January 30/09

Posted on 30. Jan, 2009 by Greg Mossfeldt

  1. John Weisbrich, Terry Forsyth and myself were out on the ice early this morning and were met with wind forces providing more than enough resistance.

We arrived up to the lake and proceeded with the tasking process of transporting our ice diving gear to the ice edge beofre carrying out out to our entry point. On the way we observed some very interesting ice formations where the pressure had heaved layers of the ice near the shore to buckle and form V-formations. One was able to hunch over and crawl underneath these formations which provided for very interesting imaging.

To begin Terry and I entered the buckled ice structure while John took applied his artistic skill and imaged us with our pointy hats and then it was his turn to donn the cone.

While we were under the ice on our dive we heard a lot of stress and fracturing throughout the water column and thought it must be one of us? We all checked each other over while wondering what was happening but could see our surroundings and persons were unaffected.

When trekked back to shore after the dive the structure we had just been under had collapsed. This structure was and accumulating of hundreds of pounds and would have made postage stamps out of us if we were unfortunate enough to be under it when it did give way. There are pics on the site where one is able to see us under the structure and also what it appeared to be when it collapsed.

Other than this exciting incident we were met with wind forces gusting so violently that we were exercising all of our core strength to keep upright. If any items were placed on the surface lighter than a tank it was skimming across the ice with one of us in hot pursuit.

I placed my neoprene Ikelite cover from my new 8" port on the ice to take a picture sure enough it was blown to neverland. John made a legendary run with his dog sled and caught the cover about two hundred yards away. He set it down for momentarily and off into the wind it went again. Foiled on this twice John secured the item appropriately so he would not be bitten again. John definitely received his cardiovascular work out for the day.

Then we observed Terrys snow shovel skate the distance so he just let it go and picked it up later while using his vehicle to take him to it.

When we were gathered around the ice opening there was always a danger if one got to close. It would have been easy to be pushed right into the water so the awareness was heightened on that.

We made an indention on our ice triangle so it appeared as an arrow type shapeone is able to see in the images. We did this so one was able to back into the square cut on the triangle and push up to get out of the water. It had been mentioned by a previous group that it was easy to pull the blocks up on the surface. Now I know why we dont pull the blocks up on the surface as they freeze very quickly to the ice surface even before one is able to get them under wood.

The thickness of the ice was unreal, it was thicker than I had ever seen it at Minnewanka and was pushing over two feet. We took two gasoline fills on the chain saw to complete the job.

Once the triangle cutting logistics were filled I jumped in the water to push some ice under and my right hand became very wet and quickly. I thought about a pesky connection and then recalled a similar situation two weeks ago while out in the water. Well low and behold the entire cuff was snapped so no wonder I was leaking on this dry glove. Luckily Terry had a couple of pairs of wet gloves so I went with one dry and one wet. I had to turn the dive at thirty minutes for the lack of dexterity in the hand with the wet glove but the other hand that was dry was quite comfortable.

Terry is coaching an ice diving course in February so one of our goals was to find the pilings so he would have an idea for the course. We didn't really need a GPS for this as we have been diving the area for some time and had a pretty good idea where the location was just by triangulating surface points. As it turns out we were maybe fifty feet off our desired location but we know exactly where the optimal place is for Terry to cut his hole for the course now. Despite the wind and all the work cutting the hole I had a great time with the guys and was able to try out my new photo stuff that Charlene brought in for me.

After the diving it was off to Craigs as per usual for the tasty comfort food we are now so familiar with.