Welcome to the Lake Ice home page.  This site is for skaters, snowmobilers, sailors, fishermen and everyone else who spends time on frozen lakes and ponds.  The site provides a detailed  perspective on how ice behaves and what sorts of hazards you might find.  Most ice users never get into serious trouble but a few people do, so many of us know more than a few stories of close calls or worse.

  5" black ice with a uniform skim of water, December late day sun.

The 'Key Points' page gives a quick overview of the most important ways to help you stay out of trouble. The rest of the site provides a more detailed picture.

The level of risk associated with being on the ice is variable.  In warm conditions ice is often great in the early morning and it gets progressively worse as things warm up.  In any conditions, it can be good in one place and bad nearby.  Sometimes those differences are easy to identify, sometimes not.  Learning to recognize a range of ice features and potential problems is helpful in assessing of conditions. Preparing yourself for when you get it wrong (and sooner or later you will) is just as important.  In addition to ice hazards, the Lake Ice site looks at why ice behaves the way it does and delves a little into the underlying science.

Ice has a complicated range of behaviors and we learn new things about it every year. In light the complex nature of ice, some of what we describe here should be considered closer to opinion than hard fact.  As with many recreational endeavors that involve risk, your choice to go out on a frozen lake has to be yours and yours alone (More).