Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ice Diving with Dive Addicts at Deer Creek Reservoir

This past Saturday, we spent the better part of the day ice diving at Deer Creek Reservoir in Utah.  With air temperature of around 23 degrees fahrenheit and water temperature at approximately 36 degrees, this kind of diving is really only for the hardiest divers!  In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn't actually dive, but was there to provide surface support and snap a few pictures!  (too stikin' cold for me!)

The four divers were Josh Thornton, Michael Thornton, Mike Nygard and Rich Cherian.  We left Dive Addicts about 8:15 AM and got up to Deer Creek about 9:00 AM.  It took us about 45 mins. to cut the hole in the ice and then we had to struggle a little bit to get the triangular piece of ice pushed underneath one side so that we could get the divers in the water.
We split the divers into two teams so we always had 3 surface support while there were two divers in the water.  One of the surface support was always geared up and ready to splash if there was a problem that required his help.  Both divers were tethered together with a climbing rope that was anchored to 3 points of the triangular opening using ice climbing screws and carabineers.

The set up for the dive is the hard part.  Hauling out all of the gear on sleds, marking the spot, drilling three holes in the ice with an ice auger, cutting the ice with a chain saw and then finishing off with a lumberjack hand saw with lead weights on the end that sticks in the water, moving the ice slab out of the way, anchoring the ropes, gearing up the divers, helping them into the water took approximately 3 1/2 hours before the first dive even started!

The dive profiles were approximately 110 feet deep for 29 mins.  At an altitude of approximately 6500 feet,  under the ice, this is a fairly serious dive!

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