Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/3/2009 (4823 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
"We were expecting it."
The province issued an advisory when water at the Shellmouth reservoir was released for spring flood control. Sicne then, the Assiniboine has become
THIS time, Ottawa wins.
The Forks couldn't wait a couple of days to close Winnipeg's river skating trail for the season -- even if it meant outlasting its rival, Rideau Canal in Ottawa, which closes today.
It just got too dangerous.
"I got a boot full of water," said The Forks chief operating officer Paul Jordan. He skated to work Thursday morning for the last time this winter and will have to hoof it home.
"When water's pouring in your skates, it's time to stop."
The Forks announced Thursday it was closing the entire 9.34-kilometre Assiniboine River skating trail for the season. A few weeks ago, the section from the Hugo Street dock to Assiniboine Park was closed after a rainstorm, leaving only 2.7 km of the trail safe for skaters and pedestrians.
Winnipeg holds the record for the longest outdoor skating trail in the world.
In Ottawa, the world's largest rink on the Rideau Canal closes for the season today.
In Winnipeg, water can be seen on either side of the trail south of Assiniboine Avenue.
"It's pushing up through the riverbanks and inundating the trail," said Jordan. He said the soggy trail is partly the result of heavy snowfalls near Russell, 340 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, last month. The snow melted into the waterways that flow into the Assiniboine River.
"The Shellmouth dam dumped all its water two weeks ago -- that water is now here," said Jordan. more hazardous with more open water along the banks and slush on top of the ice.
"We're done," said Jordan, who noted that this is usually the time the trail is closed, anyway.
"We usually close about now, give or take a week," said Jordan. "We've closed Feb. 16 and we've been open till March 16," he said. Last year, the trail was open for 61 days, closing March 10.
Jordan said 2009 was a banner year for the skating trail, which was open 56 days.
"This was, by far and away, the most the trail has been used," he said. The Forks estimates that as many 200,000 skaters glided along the frozen Assiniboine. "On warm Sundays, it was hard to move down the trail."
The "unprecedented numbers" have prompted them to plan for widening the trail next winter. They may expand toward St. Vital and Point Douglas if freeze-up on the Red River allows it, and if there is no frazil ice, which resembles slush and forms in open, turbulent, supercooled water.
Until then, skaters, cyclists and pedestrians should steer clear of the river, warned Jordan.
"It's really important now that people stay off things are really getting unstable and, in places, the ice is pretty thin."
The Winnipeg Police Service river patrol says all Winnipeg waterways should be considered dangerous.
Assiniboine ice was one cool place
Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail by the numbers for 2009
56 -- days trail was open
20 -- days connected to Assiniboine Park
9.34 kilometres -- length of trail
3,000 -- work-hours to create and maintain trail
1 -- llama on trail
400 -- bananas handed out by guy in monkey suit
2 -- inukshuks on the ice
1 -- quinzee built
200,000 -- skaters who used trail
6 -- huge bags of dog poop picked up
1,125 -- kilometres driven by the Zamboni
70 -- old-time hockey games played at Forks port
76 -- curling games played at Forks port
2,000 -- kilometres ridden in ice bike race
2,500 -- cups of hot chocolate served in Voyageur forts
1 -- song written about the trail
2,800 -- pairs of skates rented at The Forks Market
2 -- videos shot of entire length of trail
320,000 -- gallons of water used to flood trail
-- Source: The Forks
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.