A reminder to members of City Daily Photo: the theme day for April is Wet.
Back during my Winterlude series, I mentioned Crashed Ice, an event that was held here in Ottawa on the first weekend of March. Today I'm starting a four day series about it. This was the first time this event was held in Ottawa. Red Bull came up with the idea in 2001 as a gimmick of sorts: ice cross downhill skating by hockey players at high speeds. It's taken off since, with a series of these events each winter in various places- often in Quebec City, but also over the years in places around Europe and North America- check the previous events here. This year the final event of the season was here. A course was set up over the Ottawa Locks of the Rideau Canal in the weeks leading up to the event, with a total drop of 35 metres from the top to the finish, and a total length of 375 metres. Nestled right between Parliament Hill and the Chateau Laurier, with a look out to the Ottawa River and Gatineau, it was a good setting for the event. I photographed the process of building the course several times. It was said in an article about the event that when you combine the work crew's hours on setting up, staging, and taking down this whole thing, ten thousand hours would have been spent on it.
These shots, from a few days after the previous ones, date to February 20th, a clear and sunny day. I happened to come up to Parliament Hill, took some shots up there I'll show you in a few days, and took the chance to get a view down to the course below.
Leaving Parliament Hill, I came down towards the Ottawa Locks to get a different point of view, heading along the course. I was surprised by the heavy machinery on the snow, but its purpose made sense the first night of the event- it was smoothing out the surface area so that people could stand up there and watch.