tunnels actually were built for students to travel from building to building! So almost every building on campus is connected! Unfortunately, the tunnels were closed to the students and converted to maintenance tunnels complete with giant steam pipes. They are about 6’ 3” tall and 5’ wide, although about half the space is taken up with piping. The following night two “hardcore” individuals and I were going to explore all of campus and complete a map. However, when we reached the opening, the grate was unlocked but the ladder was gone. We were all pretty bummed out, but we had finals the next morning so we were eager to hit the hay.

May 21, 2005 – The exploration begins.
Ok, I finished my organic chemistry final this morning and was in an adventurous mood. Some of my buddies had checked the grate and there still was no ladder; however, as we had always ventured out at night, we failed to notice a screw in the shaft that we could use as a foothold. My friend pointed it out and said that he had tried it with success; however he did end up dropping his textbook down the 10-foot hole. So we decided ‘what the fuck’ and went exploring. With the excuse that we were just trying to rescue his book we decided to go. We grabbed a maglight and an improvised rope made from a towel. My friend informed me that there was a closed door at the bottom of the hole this time. I held the grate for him and waited for his signal to come down. He said the door was unlocked and I threw down the backpack full of supplies and started the climb. Once down we discovered that the door was actually locked from the other side. However we managed to unlock it with some work with the maglight. Now we simply followed the right side wall. We headed down toward the administration building, and looked up through a grate nearby. We had to be quite when under the grates because we didn’t want anyone to know we were down there (duh). We passed by the entrance to Uhler (my dorm next year) and noticed that someone had installed a metal gate and padlock. Looks like we won’t be getting in there. We continued the journey and could feel the tunnel going deeper. Eventually we came under another grating by North Hall, and found another one near Sorenson Hall. Both of the entrances to the dorms were sealed in a manner similar to Uhler. We doubled back passing Uhler and at the ‘T’ intersection where we had turned before, we again turned right. We were traveling north towards coed (dorm). This part got a little freaky as there were absolutely no lights and it kept getting hotter and hotter. As we kept going there were numbers written on the wall which kept counting down (feet?). Eventually we passed a grate and were able to get some fresh air. We realized that we were right in front of coed. Again the door was locked, but we could see into the maintenance room for the dorm. So we had explored all of the tunnels north of our entrance point. As we were having a blast, we decided to keep exploring. At this time, we had been underground for about 35 minutes. We passed the entrance point and proceeded down the way we had gone two days earlier. The entrance to the building under construction (old main) was open so we walked in. There were lots of expensive tools we checked out as well as the building designs in the basement. Further exploration of old main was halted due to a still-wet cement floor. Continuing along, we passed the chapel basement, noticing that the door was unlocked. However to get to the door we would have had to crawled through some steam pipes so we passed on that. We did decide that it would be a good SHTF exit if say a construction worker saw us. The tunnel became increasingly hot as we proceeded (upwards of 1000). There were alcoves full of old chairs, tires, timecards, schedules, and tools. As we approached the door to the physical plant building, we made note that this was where we had turned back earlier. I slowly opened the door to the building and was blasted with fresh air, sunlight, and the noise of machinery. We proceeded into the boiler room and *click* the door locked behind us. Our only two exits that we knew of were just sealed off. We kept our heads cool and figured that the buildings exits would still be open from the inside. Unfortunately, the other door to the tunnel was also locked. So, a little disappointed, we high-tailed it out from the building and inspected all the grates we looked up out of.

There are supposed to be 5-miles of tunnels under the campus. On our way back to the dorm we talked to a guy on our floor who had apparently explored the tunnels before. He said some upperclassmen had mapped out the tunnels just like we were going to do. Apparently the way they enter the underground is by using climbing equipment to repel into the physical plant building and proceeding from there.

Just thought I would share my little adventure.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:37:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:39:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TREETOP:
Sweet.
I've always been interested in Urban Exploration, it's wild the stuff that can be found right under our noses sometimes.



You should check out these guys: Action Squad
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:40:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:43:08 PM EDT


We grabbed a maglightand an improvised rope made from a towel. My friend informed me that there was a closed door at the bottom of the hole this time.



I'm ashamed of you Khanfire.............

<­BR>





For using a maglight ! Get yourself a surefire!



