Category Archives: Alfred Barr – We Remember

FaceBook Event: 2-4 Mar 2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover

Giddy up fellow fatbikers, our Leaders Team has finished our planning and details have come together for an excellent adventure and Memorial Event in Honour of Alfred Barr. 

Check it out here:
FaceBook Event: 2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover

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Map - 2018 'Alfred Barr' Lake Wpg Crossing & Campover

Tom Kolesnik - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Cheers, Fat Tom K

Setting up at ‘Tent City’ Campsite on the Red River: Lake Winnipeg Team Leaders Prepare

Great fun today setting up our little ‘Tent City’ Campsite on the Red River as a shake out for our “2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover”, which will be set up in the middle of the lake on 2-4 March 2018.

Thanks Robert La Roque and Ken Buhler for early help with the big combo tent …Tent City Camp Site on Red River 10

Later some of our Leaders Team (Gregory ‘GMac” McNeill, Chris Black, and Jonathan Letkemann), plus several Xtreme Sports Medics (Kas Savage and Natasha Arnfinson) joined me in setting the rest of the campsite up …

Tent City Camp Site on Red River 16

Tent City Camp Site on Red River 14

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Waking up the next morning to this sight out the back window was a real treat!
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Good times ahead!

Cheers, Fat Tom K

Fat Video Time: Campover at Fat Tom K’s Red River Fatbike Crossing

FAT VIDEO TIME: I decided that last night was a perfect night (-31C/-42 windchill) for a campover on the river beside my “2018 Fat Tom K Red River Fatbike Crossing” here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – Eh!

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Yes – it was crazy cold, but I was cumfy in my North Face sleeping bag on a good combo sleeping pad and snug in my Big Agnes 4-Season tent! 

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Here’s a bird’s eye view (aheam – my new DJI Mavic Pro Drone’s 4K camera) of my crossing and campover site!

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Check out my video below:

 

For those not aware, this campover was partially as a test for the upcoming “2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover” Adventure Weekend planned for 2-4 March 2018 …

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Here’s the plan for our campsite out on the middle of Lake Winnipeg (my Big Agnes 6 Person tent is located on the left and is planned for five persons on the lake):
Tenting Base Camp Layout - Lake Wpg Fatbike Campover 2018

Editor’s Post Update (7 Feb 18):
Thanks Gregory ‘G-Mac’ McNeill for this picture taken down by my tent on the Red River after six of our nine leaders of the 2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover” adventure had a great Leaders Team Planning Meetings …
2018 Lake Wpg FB Adventure Leader Team on Red River by Tent
L-R: G-Mac, Tom K, Chris Black, Keith Holm, Jon Letkemann and Keith Champagne

Cheers, Fat Tom K

 

“2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover”: Details for 2-4 March 2018

Details are coming together for the:
“2018 Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover” Adventure – now planned for Fri-Sun 2-4 March 2018!

Poster 3 - 2018 ‘ALFRED BARR_ LAKE WINNIPEG FATBIKE CROSSING & CAMPOVER - WIDE

We are dedicating this Memorial event in Honour of our much loved Fatbiking and adventure friend Alfred, who died on 8 March 2017 during an Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Technician training jump from a 435 Squadron C-130 Hercules – just days after he had taken part in our 2017 version of the same Lake Wpg crossing and campover. I announced this Event Memorial dedication when I spoke at Alfred’s Memorial Service at 17 Wing Winnipeg Air Base, received his families’ appreciation and endorsement. Now we follow through … Alfred you will not be forgotten!

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Alfred – we are going to complete the task you had set out for yourself and told us about on the lake last year … Alfred Barr: “I am so lucky to be a SAR Tech and so very well trained during my SAR Tech Course 49 this past year. I hope to pass on a lot of my newly honed skills, especially Arctic survival and extended adventure travel to my Fatbiking friends.” Don’t worry Alfred … your friends will ‘take up the torch’ and try to live up to the SAR Tech Motto that you died training to uphold: “That Others May Live” Rescue!

