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Report on Ice Diving Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho March 13-14, 1999
Photos from Ice Diving at Payette Lake 1999 Photos from Ice Diving at Payette Lake 1999

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BRIEFING: A logistical briefing was held Friday evening in order to organize the gear, the students and the instructors.

DRIVING: We left Boise at 8 am and drove north on Idaho State Highway 55. We arrived at Payette Lake around 10 am.

ARRIVAL: We first surveyed the parking area and jump off point. We made a very careful approach to the ice. A briefing was held, an assignments were made based on the previous nights discussion.

ICE TESTING: Upon determining the ice would hold several people we traversed across the ice at least 150 feet from shore. We drilled a test hole and dropped a line with a weight to determine depth. We found the test hole was over a depth of 42 feet.

OPENING HOLE: Permission was given to expand the first hole to a nine by nine by nine (9 by 9 by 9) foot triangularly shaped hole. A fifteen (15) foot area around the hole was cleared of snow. After the hole was mostly completed, a shovels were used to sever the center piece of ice from the edge. Then the free piece was then pushed under the edge of the ice closest to shore.

SPOKES OF WHEEL: While the individual was cutting the hole with the hand saw, several others of the dive crew shovelled paths bisecting the sides of the triangle. Also three additional lines were dug radiating out from the corners of the hole and equal distant from the other lines. Basically we formed an outline of a wheel with the hub of the wheel being the hole and the lines being the spokes. To connect the spokes, a line was shovelled 50 feet and 100 feet from the hole. At the intersections we shovelled two six-foot long lines in the form of arrows pointing either to a spoke or toward the hub or the opening in the ice.

SHELTER: A tent was set up in between the lines as a shelter and changing room.

OTHER GEAR: Other gear was brought down, tanks, harnesses, carabiners, ropes, heater, extra clothes, personal scuba gear, etc. on a tobogan.

ASSIGNMENTS: Dive teams were designated. Team one would go in first, team two would safety for team one, team three would tend team one and team four would assist with everything else. On the first series of dives (Teams one, two three and four) the ice diving instructor would go down with each team. During the second series of dives a certified ice diver would go down with each team. On the second day, duties between the instructor and certified ice diver were shared, the instructor going in with the first two teams and the ice diver going in with the second two teams.

MONITORING: Special care was afforded the instructor and the ice diver to monitor their air and body temperature and overall well being. All of the divers were monitored. We had three non divers which we used for surface support and their help was greatly appreciated.

OVERALL SATURDAY RESULTS: Very successful series of dives under the ice. All divers either completed the minimum requirements for the number of dives or added more dives to their log books.

LODGING: Super 8 Motel.

OVERALL SUNDAY RESULTS: Warm Divers ready for next year.

BREAKING CAMP: Didn't take long after we finished diving. We hauled everything up and then went to have a warm lunch.

THANKS TO ALL INVOLVED: Signed Phillip E. Graf

For Ice Diving Information Ice Diving on January/February/March at Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho!

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This page was last updated on April 3, 1999.