Early Start

FIrst Ice:  We have had an early start for skating this year.  We got out on November 15 on a piece of ice on Bartlett Pond near Mineville NY.  The ice was about 2-3/8 thick and had an area about the size of a few hockey rinks...not big but it was great to get out. 

Sandwich Ice: Several inches of snow fell that night which submerged thin ice sheet that had formed on shallow ponds.  On November 18 the ice is still sandwich ice (about 3/4"  black ince on the bottom with an inch of watery slush in the middle with a frozen slush on the top.  Sandwich ice often has a particularly wide range of breakthrough strengths. Weak areas are easy to find with a test pole.  Being on ice this dodgy without a testpole or similar ice checking equipment leaves you with the widely used but foolish 'body weight test method'

 See the Key Points page for a quick review of the most important aspects of managing the risks of wild ice.