The river near our house almost never freezes, but a week of really cold weather and no wind allowed a glass smooth half inch thick layer of ice to form along the banks of the river. Down the central channel there was a clear area bout 30' wide.
I paddled down stream for about a mile and could hear the ice creaking and breaking from the displacement wake of the boat but did not think about it. When I turned around I found that my passage had broken up the ice, and the once clear channel was now full of floating ice being carried down stream by the current.
Heading back upstream against the flow of the ice chunks was one of the hardest paddles I have ever encountered. Between ice chunks building up under the boat, and my paddle catching on large pieces of ice I was seriously thinking about hopping out and portaging back across country. I finally did make it back to my take out spot.
It was a very warm day, (56) and I briefly though about not fully gearing up as I only intended to be out for several hours.
I am glad that I was dressed for immersion (dry suit) as a quick afternoon paddle could have turned out much differently.
URCHIN Portable Anchor
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
|Table of Contents|
|Messages in this Topic|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Dec-01-13 7:21 PM (EST)
The rule for paddling alone in ice|
Posted by: davejjj on Dec-01-13 8:03 PM (EST)
1. Gear up so you don't embarrass yourself.
Pretty hard paddling|
Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-01-13 9:20 PM (EST)
and hard on the boat playing icebreaker. We have not yet done that this year. Last year it took half an hour to get 150 feet to open water. Paddle hard in what you have opened..slide on top of ice and let the weight of the boat and you crack the ice. Back off. Repeat.
Imagine that |
Posted by: rpg51 on Dec-01-13 9:26 PM (EST)
you have been out all summer and you have to get to your destination in a week but all of a sudden you can feel winter closing in and your out of food and you start to worry. Ugh.
Be careful of wind on lakes|
Posted by: WaterBird on Dec-01-13 11:34 PM (EST)
It happened to me once that a very slight breeze closed a passage behind me. I didn't even realize it was happening because the wind was so light. A danger in late fall when the ice is forming in pieces that drift easily.
Not for me . . . |
Posted by: mr_canoehead on Dec-02-13 4:43 AM (EST)
I've paddled in and around ice plenty, but I have come to the conclusion that for me, the risk vs reward equation never favours mixing ice with strong current.
Beware the Bergy Bits
Posted by: eckilson on Dec-03-13 4:01 AM (EST)
They can make for tough paddling. Ive only had a problem once on the Jeremy River in CT. It was a warm day after a prolonged cold snap. Snowmelt brought the river up nicely, which is why we were there, but the warm temps and the rising water broke up the ice upstream. Big chucks came floating down like mini icebergs. They collected in a large ice dam behind a dam that we needed to portage making the takeout a little tricky. The ice dam shifted repeatedly as more ice piled up behind it.
My scary experience|
Posted by: rblturtle on Dec-03-13 6:27 AM (EST)
I was once paddling a slow creek in early spring just after iceout. When paddling in open water with no indication of it being there,I suddenly ran up on a submirged shelf of ice almost dumping.What made it so scary,was that it came when I had no hint of it's presence. I thanked God I was wearing my drysuit and added it to my reasons for being prepared for thr unexpected.
Drysuit and more|
Posted by: Jaybabina on Dec-03-13 10:36 AM (EST)
You can never be to prepared especially this time of year.