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 us do. In almost all cases, being prepared to avoid or deal with hazards will dramatically reduce the risks of enjoying this winter wonderland.
Other parts of the site include sections on equipment, technique, interesting formations and features and some basic ice science. This site is intended to be a resource for a wide range information and ideas related to the recreational use of ice.
Occasionally someone has told me that that the extensive discussion of all the things that might go wrong has scared them away from going out on lake ice. If we decided to avoid activities that have some risk of bad things happening we would not drive, ride in cars, ride bicycles, fish from small boats, ski, etc. In the car example, we learn to drive in controlled conditions before going out on high speed, busy roads, on a rainy night. When you are new to wild ice, go out with experienced ice travelers on low hazard ice that has been properly checked. The odds of something bad happening are quite small. Focus on learning about ice. This will be fascinating and rewarding. Also, skip reading the 'Cautionary Tales' section of the site until you understand ice well enough to learn from accident accounts rather than just scaring yourself.
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 of ice behavior. The disclaimer page says the obvious: the choice to go out on the ice is yours and yours alone.