The Worst Throwback Thursday Ever: DPV’s and Ice Diving

‘Member That Time Ron Yeeted His Face Into An Ice Floe With a DPV? It’s Time For The Most Embarrassing Thursday Throwback Ever.⠀

Hey gang, Ron here. Alex said he was posting these pictures if I didn’t, so I figured I’d stay in front of the story. You don’t need to read any farther.⠀

A while back, me and Alex figured we would slip away mid-week and try to find some more unconventional sites. We landed on the Eklutna Tailrace. It’s a local stream with a respectable clip of a current. We grabbed tiny doubles and DPV’s and headed out. Neither of us had been there before.⠀

Entry was fine, getting fins on was sporty, and even in waist-deep water, we were getting buffeted around and struggling to keep our feet. Ya know, challenges of diving in a river. Definitely not swimmable. Hence, the scooters.⠀

Fins on, scooters out, and off we went. Viz was fine, water was actually cleaner than expected. But even in top gear, we were barely making upstream progress. And then, all of a sudden, the current died way down.⠀

I assumed we had reached a widening in the river, hence less current. I was also now in top gear of my scooter with no forward water resistance. That’s around 250 ft/min. Fast.⠀

It’s about how fast I was going when my face slammed into the ice floe. Turns out, current had died off because we were in an eddy, which is why there was ice there at all. I spun around to try to find Alex and warn him, right as his head bounced off the ice beside me. He had seen me go from flying to stationary instantly, and was trying to process what happened, so he had let off the trigger of his scooter in time to spare a full-speed crunch.⠀

Profanity ensued. A lot of it.⠀

The ice had caught me right above the mask, but right below my hood, perfectly on what little exposed skin there was. I popped my head out of the water, and Alex was looking at me with horror. Allegedly, I had blood pouring down around my mask and beard.⠀

Despite being in A LOT of pain, we continued the dive and finished it. Faces bleed, and the cold water was a relief. With a max depth of 6 feet, in our worst case scenario, we could just stand up.⠀

Afterwards, my face hurt a lot. Local clinic superglued it shut so I could go diving that weekend. As the pain from my face and dignity resided, I started noting the pain in my neck from the rapid deceleration.⠀

Anyway, long story short, that ice was damn near invisible, even after I hit it. It’s definitely the most unique diving injury I’ve ever had, and was not a consideration in our pre-dive plan.⠀

As for the dive itself; I’d definitely do it again. I have no regrets. And my head is always covered anyway, so the fact I looked like I was wearing someone else’s face for a week wasn’t a big deal.⠀

There was no point to this. I just didn’t want those pictures out there without context.⠀

Just. Go. Diving.⠀

And don’t scooter face-first into ice floes.