Alaskan Alpine Club
The ice wall adventure, 17 October 2004 to 6 January 2005 - - and beyond that on Ice Wall 2, Ice Wall 3, Ice Wall 4, Ice Wall 5, Ice Wall 6, Ice Wall 7.
The other ice wall pages... Introduction... Ice Wall, Last year's ice wall... 03-04 Ice Wall, And...Other Ice Walls
For those inquiring, the artist's email address is dredge2 at gci.net , written that way to thwart the spam email address programs looking for more email addresses. The spammers are getting almost as bad as government.
17 October, 2004: The high tech rotating nozzle was supposed to keep working.
Well, the ice built up. The nozzle stopped rotating. It got a little top heavy. Actually, a lot top heavy.
Then all the ice broke off the pole, and ripped the pipe down with the ice. So we made an amusing array of nozzles to spray water in various directions, and put it part way up the pole.
Below are the amusing arrays of brass hose barb nozzles, which
evolved. The nozzles were cut, bent, twisted, broken and mangled
in highly engineered manners to create artistic spray patterns.
Each of these off-the-shelf pipe fitting arrays were much less
expensive than commercial multi nozzle heads. From left to right...
Design "A" (not shown). Like B, but with only 4 nozzles.
Design "B", Left photo. Do not use that design. Ice builds up on it, and the weight unscrews the arms, leaving some of the nozzles pointing downward. We fired that engineer.
Design "C" (not shown). Like D, but with only 6 nozzles.
Design "D". The 7 nozzle candelabra. Its wide arms required chipping a lot of surrounding ice to unscrew it each time we added more pipe.
Design "E". The 9 nozzle design, retaining easy, on site directional adjustability that we did not use.
Design "F". Next to right photo. 9 nozzle design of less weight and parts than E.
Design "G". Right photo. 12 nozzle. Not yet on the ice. Gotta finish welding the pipe junction on it.
How it is done... The water is pumped out of a nearby well, through a one inch plastic pipe covered with ordinary pipe insulation (that black foam stuff). The pipe lays on the ground about 100 yards (91.44 meters) to the pole, and turns upward. The vertical part of the pipe is bare steel, not insulated. The above current nozzle whizgaget is on the end of the pipe. The flow of the water, and the insulating layer of snow, then ice, keep the water from freezing in the pipe as the air temperature variously gets down to 50 degrees below 0 F. To avoid merely guessing about the possibility of the pipes freezing, we gave one of our crew the additional title of Thermal Dynamics Analysis Engineer, to improve our guessing, and have been lucky so far. The pole is not necessary beyond 10 feet because the ice becomes the structure for the pipe. To extend the pipe higher, when the ice builds up, we open a valve in the horizontal section of plastic pipe, out from the ice a ways, so the water is released at the lower point and drains back down from the vertical pipe. Because it keeps flowing in the long horizontal section, it does not freeze. We screw on more pipe, usually 10 feet, screw the nozzle thing on the top, close the bypass valve, and hope a lot. One time a large heavy glob of ice quickly formed on the nozzle head, and a wind blew, and broke the pipe off at the lower junction of that 10 foot section. We started wiring the pipe to the the adjacent points of ice to make it more structural while the ice builds up around the pipe. We learned several other amusing lessons about this game. And that is how it is done, near as I can figure from some of the wild-assed stories I hear from those of us telling them.
21 November: The ice is building again, slowly, in a desperate battle against global warming. The nozzle head is about 15 feet above the ground. Notice that the pole looks just like some ordinary old power pole.
Okay, in regard to the unmitigated audacity of the fine chap who did not recognize the humor in the above statement on global warming, and suggested its error, in his comments about this website, on another website..... The net temperature of planet Earth is cooling, by galactic law in regard to mass and heat in a hot rock whizzing through cold space. Just roll the window down and hold your hand outside next time you are at 37,000 feet in a jet. The guy in the seat behind you might whack you with a magazine, and ask you to roll up the window. It is chilly out there. And further, humans are doing what humans are designed to do, despite their general incompetence. More of them will be doing the more advanced, more fun things, as humans learn more things. The total industrial manufacturing pollution and heat output to put a computer in every Chinese home, and also on their laps and in their palms, plus the implants, an SUV, and a cell phone, is gonna happen, etceteras. I gotta get a cell phone. You cannot stop them from doing what you and they like to do. You will not even stop yourself. There is only one way to reduce their scant effect on the planet. That is to reduce the total number of humans, by sufficiently educating them as to the benefits of producing fewer babies, especially the ones subsidized by welfare tax money seized from working people. More ice climbing babies are okay though. If you believe that there is another way, because you are ignorant of the human design, and you hastily arrived at your conclusion before you asked and answered more questions of your contradicted conclusion, perhaps believing all those institutionally fabricated illusions of greedy government and organization leaders, who do not question their idiot conclusions because they have gullible followers supporting them, enjoy exhausting yourself with your laughable endeavors, to thus be doing what humans are designed to do. And further, the weather on planet Earth has