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Old 09-18-2007, 10:02 PM   #16
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Answer for Kodiakfrank

Kodiak,

Technically the road is a private road that's open to the public. They can't stop you driving it, but if you were in anything other than an SUV or a pick up you can bet they'd stop and ask questions. One place you wouldn't be allowed is onto any of the mines - very tight security there. If you weren't prepared to do any winter camping, you might be in for a bit of a hard time, but I have one idea....PM on the way.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:31 PM   #17
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You won't have any problems along the main ice road to Fort Providence over the Mackenzie or to some of the other hamlets around there. We did it in the car a year or so ago no problems.

Coming back was a little hairy, I wasn't finished my work in YK, so we got the 12 hours notice till closure. Wife had the bags packed, threw the kids in the car and went for it. No way was she camping out in YK for another month till break up was finished.

By that time the road is covered in a foot of slush, and starting to rot out. An older Dene couple went before our Passat to act as a guide to find the potholes under the slush. Every now and then one of the wheels on the jacked up 4x4 they were driving would DISAPPEAR 3/4 of the way up, wooo, steer around that one, keep going.

SWMBO said she only took a couple of breaths the whole way across
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:11 AM   #18
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Motorbikes on ice

Holy moly Statdawg, that dude on the motorbike sure knows the meaning of adventure riding! What would possess you to do something like that?! I think I remember hearing about his plans to do the trip, but then I forgot all about it. It’s not the same road actually, but for all the difference it makes it might as well be.

The year before I started, a friend told me how he’d been up on the ice and his heater had quit, how he was slowly freezing as he was driving along. I wondered at the time what I’d do if that ever happened to me, whether I was tough enough to deal with it. I was to find out before too long…

Heading to BHP with a load of I don’t know what, we stopped at the top of Charlie’s Hill and I could feel that it wasn’t as warm in my cab as it should have been. Not uncomfortable by any means, but I could notice the difference. I hadn’t adjusted the heat ‘cos the thing was a little temperamental anyway. It only worked on highest heat with the fan on high too, but that’s the best place for it to be stuck, I guess, if it has to be stuck. I think it was the wee hours of the morning, and I also figured that it would likely warm up when the sun came up anyway. We got to Lockhart camp and I went in for something to eat and when I climbed back in the truck, it was colder still. I knew something was wrong now, and a quick recce showed that neither the cab nor the bunk heat was working. Yikes. I had a look around and couldn’t find what was wrong, so I called my boss in Yellowknife, left him a message telling what parts to have waiting when I got back. I still wasn’t too worried – it was slightly uncomfortable now, but nothing too terribly bad. The only thing that bothered me was that within a couple of kilometers of Lockhart you break through out of the tree line, and it would be colder outside because of the wind. Also, north of Lockhart there aren’t any hills, so the engine wouldn’t be working as hard, and right now that was the only heat I had.

By the time I got to the mine it was officially downright cold. I wasn’t a happy chappy, and all I wanted to do was get back to town asap to get the damn thing fixed. I got unloaded and headed straight back to Lockhart. By that time it was officially brass monkeys in the cab and when I thought about how far I had to go still, I wanted to cry. I had on my long underwear, my snowmobile pants, warm jacket, boots rated for -100c, gloves and a touque, and I wasn’t anywhere close to being warm. Of course, having been driving for about 20 hours wouldn’t have helped. I also had to have the window open a crack ‘cos otherwise your breath condenses and freezes on the windows and windshield. I always like to be able to see out of at least one window when I’m driving! At Lockhart I ate and had about 16 gallons of tea. I wanted to call my boss and bitch, but it wouldn’t have changed anything so I saw a friend who worked for security and moaned to him until I felt slightly better. It was close to midnight by this time and I was too tired to drive any more, but it was too cold in the truck to sleep. There wasn’t anywhere to lie down at Lockhart that I wouldn’t have been frequently woken up, but I decided that to try and drive would be a recipe for disaster, so I lay down on the bunk with all that gear on, and I did manage to sleep for an hour or two. Of course, when I came to again I felt worse than ever, so it was back inside for 16 more gallons of tea (if you’ve ever watched Coronation Street you’ll know how medicinal tea is to us Brits) and to summon up the gumption to continue.

