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-   -   Yellowknife ice trucking (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=267881)

squonker 09-18-2007 12:21 PM

Yellowknife ice trucking
 
Iíve been in touch with a moderator, hoping that I could put this in ĎRide Reportsí, but unfortunately because my KLR is hibernating October to April, I canít really pretend that this has anything at all to do with adventure riding. It is adventure, however Ė itís just adventure trucking.
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This story takes place February and March each year, when I drive the ice roads from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place><st1:City>Yellowknife</st1:City>, <st1:State>Northwest Territories</st1:State></st1:place>, to the gold and diamond mines along the Tibbett to Contwoyto Winter Road. I havenít seen it, but I gather that thereís a series about the ice road on TV right now. Someone even said it was #1 in the ratings in the <st1:country-region><st1:place>U.S.</st1:place></st1:country-region> Well, I ordered the DVD from The History Channel yesterday, so Iíll be able to check it out soon enough.
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I noticed that many of the threads about <st1:City><st1:place>Yellowknife</st1:place></st1:City> mention the ice road, so I thought Iíd post some pics. I kinda wanted to do a story about one trip, but all my pics are jumbled up in no order whatsoever. I did 21 trips my first season (Diavik, BHP and Lupin), and then either 16 or 19 my second season (<st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Snap</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType>Lake</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, Diavik and BHP).
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I drove the í05 and í06 seasons, but took last year off (as I will do this year) while Iím at school. 2009 I hope to have my own rig, but Iíll be driving again whatever happens. This job has everything I ever wanted in it, other than cheerleaders. I live for this job!
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Ok, Iíve never posted any pics here before so Iíll try a little experiment, and write/post some more soon. A word of warning Ė you might want to wear some warm clothes to read this thread. The very first trip I ever did, when I got to Diavik it was -87c with the windchill. Hold on, Iíll go online and convert that into Farenheit: ok, itís -124F. Thatís no exaggeration. It was cold, believe me!
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Here goes with some pics.

When the ice is really sketchy they slow us right down to 15 or even 10 kmh. We're all paid by the trip, so it really hurts to have to slow down at all. It breaks my heart every time I see one of these signs!
http://www.advrider.com/forums/attac...1&d=1190142767

Some of these loads are massive. I've hauled heavy equipment up there, but they never had to take it apart so it would fit on my trailer! I took this pic just 'cos it was cool, then found out that a writer from Maxin magaazine was riding in this truck. Bastard could have dropped a few of the Maxim girls off at dispatch for the rest of us to take as passenegers!
http://www.advrider.com/forums/attac...1&d=1190142904

And one more for now 'cos I'm still just experementing with uploading pics. Do they need to b bigger? Smaller? I'm only allowed to upload one at a time so it takes a while. This one is pretty self explanatory, I think.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/attac...1&d=1190143029
1202 is diesel fuel. I carried it in 45 gallon drums to the Lupin gold, literally just metres from the Arctic Circle. Who can say they drove big rigs into the circle across frozen lakes?

squonker 09-18-2007 12:32 PM

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Ok, I guess I need to work on actually posting pics into the link...not very computer savvy....

Attachment 134537

Let's see if that worked.

Alright, maybe I have this figured out. Here's one I took of myself at Diavik. I guess it was cold that day too. Believe it or not, I would be allowed to vote wearing this in Canada.
Attachment 134538

squonker 09-18-2007 12:35 PM

Damn it!
 
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Maybe I'm only allowed one pic per post. Here are the three from the first post that didn't appear.

When the ice is really sketchy they slow us right down to 15 or even 10 kmh. We're all paid by the trip, so it really hurts to have to slow down at all. It breaks my heart every time I see one of these signs!

Attachment 134539

squonker 09-18-2007 12:36 PM

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Some of these loads are massive. I've hauled heavy equipment up there, but they never had to take it apart so it would fit on my trailer! I took this pic just 'cos it was cool, then found out that a writer from Maxim magazine was riding in this truck. Bastard could have dropped a few of the Maxim girls off at dispatch for the rest of us to take as passenegers!
Attachment 134540

squonker 09-18-2007 12:38 PM

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And one more for now 'cos I'm still just experementing with uploading pics. Do they need to be bigger? Smaller? I'm only allowed to upload one at a time so it takes a while. This one is pretty self explanatory, I think.

