Thursday, July 19, 2018

Early skate

Up early this morning to meet Inge at Rushcutters.  Again skated out to the middle but too creaky to be safe.  Same crew as yesterday showed up as well.  Wise to skate with the frost.  Great skating, good company and hard to leave the good ice.
On the way home had a short pond skate at Naseby.
Other skating spots had a little new ice - far from skateable.     Very warm for this time of year.

Inge under the dawn
Fun on a pond 
Early start

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dawn and Dusk skate...

Up early this morning to the Lower Manoburn to find good skating in Rush Cutters corner.  Great ice without the usual debris that people throw on it. Great chatting to a few locals and some visitors from Auckland.   Did skate out to the middle once but the ice was a bit dodgy.
After a snow kiting session on the Pisa Range I decided to have a look at Diamond Lake on the way back - not having been there for quite a few years.   There was ice all over the lake but was unable to get out to it as the edges were either melted or very thin due to the trees and reeds.
On the way up I had spotted a smaller pond tucked under the hill and still with frost around it.  Walked down to it on the way back and found some fab ice - very smooth. I think the pond had formed from melted snow.  Good skating but had to watch for a few rocks that had been thrown on.   Fab way to finish the day with a dusk skate on super smooth ice.

pet rock....
Fabulous backdrop

Saturday, July 14, 2018

In the shadows

No frost this morning but on the way home found a couple of ponds in the shadows around Naseby that had ice strong enough for a skate despite being late morning.   Lucky to get this as all the usual skating spots had ice that was thin and weak.  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Slim (ice) pickings

Has not been good weather for ice lately but decided to have a look around today anyway after the first good frost for a while.  The wind and rain has melted all the previous ice.  Poolburn had new ice but too thin to skate. Managed to find a couple of ponds near the lake and had a bit of a skate.  Ice was good on one pond and marginal on the other two.  Wondering if it might be the last for this year?
Made the most of the ice that was there and fun to get the skates on again.
Headed over to Pisa for a snow kite to complete the day - great wind and snow!

Checked the Lower Manorburn this evening - new ice in the middle basin.  A frost or two away from a skate....

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Out and about

Up to Poolburn early this morning to see what survived the snow last week.  Much of the ice had melted with some refreeze too thin to skate.  The main bay (and a few other places) had snow effected ice with some smooth skating in between.  Ice was variable and needed care but some good skating.   The effect of the wind and snow on the ice looked amazing - especially from the air.

Left Poolburn and went for an explore on the bike to check some other spots and ended up with a skate on fab smooth ice.  Well worth the ride.

Pics:Wind and snow patterns on the ice - the snow/wind 'waves' look out of focus....
Main Bay - scale: the picture is a km from top to bottom

Entrance to small bay

Island in the main bay. 
Fab skating

Tried riding on the ice?... yea..nah...yea... 
Rest time 
Interesting track surface...

Poolburn:  Some ice still in main bay but effected by wind and snow.  Variable thickness.  Needs care if going out form shore.  Track gnarly.

Idaburn:  Swimming time.

Lower Manorburn:  Fresh ice in main basin but not thick enough yet.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Poolburn delivers...

Up early this morning to meet Inge at Poolburn.  Did expect some ice but was surprised to find such good crazy pave  ice all over the main bay and out to the main island.  Great skating. Elsewhere the ice was variable and at times thin.  Seems some of the ice from a few weeks ago had survived and thickened with the few days of frost. Inge and I had a good skate.  Also explored a couple of other bays but was a bit tricky getting to them.  Well worth the effort and great to be on the ice at sunrise.

Poolburn:  Good skating in the main bay.  Thin elsewhere.  Track muddy and slippery at the top when it thaws.  Snow expected over the next day which will probably cover the ice.

Idaburn:  1-2cm

Coalpit: 1-2cm

Monday, June 4, 2018

Great Moss Swamp

Have wondered many a time if it would be possible to skate the Great Moss Swamp on the Old Dunstan Road.  Today was the last day the road is open before winter so I decided to check it out after the cold snap.
Interesting drive in the dark to get there and well worth it.  The small arm is the easiest part to access and it was frozen solid with thick smooth ice.  Fantastic skating.  Able to skate the whole arm (avoiding the stream inlets!) and crossed to the far side entrance to the main lake on a tongue of ice with water on both sides.  Open water prevented me going any further but there were sheets of ice over many parts of the lake.  Great to skate in a new place with such good ice.  Hard to leave!   On the way I out checked out a few spots and couldn't resist a skate on Deep Creek.
Start of the small arm.
Small arm
Looking out the small arm. (I skated to the left far side)
Interesting drive 
Waiting for the sun rise
New things to see
Down the small arm
The bus stop
The road at the end of the small arm where I got on the ice.
Public transport available
On Deep Creek

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Smooth as bro

Up early with Dave and Steph and headed to Poolburn to meet Inge (and her friends).  Our plan was for a daybreak skate to make the most of the (nearly safe) ice.  We all had a great skate out round the island in the main bay then around to the dam and around to the back of the main island.   While the ice was not yet thick enough to be safe it was freezing hard while we were there which kept the ice hard and fast.  Smooth black ice - the best!  Good fun. Again amazed it was so good in early June.

Dave and Steph with Inge and crew 
Brief break.  Dave Dave and Steph
lines of fun... 

Dust patterns in the ice.

Poolburn:  Main bay has ice that is skate able if it is freezing hard.  Softens as the day warms.  Ice in other places but variable.  Check carefully before skating and watch for thinning ice.  Track ok (bit rough) but gets muddy after the frost.

Idaburn:  Around 40mm over the main area. Unsure about gorge area.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Best start to the season...

Amazing day today.  We headed early to Poolburn for a look and were amazed to find good ice - not that thick but good for a skate if you took care.  The best early season skate either of us have ever had.  We skated across a couple of bays and had a chat with a group of motorcyclists on their way to the Brass Monkey.  Fantastic black ice but needs checking before skating.
Headed to the upper Manorburn for a look while the road is still open.  Zero ice but had a few skates in different places (including skating on the river!) on the way out.  Also a bit of a treat skating in an irrigation canal.
Finished of with a skate on black ice on Coalpit Dam.  Great ice there - just a good frost away from really safe ice.
All in all an unexpected and fantastic start to the season.

Coalpit Dam:  Ice is nearly thick enough for a safe skate.  Black ice up to 40mm.  If there is a frost tomorrow skate on the far side under the trees.  Check first.

Poolburn:  Black ice over most of the dam. Thickness varies.  Needs a frost or two to make safe.  If you go take care and test before getting on and have a safety plan as there will be no one there to help.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May b ice...

After a couple of good frosts I decided to take a punt this morning and left very early to see if I could find some ice on the last day of May.  After a bit of exploring I found some skate-able ice down one side of Coalpit Dam.  First ever skate on natural ice in May for me.  Was borderline safe but great to get on the skates so early in the season.  Rest of the dam was covered in 10-20mm.  Hoffmans Dam was mostly water but managed a small creaky skate at the edge of the tail.  A few good frosts should bring the ice in.

Coalpit Dam:  1-2cm over the whole dam.  A few frosts away from a safe skate
Hoffmans Dam:  Mostly water.  Some ice in the tail.