Sunday, May 31, 2020

Early Winter Skate - 31st may

Set off this morning with Dave P for our usual early season exploring session to familiarise and explore our usual ice skating spots.  We took our skating gear but were not expecting to skate at all.  We had planned to head back overland from Poolburn but the road was closed (early) - probably early due to Covid19.  Decide to explore around the dam and ended up with a great early skate in a stream at the bottom of the dam.  An unexpected surprise despite getting wet clothing walking through the frosty tussock.  Great to get the skates on in May - a rare thing. -8 when we stopped at Oturehua on the way up - great winter feel.

Skating the stream

10-15mm on Idaburn

Sunday, February 2, 2020

US Ice trip Dec 2019

As I was heading to San Francisco in December (2019) to meet our daughter I decided to go early to see if I could get in some skating.  I have always wanted to visit Helena, Montana as it has a reputation for skating and ice sailing.  Spent two weeks travelling to there and the Eastern Sierra and had some great skating.  

Below are some pics from the trip

First skate - on a snow melt pond at the side of the road while travelling to Twin Falls ID
Swan Valley skate on a pond - bit soft! 
Swan Valley pond
Amazing ice on Clark Canyon Reservoir 
Clark Canyon - think green ice - massive area

Lake Helena - thick ice again - smooth!
Rest on Lake Helena
Frozen Creek near Canyon Ferry
Loving Lake Helena 
Pond area at top of Canyon Ferry 
Skated around a small boat harbour on Canyon Ferry - industrial skate just for fun
Frozen Boat Harbour
Huge ice on Canyon Ferry Dam 

Clark Canyon Res on the way back.

Skated to the Island on Clark Canyon Res - light snow on the ice but good for Nordic Skates
And back to the Island the next day 

Bit of a dodgy skate near Elko NV
Amazing ice on Caples Lake - had to snow shoe around the lake to get there
Bridgeport Reservoir - fab skate - huge area
Lake Crowley arm - good skate.
Back to Bridgeport the next day
Caples - amazing ice
Alkalai Ponds near Bishop - snow ice but good in the Nordic Skates

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Rushing around Rushcutters...

Good to have a skate in Rushcutters Corner on the Lower Manorburn this morning.  Started before dawn on hard fast ice. Most of RC was good but thinning further out with water in the middle basin.  Great  skating and good to catch up with Inge.  And of course the dawn.
Sun coming up
Startling orange clouds as the sun hits them

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Cracking time....

 Checked out Poolburn this morning just to see if there was any ice left.   Little frost as I drove up but -2 once I got there.  Lots of water in the main bay and elsewhere. Very little ice left but after hunting around I found a (just) skate-able plate of ice in the far bay.  The ice that was left had been covered with snow along with wind affected ice that had been blown together making it (just) strong enough.  Ended up with an enjoyable but noisy skate (lots of cracking) and had to be careful to stay within a safe area.
Headed down to the Lower Manorburn and was surprised to see a good chunk of ice still in Rushcutters corner.  Ice was wet but hard and great skating.
Great to be on the ice again but nothing feels like it will last....
Poolburn far bay.
Wind blown ice
Rushcutters - wet and hard - good skate.

Plenty of cracks....water at the edge of the ice.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Wet ice...but fun

Enjoying the reflections - looking back into Rush Cutters
The plan for this morning was to head early to Poolburn but with no frost and very windy over night I decided to give it a miss.  Decided to have a skate on the Lower Manorburn on the way home as the ice was quite thick in Rush Cutters corner last night.  Was very enjoyable and with a bit of careful testing I was able to skate out into the middle basin. Ice had a layer of water but was smooth and hard.  A lot of air bubbles just out of RC's which was a bit freaky. Great skate.
With a couple of frosts this ice should improve.....
Wet ice... but a good skating
Galaxy of Bubbles (Ok it's upside down)
Looking into the Gorge - a rainbow in all...

Idaburn:  Mainly water - a little bit of skim ice at the edge
Coalpit:  Mainly water - a little bit of skim ice at the edge
Lower Manorburn:   Thick ice in Rushcutters.  A couple of frosts (soon!) will make good skating

Sunday, July 7, 2019

What the wind left....

After a week of warmer windy weather headed to Poolburn to meet Inge and see what ice was left.  Much of the ice had melted but a good frost this morning has surrounded the ice that was left and locked it in.  The new ice was too thin to skate but there were a few places to get onto the remaining ice pack.  The small bay was the safest with a good area to skate.  Later on I went and had a skate in the main bay on a chunk of old ice that I could get to then over to the far big bay where, despite a few more ice hazards, had a fantastic skate.  After an afternoon of exploring by MTB I finished the day with a skate at Rushcutters on the Lower Manorburn.  Thick ice close in to the shade and wet from the warm wind but a nice (limited) skate.   Hopefully we will get a few more frosts.......

Great skating in the small bay
Wind damage on the ice
Big bay - good skate despite the hazards
Evening at Rushcutters
Sun down at Rushcutters

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Poolburn Dawn

Sunrise on the ice
Arrived at Poolburn this morning to see meet Inge and Jane already on the ice with their head lights. Great to catch up and skate with them.  Fabulous dawn sky that soon gave way to a cloudy morning and a breeze.
Thick ice in half the main bay with new back ice beyond that.  The black ice was a bit variable but fantastic skating.  We made it a fair way around the side of the island but were turned back by thinning ice.   Peter and his son and friend made good use of the safe ice for a bit of pond hockey and a couple of Lord of the Rings fans from France stopped by the a chat and had go on the ice scooter.
Eventually able to get the kite out for a bit of fun though the ice surface was melting at this stage and very slippery making it hard to edge.
Hopefully the ice will survive as it will be a  bit warmer and windy over the next few days.
On the way home I stopped in at Idaburn and Coalpit for a quick skate.
With Inge and Jane on the black ice
So clear....
Ice scooter....
Coalpit on the way home
Kite time
Poolburn:  Big chunk of skate able ice in the main bay - new black ice further out.  Windy and wet by the time we left with the ice starting to creak.
Idaburn: 60mm over some of the main bay.  Melting in the wind...
Coalpit: 50-60mm on some of the dam - thinner at the edges.