Monthly Archives: January 2017

Rain, thaw and low temperature – medicine for good ice

County Östergötland offered us wonderful skating conditions. Two days’ skating on Lake Stråken and Lake Regnaren in wild and silent nature. No cars, no noise – just we and nature.
Our first tour around Lake Stråken was mysterious. The fog enveloped us like a soft, warm blanket.

Two days later we found a new favourite lake – Lake Regnaren. Hidden in the forest lies this gem with many islands, bays and sounds. A culture lanscape in a mining area since the 1700’s. We started our trip around the lake near Regnaholm Manor – a storied mansion and even a botanical interesting place. The original family tree to a Swedish famous apple variety “Gyllenkrok Astrakan” grows here.

We had a quiet and restful skating marvelling the richness of nature. For a while we were accompanied by two Sea eagles. Now all small lakes are frozen. Where do they find food? Do they fly to the Baltic Sea for which is not far away for fishing or do they find other food as hares, minks and carcasses?

After 5 hours on ice we headed back home looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure – Lake Sommen in the southern part of Östergötland.

Three days skating in Norway

“We really loved and enjoyed the skating in the fairytale scenery and the perfect ice conditions.” These are words from two Dutch skaters and nature lovers. The dates were set and most of  the lakes in Sweden were covered with snow. BUT lake Vansjöen in Norway offered solid ice and good skating conditions. Unfortunately our first day, Wednesday 11th January, was stormy and the rain poured down. Nothing stopped us – we made us ready to force the weather.

After a short skating we went into our car to check more ice inland. Unfortunately it was snowing, so the desicion to go back to lake Vansjöen next day was right. We were a bit worried that there should be “overice” but the surface was hard, solid and dry. It couldn´t be better!

Off we went following the west shore of the island Dillingöia. Almost at the southern point we were stopped by thinner ice. We had forced the headwind and the tailwind on our way back was pure pleasure.

After a nice break we were ready to skate back to our starting point.

As we said the first days – it can only be better. And it did! Some degrees below zero, almost no wind and blue sky. We went back to the same starting point as the day before hoping for even thicker ice after a cold night. We were right. Where we couldn´t skate yesterday it was possible this day. But as always – we had to watch out. After so heavy rains the water has to flow out in the sea and there are many exposed places where to pay attention. Especially points and sounds.

After a good time of skating we stopped for a break, had a nice fire and were waiting for the dark. It was full moon night. We waited and waited for the moonrise but the forest and the hills concealed the moon. We had a nice skating with our headlamps and arrived back to our car in dark. After less than 1 km we met the yellow, full shining moon. A good end of three wonderful days out on ice!

Around Lake Mökeren Norway

Is there a better way than starting the new year on perfect ice? New years day 2017 blessed us with 46 km fantastic skating around lake Mökeren, just by the border to Sweden.

We captured the moment to be out on the ice just before sunrise. To our luck we heard the wonderful sounds of black grouse on the other side of the lake. Droppngs on the ice showed that they had been here before.

Nordic skating isn’t just the joy of skating. It gives you such wonderful nature experiences. We met a squirrel, followed some ravens and passed by a beaver hut. You could see the activity of chopped birches and the open water outside the hut. The beavers are really social animals. Inside the hut the family has different rooms where they spend their days and nights during winter time. The entrance to the hut is below the water surface to keep predators away.

After some nice refreshing pauses we were happy to skate round the lake on perfect ice and were back to the car just at sunset.

The winter solstice 2016 was December 21st. Now the days are getting longer and longer. We are looking forward to many skating tours 2017!

Magic ice after thaw

Ice is an everchanging element. After many days of temperatures over zero daytime, some rain and some degrees below zero the last nights this magic surface gave us an excellent experience. As the thickness of the ice had reduced remarkably we really had to be careful and we didn’t reach as long as we wished. Some weeks ago we had skated almost all around lake Kornsjön.

…. and more frozen leaves

On this type of ice you need to be careful. When there has been water on the ice it has to disappear somewhere. Small holes appear, the water whirls and the hole grows bigger.

Though we didn’t skate far distance this day’s trip gave us a lot of sunshine, skating on parts of three lakes and new ice experiences.