Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rock Rabbit!

Decided to make a dash up to Poolburn this morning for a skate before the weather warms up again.
One of the things we look for on the way is the rock rabbit the tells us we are just a kilometre from the ice.  Good to see it this morning but only a light frost.
Rock Rabbit - you are nearly there...
Poolburn was locked in with 60-80mm of snow effected ice.  At least it was hard though a bit bumpy.   Had a good skate out to the main island then put on the Nordic skates to a longer tour. By 10.00 the ice was going off so had to head back while it was still safe and was amazed at the changes happening with the day warming.  Water holes and pressure cracks appearing - onealmost stopping me getting back -  but worth the effort.
Bit of a skate on Idaburn on the way up - snow ice and feeling creaky.
The ice does not feel as that it is here to say and unfortunately warmer weather and winds are due.

Testing before crossing pressure cracks
Cracks appearing as the day warms
Who said farmers aren't in touch with their feminine side!

Poolburn 70-80mm snow/back ice.  Deteriorating quickly in the sun and becoming weak.  Get there early for a skate (maybe) but won't last.  Track messy when it thaws.
Idaburn 60-70mm snow ice in main basin - thins out to water in the gorge side.  Hard and bumpy while frozen.   Need frosts!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Woke this morning in Alex to a skiff of snow. Headed out to the Lower Manorburn for an early skate. Luckily the ice was not too badly effected by the snow - hard and bumpy but and easy skate. Skated most of the main basin due to being out early when the ice was locked in. Before I left I took the chance to have a go with the Nordic skates. Very smooth on the bumpy ice and a bit of fun for a change. Would be great when the surface is too rough for ordinary skates. Headed to Poolburn for a look and really stuck winter up there! Cold and very windy. Interesting to see what the wind and snow was doing to the ice - creating holes and covering hard ice with weaker snow ice. Had a good skate in a lee wind bay where the black ice had been smoothed off. Ice was too unpredictable to get out the Kitewing..... Plenty of snow on the road home and other skating spots were well covered.
Holes appearing

Nordic for a change
First marks...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Poolburn Black please

Sir..... How would you like your ice?  Poolburn Black please - the best!   Great skate on black ice today on Poolburn.  Smooth and like glass.  I kept near the edge and only went out to the small island as the ice was not that thick, I had arrived late and the sun was warming the ice. But what a skate. The ice seems to form all at once here - no shady parts to form first so when it is good the whole lake is good.

Coalpit turned on another good skate with a mix of refreeze ice and black ice.  Had a pond skate on the track in to Coalpit - small but fun.  Track to Coalpit is now free of snow.
Hoffmans dam had ice but did not feel safe enough for a skate.  Idaburn had good skating in the main basin but best to skate early or with a frost as the ice is easily effected by sun and wind.
Skated the Lower Manorburn as well.  There is ice over the whole dam but only really safe in Rushcutters Corner at the mo.  A great day skating with lots of variation.  Clicked up a few ice kms and looking forward to a rest!

Always something different at Poolburn

Ice like glass

Rushcutters Corner Lower Manorburn 
Pond Skate small but fun.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thin Ice...

Finally a few frosts!  Visited the local skating spot today for a quick look - ground frozen but only thin ice about 10mm thick.  A long way off skating.  We are hoping there will be some ice somewhere around Central Otago this weekend.

Mahinerangi Arm

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Winter: wherefor art thou?

Warm and windy windy weather over the last week has raised temperatures over Otago.  No ice hunting this weekend :-(

Waiting for frost.........