Monday, November 9, 2015

A Carousel Made of Ice

These guys have way too much ice and time on their hands.....
Outboard motor is a nice touch!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A little black ice - and it is good!

Early morning skate - sun not up yet
Up early this morning and met Inge at the Lower Manorburn.  Better skating than last night - not as much frost today but the ice had set nicely and we were able to skate from one side of Rushcutters to the other.  Also managed to skate on fresh black is at the edge of the old ice but the rest of the ice was still to thin - just one hard frost away from being skate-able.....
Before I left drove to the top of the middle basin just to have a look and found new back ice that was strong enough to skate.  Just fabulous - rare to get such great ice in August and hard to leave! Finally headed home stopping for a mini pond skate on way.
Great skating for so late in the season - should go a few more days if the frosts hold....
Dave and Inge
Fresh ice....some thick enough to skate on
Wow - look at this black ice!
(very) Mini pond skate

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Frost again - another skate...

When I did my last post i though it would be the last skate for the year but after a couple of hard frosts  - and tempted by the last report on the Aardwolves site,  I decided to head up for another skate.
More ice than last weekend and good to see the snow had  smoothed off.  Had a skate around most of Rushcutters on hard but sometimes bumpy ice.  Great to get another late season skate.  Had a chat to Inge while I was there and may skate again tomorrow.

Rushcutters - still a good lump of ice..

Watch for hazards....

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Last skate for 2015 - in the snow...

Yesterday evening an email arrived showing ice still in Rushcutters corner on the Lower Manorburn so I decide to head up early today for one final skate for this year.   By the time I arrived snow had started falling but the ice was ok for a skate despite a skiff on top.  Ice was hard  and the snow light so easy skating.  More snow fell while I was there and by the time I left a few centimetres had settled but great to have one last natural ice skate for this season. 

More snow covering the ice...
Despite the snow a good skate...
Still some ice left on the far side.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A good frost at last...

Woke to minus 6 this morning - good to see a frost again.  Headed up to check Poolburn. The track had a light skiff of snow near the top.  The ice had melted around the edge leaving a metre gap to the ice pack.  New ice had formed at the edge but not enough to stand on - plank time!   
Despite the snow, the ice was still skate-able between the snow patches.  Skated out around the small island being wary of the snow covering the ice hazards  Always good to be on Poolburn. 
Then headed to to the Lower Manorburn to finish off with a skate over most of the middle basin.   Could skate to the other side and into the beginning of the gorge. Great ice - hard and smooth - very enjoyable.

Hidden hazards on Poolburn
Checking the edge ice.
Plank to get on to the main ice pack.
Great ice on the Manorburn

Ice Report:  Poolburn - Thin ice around edge of the ice pack. Main ice has snow effected areas which hides weak ice.  Main ice pack is now thinner.  Skating not recommended unless checked very carefully.  Track ok when frozen but muddy and rutted otherwise.

Manorburn:  Good skating over most of the main basin. Smooth and hard.  Thinning out towards the other side.  Water in the gorge and the neck.  Was good with the frost.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

By the light..

By the light - of the silvery moon.....  Passing through the Ida Valley tonight I stopped by Idaburn to find ice that was still skate-able.  Although it was dusk there was enough moonlight to check the ice near the shore and have a skate.  Ice was smooth, hard but a bit creaky and felt 'old'.   Did not venture too far out but had a fun skate and there is something special about skating in the moonlight with out lights. Quiet and peaceful.  Great way to end the day!

Moonlight on the ice.

Finishing up.

Ice Report:  Idaburn - Still some skate-able ice in the main area but a bit creaky with some weak patches away from the shore.  Test well before skating.   Weak and some water at the edge.  Ice feels 'old'.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ice and wind!

Pressure ridge
Headed up to Poolburn later than usual today but arrived to find the ice looking good.  Similar to the other day - a mix of smooth and bumpy ice.  There was already wind blowing so decided to start with the kite.  Wind is a bit of a mixed blessing - can ruin (or smooth off)  the ice but allows other activities.   Kiting on the ice is a great challenge - have to concentrate as once you get speed up it is easy to slide out - which I did while fiddling with the camera!  Had a great session zipping back and forth -  then changed to skating.  Skated around to the dam then back towards the main bay to head around the island. Unfortunately the wind was had effected the ice in places so a tour around the main island seemed unsafe.  Ice was beginning to soften and break up as I left.
Finished with a session on Idaburn.  Enjoyed skating in the sun and warm temps - 15 deg!

The most fun to be had....
Dangerous spot - under pressure and going off
Idaburn - water in the gorge

Ice Report:  Poolburn - Plenty of ice in the main bay.  Mix of smooth and bumpy.  Ice over rest of the dam varies - with some pressure and wind effected areas making it dangerous.  Water starting to appear in some places.  Be wary in the warm temps. Track muddy.

