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Ice diving

Discussion in 'Hogarthian Diving' started by TigerDiver8, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. TigerDiver8

    TigerDiver8 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ventura County, California, United States
    Not sure this is in the right place, but i dive all hog so ill give it a shot.

    I might do a project up in alaska for a few months in seward alaska. Now im not even sure there is a place near there to do ice diving but i want to try it while im there. Who knows the.next chance i will have to do it.

    So my question is if anyone knows a LDS in that area to do it through, and besides dry suit, what are things ill need.

    I currently dive a hog 32 lbs wing with a SS plate, and HOG D1 regulator with a 7ft primary hose 2 secondary regs and a clipped spg. I use jet fins and a hollis m1 mask and usually an aluminum 80 and dive a 7mm wetsuit with 14 lbs on my belt, and i have two 100 ft reels, spare mask.

    What else would i need. A differnt sized tank, how much more weight, any other equipment etc........

    Oh and i dive a mares puck. Can that handle that low of temps.
  2. Subcooled

    Subcooled Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    If the water is much colder than at home, then you will need more clothing and more lead. Or then you just dive cold. That limits the safe exposure though. I have no experience with AL80 so I can't say much about weighting. You really need to test it as it is clothing specific.

    I would always recommend two first stages for ice diving, although one can dive with one, given that the distance from the hole is kept reasonable = a few minutes swim away. Avoid regulators made out of titanium and carbon fiber as usually those are designed for flights and tropics. The regulator and first stage need to be cold water compatible. Else you'll have much grief. Besides that, you'll just need an experienced ice diver dive with you.

    You will need at least a pool session or two with a drysuit.

    You absolutely need it. Two reasons: buoyancy check and learning to control the suit. It is difficult at first. You remember how hard it was to control a BCD after the first diving course? Well, this drysuit is the same, but it's just many times bigger. It is a really bad idea to dive under a ceiling and then become excessively buoyant... This is not a problem however if you dive just under the ice, at shallow depth (where also the most interesting scenery = the ceiling) is. Just a couple of hours in a pool will make your experience hugely more enjoyable, though.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  3. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    Check with DiveAlaska in Seward, I think they offer the PADI Ice Diving specialty. I took that class from the guy that wrote the Instructor Guide for it; awesome.

    Very strongly recommended: get professional instruction on both the dry suit and the ice diving. Cold-water overhead environments should not be taken lightly.

    You seem obsessed by the equipment. All your gear is fine, except as noted above you may want an H-valve so you can carry two first-stages....it is typically the first stage that freezes up, not the second stage, so you need the redundancy for both stages. Best might be to rent a steel cylinder (like a 95) with an H-valve from the shop that is training you. the drysuit will require lots of thermal underwear, hence lots of weight, and the steel tank will eliminate some from your belt.
    Compressor and g2 like this.
  4. Jessica Anderson

    Jessica Anderson Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hypoluxo, FL
    Unless you're going with a guide I'd be sure you drop where you're going to see something. We use the Navionics app to find good spots (Navionics has a SonarChart layer that shows very detailed contours so you can identify spots that have good ledges) and then use the app to verify our location before dropping. Don't want to be doing any redropping.
  5. g2

    g2 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Port Townsend, WA
    If you want to do 'real' ice diving -- where you cut a hole in the ice and go through -- you'll almost certainly be doing it as a part of a team. The logistics can be significant: chainsaws, shovels, safety divers, tethers, training for handling the tether, etc. It's loads of fun.

    Don't worry about the reels; the LDS should provide a nylon rope for the tether. A steel tank, for better buoyancy and weighting characteristics, is good. As mentioned, it would also be wise to have a second regulator set in case of a freeze-up (either with an H valve, double tanks, or a pony), although it's not strictly necessary if you don't go too far from the hole. Your HOG D1 should do fine. Pay attention to small things, too, like your mask defogger.

    In my experience, a lot of ice diving is shallow, especially during the initial training. The computer won't matter, and would probably do fine in the cold regardless. Do take a light, and extra batteries for everything that uses them.
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
    rjack321 likes this.
  6. Subcooled

    Subcooled Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    A lot of good advice above I would say.

    What's the point of ice diving if you are not looking at the ice? I do recommend SHALLOW ice dives as the ice with its internal structure may be beautiful and because the low ceiling effect is lovely. At 100 feet you will not notice the ice. Hence: boring.

    Not sure about the significance of the logistics but (some gear needs to be carried and) one really does need a drill and an ice saw to cut through the ice. The more holes you drill the easier it gets as using the saw is unpleasant. A 40+ year old can do this manually though, but if you are like 70 (or lazy), then a chain saw is required. It's hard work but if you are enthusiastic then you can do it. It does keep you warm. If you do choose a chain saw, please use olive oil to protect the environment. Some people use shovels to make "light rays" on the ice. This may be usefull or it may be useless. You will have the tethered rope in any case.
    Last edited: May 21, 2016

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