Ben
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:43:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 1:44:28 PM EDT by thompsondd]
Read about the tunnels under the United States Air Force Academy:
www.usafatoday.com/Folklore/modules/news/article.php?storyid=199

Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:46:03 PM EDT
You missed a chance to leave some really creepy looking footprints in the wet cement down in the tunnel. A legend would have been born that night.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:37:54 PM EDT
There are tons of tunnels under and around DT. Mpls they used to use these for among outher things funneling water from the Mississippi river into the flower mills around the turn of the century. If you know where to look you can find alot of the original structures. There are also enterance points from the river depending on the water level you may be able to get a small craft in there, otherwise a slight dip would get you in. I know people live in there as there is a access door that is about 11/2 ft x3 ft that is sometimes left open with lots of trash around it. In wy younger days we used to check out alot of those kind of things like the Schmidt and Lilidale caves before all the asshats thought it was a good idea to light fires in sandstone caves.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:51:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KhanFire:

You should check out these guys: Action Squad



coolest website ever.
I've heard rumors about a tunnel network underneath Tucson I might have to go look for it
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:57:09 PM EDT
there are tunnels under St Mary's College and the University of Notre Dame--they have steam pipes and other such physical plant stuff

when i was there 15 years ago (sheesh), the tunnels at ND were not open to students, but you could tell where they are during the winter, because they warm the surface and the snow melts

the tunnels at SMC were for use of students to get to and from classes and dorms during bad weather, at night for safety and for tornado shelters--ive been told they have been since closed to student use, which is a shame because they are painted, in some areas, with really neat student made murals
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:58:18 PM EDT
not trying to troll or anything, but I seriously do not reccomend underground excursions into your campus's infrastructure without prior consent; three guys at UT got picked up the early part of fall for "endangering the critical infrastructure of the campus" for merely going through the sewer tunnels underneath campus which link with some of the campus power grid.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:58:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:

Originally Posted By KhanFire:

You should check out these guys: Action Squad



coolest website ever.
I've heard rumors about a tunnel network underneath Tucson I might have to go look for it



Yup, it's called the sewer.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 3:04:17 PM EDT
On the local PBS station KCET-Los Angeles, Howell Hauser did a walking tour of the tunnels that is underneth UCLA, there is an extensive network under the college and it goes a long, long way. But unfortunately they didn't tell the audience how to gain acess to them.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 3:19:35 PM EDT
SUNY Buffalo had a nice network of tunnels under the old campus. We spent a night down there exploring.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 3:24:32 PM EDT
My college has a nuclear reactor under it. It's been decomisioned and such. But there is this little hut directly over it. We call it the nuclear toilet. My friend took his gigar counter (sp) over to it and in the basement of the building next to it. Apparently it got a little twitchy but nothing to be concerned about.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 3:30:37 PM EDT

Frankly, if they'd send in a video crew to do a professional "tour of the tunnels" that would drastically reduce the desire to "go see what's there" for a lot of the amateur spelunkers.

Our campus has tunnels too (do they all?) and I will neither confirm nor deny that I have ever explored them, as an undergraduate, when we may or may not have found ways in all over campus, and they may or may not have been really neat.

Jim
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 3:33:16 PM EDT
Back when the school I went to was an all girls school, they had tunnels that ran under the quad so the girls could get to a from class without having to go through the rain or snow. Most of the tunnels are now blocked off but there are a few that aren't. When the building next to my dorm was under construction, some friends and I snuck into the site in search of one of the tunnels. We found them and it was pretty cool. We ended up on the other side of the quad.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:18:22 AM EDT

Read about the tunnels under the United States Air Force Academy:


I've been in them several times. Fun on a boring weekend at the zoo. It sounds like most of the cool stuff has been removed though now.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:30:58 AM EDT
Explorering is a blast. I really hate to dampen the spirit but be careful (like I have ever been). Alot of the tunnels that have steam pipes have asbestos insulation covering the pipes. Wet asbestos is ok, dry asbestosos is not so good. Steam is hot so the insulation is very dry. just something to think about.

Texas A&M has miles and Miles of them. We used to work in them from time to time. It was nice eating lunch close to the grates, watching all the girls walk over, especially the ones in dresses
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:36:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Neolock:
Explorering is a blast. I really hate to dampen the spirit but be careful (like I have ever been). Alot of the tunnels that have steam pipes have asbestos insulation covering the pipes. Wet asbestos is ok, dry asbestosos is not so good. Steam is hot so the insulation is very dry. just something to think about.


Asbestos is perfectly fine as a long is it in a wall on a pipe. As along as you don't break that stuff and get it airborne, it should be safe. Now, if you start cutting that stuff to take it out of the wall, then everything is different.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:36:26 AM EDT
There is a book about the tunnels under Mich State University. I read it a million years ago but can't remember the name. "Dungeon Master" I think.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:45:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:53:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:54:43 AM EDT
All our tunnels had motion detectors and alarms in them.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 10:18:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 10:19:59 AM EDT by A_Free_Man]
Don't forget supplies and equipment. Big maglite with extra batteries. Cyalume sticks. Bolt cutters. I prefer the fiberglass handle type, much lighter. Water. Candy bars, or better, a big bag of M&M Peanut (you gotcher peanuts for protein, gotcher chocolate for energy, all in one neat no mess package!).
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