While we will be following a similar inexpensive/non-profit/cooperative group adventure plan as last year; with limited sponsorships (last year MEC & Wilderness Supply were very supportive), we will also be engaging in cooperative training and adventure with SAR Techs from 435 Sqn and others who trained with Alfred on SAR Tech Course 49. They will be taking part on the ground (ahem, snow) and possibly from the air (if weather and coordination allows for parachute training).

We will provide 1, 2 and 3 day participation options:

Fri 2 March: Take part in Fatbiking, winter camping skills, backcountry medical/evacuation SAR practice exercises likely on Lake Winnipeg with fatbikers and motorized escort quads/snowmobiles heading out to the center of the lake to set up a little ‘tent city’ and campover with the Team Leaders.

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Map - 2018 'Alfred Barr' Lake Wpg Crossing & Campover

Tenting Base Camp Layout - Lake Wpg Fatbike Campover 2018

Sat Morning 3 March: Fatbikers and escort vehicles bike/drive back from the lake campsite in the early morning to the Sand Bar Inn in Grand Marais for breakfast and to meet up with other FatBikers joining the group who drive out from ‘town’ that morning.

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Sat 3 March: After breakfast, the combined group will ride across Lake Winnipeg following a marked/groomed route with snowmobile/quad support for pressure ridge crack crossings as req’d. Stop at mid-lake to add to the campsite with any additional tents and gear, possible 435 Sqn SAR aircraft participation, then continue across to Gimli for lunch and then back to the camp for supper, bonfire and sleepover in our little tent city.

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Sun 4 March: After a breakfast on the lake, we will ride back to the Sand Bar Inn at Grand Marais for lunch and adventure wrap up.

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I am also pleased to announce that our Leaders Team is now complete and these amazing volunteers will ensure that our adventure is well organized, safe and fun:

Gregory McNeill - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Keith Holm - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Jonathan Letkemann - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Patrick Stevens - Picture Colage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Kevin Champagne - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Robert Paige Xtreme Sports Medics - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Dave MacDonald - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Chris Black - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy

Sgt Steve Delage - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copy
Tom Kolesnik - Picture Collage for 2018 Lake Wpg FB Crossing & Campover copyTom Kolesnik
2018 ‘Alfred Bar’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover
Adventure Weekend Coordinator
tomkolesnik@gmail.com
Cell: (204) 612-9266

Major Tom Kolesnik, RCAF, 17 Wing LLO
Former 435 Sqn C-130 SAR Pilot

More details to follow after upcoming planning mtgs.

Fatbikers ride to RCAF Memorial Service for MCpl Alfred Barr and Fat Tom K speaks for our Fatbike Community

Today many of us were able to take part in MCpl Alfred Barr’s Memorial Service at 17 Wing Winnipeg Air Base, to share our sorrow with Alfred’s family, his fiance Steffi Hempel and her family, his many close friends, his 435 Squadron mates, members of SAR Tech Course 49 (the course he graduated with June 2016), members of 1 RCHA (his former unit), members of the greater Canadian Armed Forces, the greater SAR community, and most personally with a group of us fatbikers who rode to the service.

Alfred Barr Memorial Service Handout

We fatbikers were there to show our respects and share our stories of how much Alfred was a valued member of our Manitoba Fat Biking community, who had touched our lives in many wonderful personal ways. He was such a wonderful young man, who always made rides and adventures more fun, who lifted others up and made us smile … as he always was himself!

I was honoured to speak on behalf of our fatbiking community to express my and our communities’ memories of Alfred.

Here is my speech …

Alfred Barr Memorial Service – Tom Kolesnik Fatbiking Community Tribute - Pg 1

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Fat Bike Ride in Honour of Alfred Barr – 11 Mar 2017

Today more than 20 fatbikers and friends of Alfred Barr gathered at my home and we rode to the Forks and back to my home again to Honour Alfred, pay Tribute to his many wonderful qualities and join in mourning his tragic loss!

