Saturday, February 13, 2021

Whitemud Creek No More





A planned creek ride for the first time which didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped. The start was Fort Edmonton and I immediately hit the Whitemud creek ice and rode away and was quite awestruck by the incredible views and cool vibe that riding the frozen creek gives a person. 

I have always been leary of creeks and rivers no doubt fueled by the tragic death of my brother in the Bow river in ninety six. Sadly I had some real cool friends who would make fun of me and call me a pussy for being scared of swimming in creeks and wading in rivers over the years with complete disdain for shit that I have gone through losing a close family member, which made me not a big fan of running water in the wild. 

Thankfully, I don't associate with dumb fuck people anymore and only hang out with the cool ones. 

I had hoped to meet Kent (speaking of one of the good ones) for this but his shoe had died after a dog run leaving me alone for this one. I contemplated on just riding trails and avoiding the creek as I was alone but then realized it has been below -30 for the last two weeks and that water should be completely frozen. 

Or so I thought...

I think it's the third pic down from the top that I took a pic for a group text stating my awesomeness. There was a lot of condensation rising up which meant there was water on top. I don't understand why that phenomenon exists but it was kinda cool considering the bitter cold. Was there a city drain pipe coming in? It was in an area of exposed sun so maybe that's it? 

But polar vortex guys!

I stuck to the side of the creek and my tires sunk in over an inch and immediately I was a bit worried. I kept going but soon found a ledge to put my foot down and contemplate my next move, I kept going for a bit and eventually bailed when my front tire started to be hard to control. 

It's not that I felt like I was going to sink through and drown. My main fear was losing control and falling into the slush and becoming immediately soaked in the cold with night coming. A situation that would easily get very fucked up very fast. 

I found some deer trails.. Well probably people trails and was at Snow Valley ski hill. I planned to ride the creek again and see how far I would make it. When I walked the bike onto a section my feet fell through and I stood in the creek with freezing cold water up to my ankles. 

A quick panic ensued as I waited for my socks to start soaking in the water after I exited in a quick fashion. The soaking never happened and I yelled out "Hellz to the yeah 45 North shoes!" 

I figured they were a good waterproof boot and they should be considering the price. When in the water I doubted the water proof capabilities. It was the greatest feeling after that happened having dry feet. Soaking feet would have been a disaster as well. 

After that I aborted any more creek riding and chose to ride up and out along the Uof A farm. The push home was a real struggle as my wheels were caked with ice and my rear wheel was very low on air but you know what? My feet were dry. 

wheel caked in ice after riding through slush

where my feet broke through and turn around of the ride promptly happened (quesnell above)

 

Frozen Feet

Not too sure how many cultures deal with freezing feet and the pain that happens when they start warming up. I thought I was going to die on...