Nights are still long and days are short one week after the winter solstice. We woke up in the dark foggy morning eager to skate on a lake we never had investigated before. Lake Ölen is a rather small, oblong lake lying in a landscape scattered with boulders. We had hoped a sunny day to admire the scenery but what we experienced was a mysterious misty day with so many special impressions you never can get a sunny day
Minus 2 degrees below zero. The sun was struggling to get through the fog but the fog overcame the sun. We were both a bit doubtful about the ice conditions and this day we really had to use our ice poles a lot to be sure. There had been black ice, then snow and thaw…
Along the cracks water had been pressed up and “built” excellent skating roads. Sometimes we were in the middle of nowhere just skating around following the lake almost anti clock wise. By the north western part we observed some huge boulders – remainings since the last ice age.
Suddenly – there it was! The black ice, thick enough for skating (about 5 – 6 cm). What a joy. Before we realized we were back at the starting point after about 20 km. You really need to use all your senses while skating – especially in weather like this. We followed the map to know where to avoid inlets and outlets as the ice is thinner there. And of course we used our ears. To listen to the sounds of the ice to decide if it is thick enough. One of the most impressive moments was when we heard the sound from a waterfall in the distance.
On our way back home the weather cleared up and as we passed Lake Tysslingen – a famous bird lake – we couldn’t resist to meet the evening on skates with a wonderful view west over Mountain Kilsbergen. The whopees accompanied us in the sunset.