Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ice reports & photos from Kodiak

I returned from warmer latitudes yesterday. Today we did a few drive bys and checked potential pit areas at local hot spots.

Buskin is still open. 

Lake Lee has about two and a half inches of pretty nice stable strong black ice with about an inch of slush. At 3PM this afternoon about half to three quarters of an inch of new ice had frozen on top of the slush. The ice surface is saturated snow ice and it is pretty smooth. If temps stay below freezing and skies continue to remain clear without any insulating snow fall Lake Lee should set up solid and be pretty good skating. Today the top shell would zipper under our feet. I think Lake Lee is a nice default venue if Mission doesn't pan out. 

Boy Scout Lake is rough with air bubbles frozen mid pop in what appears to be a nice slush layer. 

Lilly Lake had shell ice and a nice stable layer of black ice about two to three inches thick. Could be nice skating there as long as predicted temps set up the ice, freeze up the free surface water. There is a lot of fine grit on Lilly ice as it is right down town next to the roads. 

Mission Lake has great looking window pane ice. I did not find any shell ice, but there were small drain holes about eight inches or so wide. The ice is about two and a half inches thick and stable. You could have skated today with picks and caution. However Mission would not be a good place for kids until the surface sets up a bit more. Right now drain holes could swallow a skate. I expect drain holes may be stable enough by tomorrow. Mission may be good fun if snow holds off and temps stay frigid. Mission also has grit on the ice blown from the road. Mission has historic spring holes as well as shallow areas which are prone to be thin ice areas under the right circumstances. Mission needs to be checked carefully as it is all very homogenous looking black ice, however I suspect there will be thin areas to avoid. 

Any one interested in trying a prototype skate sail or a wing, let me know. My cell is 207 446 6568. The adventure wagon is always loaded with extra gear including picks and throw reels. Let me know if you are interested in joining us on the ice. I suspect tomorrow could be an epic day if winds and ice surfaces oblige. 

Check the entire area you intend to skate. This report is more about potential than it is to be relied on without another ice check at each location. The varied conditions from local lake to lake high light the dynamic effects of temperature and elevation changes from location to location. Do not assume one location will be like another. 

Beware of bottomless puddles. 

Wear picks!!!!