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12/10/16 – Dan braved the questionable early season ice yesterday to get a thickness measurement. He reports that there are four inches of clear ice with about three inches of slush on top of that with an inch or so of snow on top of the slush.
Slush is formed when water flows up from cracks in the ice or around the edges of the lake. Often, a blanket of heavy snow on new ice will push the ice down and cause water to rise up. This water mixes with the snow and creates the slush layer. That slush is then insulated by any snow that remains on top of it. Snow is a remarkably good insulator and thus slushy conditions can persist even in the coldest parts of winter.
Slush is a bummer for outdoor enthusiasts. Slush stuck to your skis quickly freezes when exposed to the air leaving you lugging along heavy ice chunks on your feet instead of gliding over the surface like you’d hoped.
Slush doesn’t occur in predictable patterns, so we have our fingers crossed that only the landing area is so slushy. With a new baby and dog in tow we didn’t dare venture out any further to test the ice conditions. As this cold snap continues, we’ll sneak farther and farther out to auger holes and keep you updated. -Clare
lake sunset 12_10_16.jpg
We were treated to this sunset at 4:30 PM while we drilled a test hole in the lake ice.