Fat Bike Ride for Alfred Barr - Banner & Group Pic

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I give thanks to all of you who joined me on this ride and an special thanks to Robert Paige of Xtreme Sports Medics who met us at several points in the ride with refreshments served from his Medic Ambulance.

These Badges are Special:
LEFT –  is mine from my flight suit when I flew C-130 Hercules aircraft and was a Pilot on 435 Squadron based in Winnipeg flying Search and Rescue missions for over eight years.
CENTER – a badge made in Honour of Alfred by his SAR Tech Training Course Mates
RIGHT – Alfred gave me one of his SAR Tech Course 49 badges when he first arrived back in Winnipeg after he graduated and was assigned to 435 Sqn.  I recall giving him a big high-five and he gave me a big hug in return! Alfred Barr Memorial Banner Picture

This Picture Collage was made for me by the RCAF Graphic Designer at 1 Cdn Air Division HQ at 17 Wing Air Base in Winnipeg – much appreciated:
Alfred Barr Fatbiking Poster for Memorial Service

Alfred – you are not forgotten!

 

 

Shock and Sadness: Loss of our Friend Alfred Barr

I am in SHOCK and SADNESS to hear of the tragic death of my good friend Alfred Barr and member of the RCAF SAR ‘Team’ who was actively training today as a Search and Rescue Technician at 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron (my former squadron) based at 17 Wing Winnipeg!
There are many positive things I could say right now about this wonderful young man that I know as a fellow fatbiking and adventure friend, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his fiancee Steffi, his and her families, his friends and squadron mates … but as a former member of the RCAF SAR Team I reflect on the motto that he and his fellow SAR Techs adhere to and are committed to: “These Things We Do So That Others May Live”!
https://www.facebook.com/…/rpp.61263506…/10154191884061237/…

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MCpl Alfred Barr - Official RCAF Picture with Flag.jpgNEWS RELEASE: Royal Canadian Air Force Search and Rescue Technician dies in training accident

A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Search and Rescue Technician (SAR Tech) based at 17 Wing Winnipeg died in an accident during training near Yorkton, Saskatchewan on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

Master-Corporal Alfred Barr was a member of 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The RCAF’s Directorate of Flight Safety will be investigating the accident and no further information will be released about the incident while that is ongoing.

Colonel Andy Cook, 17 Wing Winnipeg Commander:

“On behalf of all 17 Wing Winnipeg and the entire RCAF, I would like to express my condolences to Master-Corporal Alfred Barr’s family, friends and fellow service members. Master-Corporal Barr was a valuable member of 435 Squadron’s Search and Rescue team, and he will be deeply missed.”
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Alfred Barr – together with our Fatbike group on Lake Winnipeg just 10 days ago …

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Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 10.29.21 PMMy friend and fellow fatbiking adventurer Alfred Barr riding just before sunset as we and ten other members of our “Fattie-Not So Frozen-Dozen” ride back to the middle of Lake Winnipeg on 25 Feb 2017 to camp-over on a -25C night … yes we stayed warm, had a blast and Alfred revelled in it all!

We will miss him in all our future adventures! We will miss his genuinely true character, his zest for life and adventure and his caring for all those he interacted with.
These qualities lead him to strive after and succeed in becoming an operational RCAF SAR Technician with 435 T&R Squadron at 17 Wing Winnipeg Air Base. It was during a routine SAR training parachute jump that he died – in the service of being ready to take risks to save other’s lives.
We, his fatbiking and adventure friends will miss him greatly, but his fiancée Steffi, his and her families, his many other friends, his squadron mates, members of the RCAF, CAF and Canada will of course miss and mourn his passing in different and no doubt more heartbreaking ways! 

Thank you Gregory McNeill for this and many other beautiful pictures you have taken of us adventuring over these many years! It helps to clearly recall the good times we had together!

 

Alfred – my good friend …

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My heart is breaking and many others are as well!