been fluctuating in short and long cycles since Earth was invented, and will continue to do so. If a normal twenty thousand year weather event wipes out all the humans, pandas and orchids, in a large region of the planet, there will be enough living things, clawing and spitting at each other, to crawl back in and fill the niche shortly thereafter. If you prefer fewer folks to be killed by a large tsunami, or by panic-fleeing a tsunami warning, keep fewer folks where large tsunamis slosh around, etceteras. By design, the long range fluctuating weather and sloshing oceans, etceteras, on planet Earth, prevail, and include the minor effects of the design of whatever is stumbling around on the surface during any era. Meanwhile, the old yellow ball in the sky is also gradually losing its finite amount of energy. And then, on a particular sunny morning, it will start glowing red, to start the dying star show, dramatically expand, and engulf all nine planets, vaporizing them, their moons, the rocks in between and whatever dinosaurs and humans might believe they accomplished, lamentably including any ice towers. That is when the real global warming will happen, big time. Run. But at this particular moment, 2005, if we can sustain this current warming thing a bit longer, whether real or imagined, primarily by hot air production among those grossly over-funded, otherwise useless government and environmentalists dolts, burning tons of fuel to fly around the country and world, heating and polluting the atmosphere to attend hand-wringing and prediction fabricating meetings, we can enjoy the pleasantly warm results a little longer in those places where warmer winters mean burning less fuel to heat houses, cars, toes and fingers, and thus dumping less oil taxes into the Washington DC war machine. If there are detriments with the warming advantages, adapt, and enjoy the program, because humans have no choice. You can enjoy such things because with 6,450,000,000 humans stumbling around on the rock, a very large number indeed, there are plenty of fear and doom mongers available to frantically wave their arms, cry out, and demand that armed government orcs manufacture more guns, bombs and prisons, for the counter productive attempt to force everyone else do what humans were not designed to do, much to the howling laughter of those who enjoy watching the antics of these ignorant humans, amusing lot that they are. However, if you are not an ice climber, either laugh, fear or prepare for the return to the more noticeable net cooling trend of the planet. When that inescapable trend picks up on another roll, much to the delight of ice climbers, expect the many wuzzy but heavily armed federal government thugs who are occupying Alaska, to attack and occupy Mexico. Que pasa man?
26 November: The first four launch tubes.
9 December. After adding another 10 feet of pipe.
13 December. Another 10 foot pipe section. Replaced Design B with Design C nozzle head, and a bit of blue dye just starting to streak. This photo is at high noon, with the sun below the horizon off to the left.
21 December. After adding another 10 feet of pipe, then 5 more feet in this photo. The nozzle arrangement sprays water upward at a 45 degree angle, so it must be chopped out of the ice that forms around it, to add another pipe section.
50 feet of pipe so far.
24 December 2004. Not noticeable in the photos, but very noticeable at the scene, on cold days (-20 F) the steam from the water spray, boiling out of the top, presents an image that the thing is alive.
Added 10 more feet of pipe on 26 December.
60 feet of pipe, so far. The 45 degree angle on the nozzles forms ice five feet above the nozzle head. And the top nozzle is 18 inches above the pipe junction. That is important information for the gentlemen in Georgia and Florida who are rumored to have some fine whiskey, or something, riding on the concluding height of the ice this winter. But it is a dicey guess, because things could go awry at any time, such as the pipe freezing, or global warming rolling through the valley, and that will be the end of it for the year. The path ahead is fraught with peril, albeit as usual. But the final height will be scientifically measured by our team of scientific measurers, in metric and English, on account as there is rumor of more than one bottle of whiskey, a lot more, in more than one country, riding on that number. The rumor of the stacks of dollars on the minute the last ice crystal melted last year was enough to quiver the knees of the financially timid.
31 December. After another 10 feet of pipe and a sprinkle of blue dye. 70 feet of pipe so far. Views of front and one end. I have seen some grand arrays of stunning ice, and this sculpture is flat-out awesome.
5 January. Desperate day. Blizzard. Big snow dump, really big. Most roads not plowed. Maybe the snow plows, with drivers, were shipped to Iraq for Bush's idiot war. People stuck everywhere in the snow. I made it all the way over Summit Drive and down Sky Ridge Road, an uncommonly steep road, in four wheel drive, pushing through deep snow. White knuckle driving. Then I got stuck beside the ice. Entertaining climb through overhanging ice teeth. Added 10 feet of pipe. 80 feet of pipe so far.
6 January. Pictures below. Weather still miserable. Anchorage type global warming weather, warm, 30 above 0, windy, snowing. Highly unusual for Fairbanks in the winter. A strong wind is blowing most of the water clear of the ice sculpture, landing out on the snow at the bottom.
Mo photos on the Ice Wall 2 page.
04-05 Ice Wall 2
04-05 Ice Wall 3
04-05 Ice Wall 4
04-05 Ice Wall 5
04-05 Ice Wall 6
04-05 Ice Wall 7
03-04 Ice Wall
Other Ice Walls
Climbing Concepts 1
Climbing Concepts 2
Climbing Concepts 3
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