Now there was nothing else for it. No excuse not to make a run for it back to town, so I left at what I’m guessing was about 2am, and I don’t remember the rest of the journey so I guess I either made it alright, or I was asleep the whole time! It was awful having to stop at the quarry and drop my trailer off then go to dispatch and do paperwork before I could go and warm up. I parked the truck in the yard and didn’t even look for my boss, just jumped in my car and went home for The Best Shower Of My Life. Well, alone, anyway. I called Boss Man when I woke up, and he had the thing fixed again, so I was able to book a ‘tee time’ for that evening, and head back out again in glorious comfort.

But on a motorbike? No thanks!
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This isn't as a result of the heater having broken, this is as a result of driving a Freightliner!
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:39 PM   #19
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bikes 'n ice

Lake athabasca in February. Now I have to go back and wait for a big truck.
This wave thing sounds cool!


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Old 09-19-2007, 12:43 PM   #20
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There's gonna be someone who's going to try to ride that road in winter on a bike.. gotta see it.. thanks for the pics and report
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:12 PM   #21
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More pics

A few more just for the hell of it...
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This is me trying to be arty. Ha! Nice shot, though, isn't it? It's underground mining equipment.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:16 PM   #22
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Stuck at Diavik

We were weathered in at Diavik for 40 hours. Road closed due to snow drifting in so hard that the plows couldn't keep up with it. One of them went to refuel but his fuel cap was frozen on and wouldn't come off.
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All those trucks running all the time. ATGATT? How about ERATT (engine running all the time?)
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:21 PM   #23
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Still stuck

Always important to leave Yellowknife with tanks topped up to the brim, 'cos you never know when this will happen. If you get low in a situation like this, the mine will sell you fuel to keep you alive, but it ain't cheap!
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It's a good opportunity to catch up on sleep, but of course I'd rather the road closed when I was at home. Can't complain, though - as we were here with food, water, and washrooms, four trucks were stuck on a portage a few KMs down the road. Someone in front of them spun out, and by the time that truck had got moving again, the road and visibility were bad enough that the four of them couldn't even attempt to carry on. Forty hours with only what you've got in the truck for company...yikes. I always grab a goody bag of sandwhiches, cookies and juice whenever I stop just for this reason.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:41 PM   #24
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The Ingraham Trail

The Ingraham Trail is a horrible, horrible piece of road. It runs NE out of Yellowknife and is the most unpleasant part of the journey. The first 30km are paved, but there are some nasty, sweeping, negative cambered corners and the only way to get around them is to grit your teeth, suck your gut in, and clench you butt cheeks as tight as you can.

The second half is unpaved, narrower, even more windy, and generally thoroughly unpleasant. 80 kmh on this would require intense concentration even with nothing coming the other way. We talk to eachother on the UHF so you know when you're about to meet a convoy coming at you, but Murphy's law dictates that you'll always do so at the worst possible moment. Here's a pic.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:44 PM   #25
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Stay away!

The Trail ends at Tibbett Lake, and that's where you first turn onto the ice. This is the sign that greets you.

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Old 09-19-2007, 06:51 PM   #26
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D'oh!

A lot of trucks come to grief on the Ingraham Trail. Most victims of the trail just lose concentration or drive too fast. But there's a driving school in Yellowknife that puts its trucks on the ice road every year... heading back to Yellowknife one time, one of the drivers fell asleep and went straight off into the snow bank about 30ft. I so wish I'd taken a shot of a truck with '---- ----Driver Training' written all over it half way through the snow bank!

Get it badly wrong, and this is what happens.
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New underpants, please! Buddy wasn't badly hurt. This is what happens when you get it wrong on one of those negative camber bends. Damn, this has to be scary. I wouldn't wish this on anybody. He probably just didn't clench his butt cheeks hard enough...
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:58 PM   #27
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You are clearly the man My girlfriend gives me all kinds of shit about watching Ice Road Truckers on TV...

You should start a thread in Jomomma...you would get way way more replies...
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:59 PM   #28
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Hitchin' a ride

About half an hour north of Lockhart Camp there's always a friend hoping for a bite to eat. The fact that he's got balls this big suggests that he sometimes doesn't have to wait long. Smart birds, ravens.
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I remember asking other guys whether it had actually landed on their trucks, because perhaps colour makes a difference. Can't remember what their answers were.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Fat Toney
You should start a thread in Jomomma...you would get way way more replies...
Now why would you want to subject Squonker to the people that live under the stairs?
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:00 PM   #30
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Great pictures, I love this stuff. When you park for any amount of time you must have the brakes off? What do you do if they all froze. I drug a trailer a 1/4 mile once in Calgary after getting pissed off beating the drums with a sledge hammer to no avail. Which make is the truck of choice up there? I'm guessing Kenworth with a cat engine?
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