Monthly Archives: January 2016

Nordic Skating Lake Vättern and Lake Unden

Follow the ice covering process on two of our favorite fresh water lakes in southern Sweden – Lake Vättern and Lake Unden. The photo galleries show last week’s trips on these lakes. We filled our senses with deep impressions from dusk to dawn. Different ice conditions challenged our minds to be alert and alive. The skating technique, pending from one side to another in a smooth rhythm offers great harmony. Starting from the shore on old thick ice covered with dense frostwork, finding our way on safe newer generations with smooth black ice out to the ice front with open water gives variety and a lot of adrenaline.

Both lakes are ground water lakes which makes the transparency of the water incredible. In January you can see the bottom through the ice up to 5 to 6 meters, even deeper later on when the sun is higher.  Both lakes have drinkable water which is a gift in our polluted world. Though the lakes are quite close to each other – only a distance of 10 km, they are really different and have their own souls and secrets. We even saw the sea monster of Lake Unden.

Skating on lake Västra Silen (Youtube Video).

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Where to find skatable ice?

At the beginning of the skating season it is a great challenge to find skatable and safe ice. We follow the weather forecasts, the temperature and winds. Many parameters have to be investigated when you find ice that looks safe. We measure the thickness of the ice. If the ice is clear it has to be at least 4 centimeters thick. Different parts of the lake has different thickness of the ice. Warning – sounds, inlets, outlets, shallow bottoms and near capes. Snow on the ice is not good – it is of most importance to observe the surface, icecracks. Icequality differs a lot, especially when skating long distances. Snow on the ice isolates low temperatures which means that icegrowth slows down. You have to be aware of all these threats when you go for skating on natural ice. We offer our customer a basic course howe to skate safe with the right safety equipment.

We headed home and found our little lake up in the mountains frozen with real thick black ice – 9 cm. Happy moments skating round and round with a wonderful view out over the sea.

Day three we eventually found what we were looking for. A whole day on different lakes.