1202 is diesel fuel. I carried it in 45 gallon drums to the Lupin gold mine, literally just metres from the Arctic Circle. Very cool to be able to say that I drove there across frozen lakes.
Attachment 134542

kootenay kid 09-18-2007 04:01 PM

Very crazy job you have there. I would love to try it. I guess you dont shut the trucks off in that kind of weather very often. Keep the pictures coming. Oh and I watched a show on Tv once that explained how if you travel on the ice too fast you create a wave under the ice that will lift the ice up when it hits shore because it has nowhere else to go. Do I have that right?

bg 09-18-2007 04:54 PM

More pictures please. I wish my job was as interesting as yours. :lurk

squonker 09-18-2007 05:22 PM

Not for the faint hearted, this one!
 
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Here's one I didn't show my mum.
Attachment 134574

It went through while they were building the road in '06, and for whatever reason they just left it there until the end of the season.

Kootenay Kid: basically the trucks aren't shut off unless it's say -2c or above. In '05 I didn't shut mine off once. '06 was a short, warm season and there were a few days when I was parked in Yk and it was warm enough to give the girl a rest, but even then my boss wasn't overjoyed at the thought of his machines being started in those temps. I would never shut my truck off unless I was sitting in my home yard, whatever the temp. You don't want to tempt fate out there in the barrens.
As for the wave, I did have this explained accurately to me during orientation one year, but I forget. I tell everyone that the wave you create in front of you will bounce back off the shore and hit itself coming the other way. That's what'll weaken the ice - and it's not you that'll go through, it's buddy behind you. Don't take my word for this, though, it may not be accurate. What I do know is that one winter before I got this job, I was out on another ice road with a buddy, taking pics of the northern lights. There were rigs using the road to haul sand from an island and stockpile it in town for the upcoming construction season. We were in my Honda Civic and I said to buddy, let's sit at the side of the road when the next truck comes past to hear the ice cracking, not really sure whether that was true, either. Holy smokes - I opened my door as the truck came past, and I swear to you know who that we could hear the ice cracking over the sound of the truck. And the wave - it felt like we were lifted up six feet! I expect it was probably only one, but we both just turned to eachother with our jaws on the floor, not saying a word. It's kinda cool though, as you're driving along you can wind down the window and listen to the ice creak as you drive over it. They say it's a good thing, that it means it's flexing.

I have hundreds of pics. Over time I'll get a bunch up. Anyone know how to up my limit of one photograph at a time?

squonker 09-18-2007 05:29 PM

1 0f 4
 
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The next four are from my first trip in '06. Buddy driving the white Western Star here drove off the road in a narrow, tricky section and got himself well and truly stuck. Just what you want at 2am on your first trip of the year when you aren't used to the crazy hours yet. We had a winch truck in the convoy, so Jay tries to haul Don out of his predicament. But no, that truck is stuck fast, carrying an abnormal load to boot.
Attachment 134576

squonker 09-18-2007 05:31 PM

2 of 4
 
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Every time Jay starts to reel his winch in, his truck just slides on the ice towards the stuck truck.
Attachment 134577

squonker 09-18-2007 05:34 PM

3 of 4
 
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A grader operator hears our chatter, and with the road being blocked we're in danger of holding up the convoy behind us. Mr. Grader Man digs his blade as firmly into the ice as he can. Jay hooks up to that, and we use the grader as an anchor.

Attachment 134578

squonker 09-18-2007 05:36 PM

4 of 4
 
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It still takes some time, with the grader and Jay's winch truck now both sliding toward the schmoo, but eventually we're all good to go again. No harm done to Don's truck, as I recall. :clap
Attachment 134580

squonker 09-18-2007 05:44 PM

It's so purdy...
 
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And one more 'cos I'm logged on already.
Attachment 134581
You can't tell me it's not beautiful above the tree line, too.

Statdawg 09-18-2007 05:51 PM

A 1990 GSPD with a sidecar took that road. The story is here www.thetimelessride.com those truckers had a heated cab and were getting paid, tough job but helmets off to Hubert. :eek1

kodiakfrank 09-18-2007 06:49 PM

Question!
 
What are the chances of getting permission to run the road with a Ural/hack combo?:ear


Hey Moosekiller, are you paying attention?:lol3


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