With summer almost here this seems like a good time to reminisce about some of the great ice we saw last winter. To that end, the following link is to a group of videos of skating on Swedish Ice taken last season by Johan Porsbey.
The Ice Growth page has been rewritten based on a more sofisticated formula that better represents growth rates for ice less than 3" thick and at cooling rates that are more typical of temperate climates where most of us live. The old formula (the Stephan Solution) over estimated growth rates for these conditions,
Wind and warm temperatures can create large amounts of very rough ice in a day or two as we saw in early March on Lake Champlain. We were planning to run an iceboat race here that weekend but called it off at the last minute for the rough ice and a few other problems. Click here for more detailed article.
The ice season has come to its usual, abrupt end. After a week of above freezing temperatures, yesterday a 25 knot south wind broke up the very weak, highly thawed ice what constituted about half of the original ice on Lake Champlain. The bulk of the process took a couple hours. 70 degree temps are forecast over the next few days to finish off any ice in small bays. This ends one of the best but shortest ice seasons in the past 40 years.
With all the exposed ice, a lot of people spent a lot of time on the ice. There were roughly half a dozen trucks that went through on the lake, along with a bunch of four wheelers, with at least a couple of close calls getting out of the vehicles and back on the ice. There were hundreds of individual skaters and sailors, most making several trips on the ice. About a dozen people fell though and everyone made it back onto the ice successfully. We had two serious skating injuries. One injury was a fall with a concussion resulting that could easily have been fatal if the victim was not wearing a helmet. The second was a simple fall that resulted in a broken hip about a half a mile from shore. We have come to the conclusion that hip padding is worthwhile for older skaters, ice bikers and, especially, stand-up sailors. There were several minor skating injuries as well.
Now that the season is behind us and the ice will not calling every morning I will get on with writing up the many things we learned this season.