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Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

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Don Monnot
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Re: Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

Postby Don Monnot » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:53 pm

Laughingman,

My point was that if you're going out on potentially unsafe ice, is it still really unsafe if you're wearing gear designed for ice-cold water? I stay toasty warm in my drysuit, mittens, booties and cold water hood for hours when the water temp is 1 or 2 degrees C. There's no shock when you hit the water (which I did yesterday many times in open water that was just a few degrees C).

Now if you're going out on potentially unsafe ice wearing clothes, that would be in the category of suicide. Not a good idea.

I've ridden on thick, safe ice that had lots of deep puddles on the ice from melted snow. I used skis, and it was tons of fun. When I hit deeper puddles, it was obvious that the skis were not touching the ice anymore, but riding just on the water. A friend has done that with a snowboard, and also had a great time. He said that with a snowboard, with bigger surface area, he'd plane out on the water puddles at a much slower speed. His only problem was that his feet got cold.

Don

Don Monnot
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Re: Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

Postby Don Monnot » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:53 pm

Laughingman,

My point was that if you're going out on potentially unsafe ice, is it still really unsafe if you're wearing gear designed for ice-cold water? I stay toasty warm in my drysuit, mittens, booties and cold water hood for hours when the water temp is 1 or 2 degrees C. There's no shock when you hit the water (which I did yesterday many times in open water that was just a few degrees C).

Now if you're going out on potentially unsafe ice wearing clothes, that would be in the category of suicide. Not a good idea.

I've ridden on thick, safe ice that had lots of deep puddles on the ice from melted snow. I used skis, and it was tons of fun. When I hit deeper puddles, it was obvious that the skis were not touching the ice anymore, but riding just on the water. A friend has done that with a snowboard, and also had a great time. He said that with a snowboard, with bigger surface area, he'd plane out on the water puddles at a much slower speed. His only problem was that his feet got cold.

Don

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Re: Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

Postby frankm1960 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:40 pm

RickI wrote:Just brought an old thread up on this topic, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2297761&p=643567#p643567 . What do you look for in deciding when to stay off the ice? Also, what precautions do you take on the ice earlier in the season before the melt?
What I look for in determining if the ice is safe enough for me is pickups, fishing shacks, snow machines and atv's. If any of them are not on the ice then I'm not on the ice :) Very simple method.
I don't know how those folks determine if the ice is safe or not, I think they just drill a hole in it.

Oh, and I don't do any down winders until the ice road is in. The ice road goes from the main land to the kingston penisula and is about 2km long and is maintained by the government as far as I know.

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Re: Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

Postby RickI » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:25 am

Thanks, it makes sense. I scanned the info regarding the original accident and didn't realize that there had been so many days of warm weather prior to the guys breaking through. It does come down to awareness and common sense. Still, when you consider how many through ice accidents there seems to be each year, such awareness may be lacking.

Just found the following on the subject:

"Lakes and ponds do not freeze, or thaw, at the same rate and speed.
If something is sticking up from the ice, it will retain heat and melt a hole weakening the ice.
Travel slowly, as the speed of your vehicle can crack the ice and cause under water currents.
Single, unbroken pressure cracks are safer than smaller spider cracks. Walk slowly and carefully if you must be on the ice. The darker the ice, the more water content.
When there is moving water the water flows under the ice at a constant temperature, melting the underlying layer of ice.
Do not walk in a group as this might be too much weight.
Daredevils, show offs and speed demons bother other users, and cause a hazard, as well as underwater currents that jostle the ice.
If the ice look smooth, it may have thawed and frozen over night. It is more of a danger."
From: http://mymuskoka.blogspot.com/2009/03/a ... appen.html


Another article on possible thicknesses for various activities
http://www.lakesilkworth.org/safety/ice ... upport.htm

Going through the ice isn't a common problem in SE Florida. When I'm in the mountains, I try real hard to have subfreezing temperatures for a good portion of the trip. So, as a rule, ice integrity doesn't come into my musings. Sorry for the warmer clime perspective. Still, we have idiots racing through out of bounds guarded areas, knowing better, wonder how many people suffer lapses on the ice over time.

