Tools of the powderman's trade awaited at the top of the stair climb. The earliest years of the mine had the work done with picks and shovels. About three feet of tunnel could be dug in a day. When blasting techniques were used to free the ore, that number rose from three feet to twenty feet. The danger factor increased exponentially. Imagine being the one sent back to check to see if all of the fuses had burned. If they had, you got to live to report it. If they hadn't, a slow-burning fuse in its last quarter-inch might be the last thing you saw.