Idaburn - Skate-able ice in the main area.  Water in the gorge.  Softening in the warm temps.  Won't last without frost.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dawn on the ice..

Dawn on Poolburn
Up to Poolburn early this morning to skate at dawn.  Wow what a great skate.  The changing colours as the sun came up through the cloud was just a pleasure to watch.  The ice changing from pinks through to yellows with the sky.  Oh the ice.... yes great skating on hard locked in ice.  The surface was a mix of smooth and bumpy but good skating with hockey skates and plenty of interest in the changes in the ice.  Skated around the main island and back as well.  Great!

Sun finally coming up...

Poolburn Caravan Park (ed) :-)

Ice Report: Poolburn -  ice over most of the dam.  Ice varies - mixture of smooth and bumpy but good skating.  Some thin areas.   Check carefully if weather warms...  Track is rutted at top - will be muddy if wet.

Idaburn  As yesterday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Moonlight skate...

Stopped in at Idaburn this evening to check the ice and found good hard ice in the main area. After a bit of a careful check had a great skate by the moonlight!  Once your eyes adjust you don't need lights.  Fab.

Stars and moonlight on Idaburn

Ice report: Idaburn - Skate-able ice in main area. Hard and locked in when I was there (evening).  Best to skate with the frost before the day warms. Won't last without more frost.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Before the snow...

Poolburn rocks - great skating
Up to Poolburn at daybreak to try for a skate before the bad weather arrived.  Was pleased to see that the whole dam had resurfaced ice and, despite the dull weather, was a great skate.  Skated out around the main island and into long arm. Great skating but by the time I left a strong wind had come up and was starting to melt the ice around the edges.  After a bit of 'jacket sailing' I headed down to the Lower Manorburn.  Good skating there as well and good to catch up and skate with Inge and talk to a few locals.  Met another Dave from Dunedin who amazed me with his balance on a bike on wet ice!  Even his dog was impressed...
Manorburn middle basin has plenty of ice but became wet as the wind came up.

Cold place for a holiday
Dave the brave..... 

Inge getting a few runs in.

Ice Report:
Poolburn - Resurfaced ice over the whole dam.  Great skating.  Unfortunately when I left the wind had come up and was working away at the ice with some water starting to appear at the edges. Track good but rough at the top.

Manoburn - Still plenty of ice in the main basin.  Good skating.  Wind had come up by midday and the ice became wet.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Evening skate

Night Skate.....

Had a nice evening skate on the Lower Manorburn tonight on the way through Alex.  Middle basin was still solid and smooth.  Some bits of water around the edge but the ice was still locked in.    Didn't venture too far out in the dark but was able to go to the other side ok and had a great skate.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

River again...

Did not intend to skate to day but another cold morning so decided to go and see what ice was nearby home.  Ended up skating on a local river that had frozen over. I had noticed it a few years back during a cold spell but never really expected to skate on it.  A bit freaky at first but a great experience.  Ice was hard, a bit bumpy here and there but great fun - and close to home.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Primo ice...

Clear ice - green slime is under the ice..
The frosts have been kind to skaters all over and we are loving it.....
Another cold morning and a dawn skate in the Idaburn gorge.  Then off to meet Dave P at Mathaius.
Wow what ice!  The whole dam had frozen with fresh black ice - and a great setting.  Neither of us had skated more than the tail end before and it was a thrill to do the whole area including up the inlet stream.  It seems to take special conditions to bring on this ice as some parts a quite shallow with plenty of greenery in the water.
From there we headed to Styx Reservoir.  Two days ago we were only able to skate part of the lake on snow ice but this time is was fresh black ice again and we skated from end to end under the steep rocky hill side.  Primo ice.  We both found it hard to leave such a great setting and fab ice - despite the constant groaning of the ice as the water level lowers.....
Finished of with a look at the Taierei river with its ice flow and a final skate on the Styx River.  Weird to be skating
on top of running water!   A great day...
Black ice everywhere
Dave making the most of it
Skaters dream
Looking up to the top of Styx Reservoir
Dave checking the intlet.
Resting on the river
Rock hazards
Styx River
Ice flows on the Taieri

Ice Report:
Idaburn:  Plenty of ice.  Best in the gorge but thin at entrance.  Walk down to the small basin near the dam.

Manorburn: Plenty of ice in middle basin.

Mathaius and Styx:  Great skating but will go off very quickly when it warms as they are both very open.  Check carefully. Water level at Styx Res is constantly dropping causing plating at the edge.  Can be tricky getting on and off especially if the ice is going aging.