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Re: Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

Postby klimber » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:46 am

pdkite wrote:
well when it's 18 degrees celsius out for the 5th day in a row, the ice fishers are not out, the park rangers tell you the ice is not safe, maybe placing a sign that says, "ICE NOT SAFE DUMBASSES" would really help.
It would have to be a really big sign and above it would have to say "FREE BEER - Details below"
other wise after a few bottles of malted courage and riding a snowmobile that has a larger CC engine than some cars they will still head out there - seems like we get at least one per lake around SE wisconsin

if I have my story straight, there are some regulations for certain lakes in WI that any ATV travel on them in the winter you are required to have floats mounted - if you thought the OR GO-JO looked funny, check out an ATV with water wings!!

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Re: Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

Postby Laughingman » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:42 pm

Hey Don

I was not really directing that post at you, more expressing my opinion of the guys that fell through.
What your talking about is still a bit crazy, but so are many other things... but with proper planning and precautions you can balance and reduce the risk a bit, although I am sure there is no way you could stave off a rescue attempt if someone saw you fall through the ice, who knows your suit could fail and you may not be so well off as you think you could be. So even though you did not require a rescue, you could still do damage to your local kite community by attempting this sort of thing....

Cheers

Pete



Don Monnot wrote:Laughingman,

My point was that if you're going out on potentially unsafe ice, is it still really unsafe if you're wearing gear designed for ice-cold water? I stay toasty warm in my drysuit, mittens, booties and cold water hood for hours when the water temp is 1 or 2 degrees C. There's no shock when you hit the water (which I did yesterday many times in open water that was just a few degrees C).

Now if you're going out on potentially unsafe ice wearing clothes, that would be in the category of suicide. Not a good idea.

I've ridden on thick, safe ice that had lots of deep puddles on the ice from melted snow. I used skis, and it was tons of fun. When I hit deeper puddles, it was obvious that the skis were not touching the ice anymore, but riding just on the water. A friend has done that with a snowboard, and also had a great time. He said that with a snowboard, with bigger surface area, he'd plane out on the water puddles at a much slower speed. His only problem was that his feet got cold.

Don

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klimber
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Re: Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

Postby klimber » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:06 pm

There can be the issue of the kind hearted stranger thinking they are helping when it is not necessary. You may be fully prepared but they aren't gunna know that when they see you floating out there.

I was once snow kiting in a field and had parked my foil kite (big ol 12M ranger) and was sitting there when a sherriff pulls up and asked if I was OK. someone had called in that a parachuter was seen landing in a field and needed rescue. to whomever called it in I will give them the credit that 5 miles away is a known popular airfield for parchuters.

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Re: Spring melt is coming, four kiters go through ice

Postby foam-n-fibre » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:10 am

Just to put this in perspective, I'm not right where it happened, but about 4 or 5 hours away in an area that is probably colder. While some areas of the eastern US might have experienced a cold snowy winter, it was not the case in these parts. Our winter started slow, and we never got the usual cold snaps. Here in Ottawa our coldest night was about 10C warmer than the usual coldest overnight low (-24 vs -34 at my place). We have been off the ice here for over a month since it was looking bad (areas wuith current where we don't ride opened up big and early, and fishermen's trucks were going through a lot).

And yes, not only has it been above normal most of the winter, but the temperatures were very warm all week, in the mid teens (50 to 60F). It is absolutely incredibly unbelievable that anyone would have chosen to head out on the ice in those conditions. I even saw a thing on the news from that area about 3 weeks prior with fisherman scrambling to get their huts off the ice due to the early unprecedented thaw.

The only way to possiby prepare for the level of risk these guys were taken is to wear a drysuit and flotation. Sure hindsight is 20/20, but this should have been a no-brainer before too. Anyone know if these guys were wearing flotation? I can't imagine treading water in ski clothing and boot for very long.

Where we ride we drill holes to keep an eye on things in the early season, and are able to ride only over shallow water in the marginal conditions, but still, there comes a point way before what these guys did where you say no-way.

Peter


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