A skiier longs for snow, a skater finds snow as a hazard. If it hadn’t been a slight snowfall some days ago the northern part of Lake Vättern had offered splendid skating conditions today. Anyway, our trip today gave us a lot – as always. – 5 degrees below zero, wind about 5m/s south east and cloudy. Was the snow frozen on the surface?
Foggy day - a palette of grey colours
The snow on the surface a bit impeding
The dog on the island Stora Aspön
Under the thin layer of snow we had smooth ice 🙂
Tensions in the ice due to temperature changes between day and night causes cracks
Sun is there
Nice skating paths
We headed towards open water. What a great feeling hearing the waves far away.
Pay attention - weak ice!
Pressure ridge - open water
Not advisable to pass
While skating on natural ice you always have to pay attention. Pressure ridges are quite easy to observe. You have a lot of choices, to pass over, pass around them or return. This one we had to return. Another danger is open areas called “wind wells” which can occur anywhere.
Tomorrow new adventures are awaiting. We are planning to discover new lakes for us further south, hopefully not covered with snow.
Weather conditions right now makes the south of Sweden to a skating paradise. Today we experienced a sunny, calm, – 4 degrees C day in total wilderness on lake Långvattnet (Bohuslän) on black ice framed by a rocky conifer forest landscape.
The surface was just perfect! Along the huge rocks by the lake nature has formed enormous icicles.
There are many lakes and tarns, and the exiting thing with nordic skating is to skate around one lake and then walk to another one. We heard a drizzling sound and followed the creek by foot. Wonderful ice sculptures in the running water showed up. A dipper showed itself on the iced stones. Down stream we skated round a little woodland tarn – not bigger than 1 km circumference. We had a feeling of March when we sat in the sun for our packed lunch.
As always in our part of the world we find traces from our last ice age. Grounded rocks and bare stones from old sea level, before the land rised after the high pressure of the inland ice 10 000 years ago, shows up. Before sunset we headed back home and hoped to observe some animals. This morning we had a wonderful meeting with a giant elk just by the road!
Five different lakes in three days offers five different conditions. Ice and nature is amazing. From one day to another nothing is the same. When temperature varies over and below zero the most different phenomenas occur.
Testing ice quality +5 degrees C
Hard ice, good conditions
Snow and hard winds has patterned the black ice in stripes.