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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Morning skate

Up very early to Poolburn this morning to take advantage of the ice while its there.  Bit of fog in the valley but a beautiful clear morning on the ice.  Ice still variable with some open water here and there but great skating.  Easier to find safe ice after exploring last Sunday and knowing where the safer places are. Also had a bit of a skate in some of the main bay.
Someone had already been here....
Short break on a rock island

Idaburn:  Ice over most of the main bay - around 20-15mm near the edge
Coalpit:  15mm over the whole dam.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Taking a chance

After watching the weather over the last few days Dave P and I decided to take chance and went to Poolburn today.  Probably the most challenging drive I have had to the ice - temps around zero degrees and fog made for a slippery road. A slow trip.  Finally we climbed out of the fog on the track up to the dam.   A bit of snow still around was good news.
Still patches of water over the lake but we found some skate able ice in the small bay and eventually headed over to a far bay and had a fantastic skate.  Ice was variable though and we had to stay aware of the different ice conditions and how far we could push it.  A worth while effort.

Idaburn: Thin ice in the main basin with water on top - no skate.
Coalpit:  Up to about 10mm over most of the dam. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A bit of snow and a bit of ice!

After a couple of good frosts this week I decided to go up very early this morning  to Poolburn to see if there was any ice coming on - maybe for the weekend.   Cold temps on the way - down to -7 at one stage.  Track up was rougher than usual and into snow near the top.  Great to find ice over most of the dam but not yet thick enough to skate.  After a bit of scouting around and wet feet I found some skate able black is and had a fantastic skate despite the ice doing a lot of talking!  Clouding in while I was there - hopefully a few more frosts will come. Fab pre dawn and sunrise - well worth the trip.

Idaburn Dam - half the main bay has about 10mm ice
Coalpit Dam - about 10mm over most of the dam.  Water on the shady side

Monday, June 3, 2019

Pre season explore

Dave and I headed off early this morning to check our favourite skating spots to to see where else we might be able to skate if/when the ice comes. We took our skates despite not expecting to skate at all. First stop was Poolburn to check the road conditions and the water level.  A bit of skim ice around but great to be out in the hills again.
We met a Poolburn 'local' and having a chat decided to head on via the Old Dunstan Road to Paerau.  Last day of the season the road is open and great to travel through.  A bit of snow around the top section and after checking a few snow ice pools I had the seasons first skate.  Fab to be on the ice again in a great setting.  First effort earned me some wet feet then found a shallow pond and had a great (but creaky) skate.  Hard to get off the ice.
Headed down to Paerau with a few stops to look at the view.  Up over the Old Dunstan to Great Moss swamp on a muddy road.  A bit of exploring then stopped off to 'wash' the truck in a ford then home.
Great day out.
Skates on!

Wet Feet!
Its enough!

Checking the skim ice

First good skate of the season - hard to leave