Video TR from an ice skate trip to Evolution this November

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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John Dittli
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Re: Video TR from an ice skate trip to Evolution this November

Post by John Dittli » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:09 am

East Side Hiker wrote:A truly amazing video. My friend in Minnesota, whose farm abuts the Red River, skates the Red River for miles and miles, maybe +/- a 100 miles.
Thank you. I'll probably never get it together to do so, but skating some long rivers has been a dream of mine. So far just the Tuolumne thru the Meadows and its Lyell Fork; short but spectacular.


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Re: Video TR from an ice skate trip to Evolution this November

Post by John Dittli » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:33 am

sierraholic wrote:How do you know if the ice is thick enough on the other side of the lake from where you start, or in the middle for that matter (I saw the rock throwing, but that only tells you right where you are trying to enter)?
The rock throwing was mostly for the camera, we actually HATE when people throw rocks on the ice as if the don't go through (which is most of the time) they freeze into the ice making serious hazards.

Ice thickness is an important factor and there are many clues that one learns over the years. When I first started skating I wouldn't venture on to anything less than 4-5 inches, thought not recommended, I have now skated on 1.5...

When we first approach the ice we look for tell tale signs like expansion cracks and bubbles, the give a very accurate indication of thickness. Is the ice a consistant surface across the entire lake, if so, it probably "went off" all at once and will be very consistant in thickness. If there are seams or variable surfaces we look at those too. We measure ice thickness with an ice screw as seen in the video. We do a somewhat careful skate of the lake looking for weaknesses. We carry self rescue equipment and dry cloths on shore (except when skating with full packs).

Even so, we all have gone in for one reason or another- skating too close to rocks, open water, thin ice near shore, etc. After enough skating it comes with the territory. My biggest fear is dunking $4k in camera equipment!
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Video TR from an ice skate trip to Evolution this November

Post by Bluewater » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:43 pm

Wow! This is beautiful, thanks for posting! I also liked your video of skating on 1,000 Island Lake last year. Amazing stuff!

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Re: Video TR from an ice skate trip to Evolution this November

Post by tomba » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Great video. Lots of fun.
John Dittli wrote:When we first approach the ice we look for tell tale signs like expansion cracks and bubbles, the give a very accurate indication of thickness.
You mean that you can see how deep in the ice the bubbles go and how deep the crack reaches, right?
We carry self rescue equipment
What is the equipment?
Even so, we all have gone in for one reason or another- skating too close to rocks, open water, thin ice near shore, etc.
When you fall in deep water, how do you get out? I think that heavy skates can make it hard to stay at the surface. Do you need a partner to lie down on ice (to spread weight) and give you a hand? Does ice crack and expand the cracks as you try to get out, making it hard to get out? If so, how do you deal with this?

What about skating on creeks and rivers? I am afraid that the current may suck one under the ice and carry one downstream under ice too thick to break from below.
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Re: Video TR from an ice skate trip to Evolution this November

Post by PatrickQuin » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:56 pm

Everytime I see you do this it pops my mind grapes!

Seriously jaw dropping, and beautifully inspiring.

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Re: Video TR from an ice skate trip to Evolution this November

Post by John Dittli » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:03 pm

Yes to the bubbles and cracks; they give a good 3D view of clear ice. I think if one were to break through, and go under, in a a fast moving river or deep stream, there are probably "no timeouts left".

The break throughs I've been involved in, the skater breaks through carrying forward momentum. This results with the skater kind of half out of the hole with bruised shins, legs or ribs and wet cloths. A few kicks and you slide onto the ice. Best to keep your weight spread out on the ice until you're back on thick ice.

If you are deeper, say up to your shoulders, you may need to deploy your rescue picks that are around your neck. These allow for a good purchase as you kick your legs to the surface.

To avoid cracking thin ice, you will want to go out the way you came in as you know that ice was supportive. If for some reason you need assistance, your partner will throw you their throw line and help pull you out.

This is the only video I have of "going in", very shallow, but a fall.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql5dLEw3 ... e=youtu.be" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql5dLEw3 ... e=youtu.be[/youtube]
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