Great Skating But Now a Bit of Snow

The skating has been great. The ice boats have been flying and people with skates and sails have been having a great time. A few pressure ridges are still a problem and some open water between Stamp Act and Cate continues (as usual) to be a problem, but it has been a great week on the lake. A few places had some snow drifts but they are easy to skate around or avoid in our ice boat. Blue skies were also dominant.

Below are some people skating toward Cate Island. They are actually on the other side of a pressure ridge that hadn’t frozen well so they can’t get across to where the picture was taken.

Some of the snow drifts, only a couple of inches high, were found along this pressure ridge. (A pressure ridge is where ice pushes up as the ice expands and “leads” are open water in these areas where the ice has contracted or melted from some other reason such as rainfall flowing into cracks.)

Below is a photo from near Cate Island looking toward the sand bar on Stamp Act. Lots of open water here as the wind has kept it from freezing. This is a typical area with questionable ice but now it isn’t even ice.

Looking off the Stamp Act sand bar, there were ice chunks floating around. As the wind goes across the ice on the lake, Bernoulli forces raise and lower the ice slightly and this causes currents. These ice chunks were moving around, bumping into each other and obviously not solid ice.

Some of the patterns of the drifts on the ice were interesting. Don’t really know why they form in a particular place but sometimes, they occur in clumps.

Below is an iceboat headed west near Sister Island.

Albee Beach was the start of many skating adventures and lots of people from miles around came to skate.

Unfortunately, a half inch of snow fell on the night of the 26th. This means that, while the ice is still smooth, you can’t see the minor cracks that can catch a skate blade. It is not as nice skating, to say the least. It was also above freezing and this snow will then be crusty and even less nice to skate through. It will make the XC skiing just fine. The lake keeps changing……