Safe ice is sure ice only if you check it before going out on it. I carry my trusty ice spud with me wherever I go this time of the year. If it goes through in one chop it’s not safe to go out on.
There is an old saying that two inches of ice can hold a horse, but I wouldn’t want to be out on the ice with that horse as I’m sure we would both get wet.
Even though it has been below zero several nights this season that doesn’t mean the ice is safe.
Some parts of the lakes only froze up the day before the big snowfall.
Snow insulates the ice and keeps it from freezing—even at –20, which it was this morning (12/17.)
The lakes will probably wet up this weekend and then refreeze when it gets cold again. Just because you see snowmobile tracks out on a lake it doesn’t mean that lake is safe for travel everywhere.
We have had a lot of rain this fall and they are still letting water out of the lakes.
That means water is moving at the inlets and outlets of most of the lakes, which doesn’t freeze as fast.
I know there was a channel out for a half mile in the inlet in Fourth Lake the other day that could have gotten someone wet or been deadly.
Ice or cold water rescues are very dangerous situations for forest rangers and fire company rescuers.
Whether you are snowmobiling, skiing or snowshoeing, play it safe. Stay off the lakes unless they have been checked and are known to be safe for traveling.