Since Christmas, there has been rain and snow, warm and cold. Now, on the 3rd, there is a bit of freezing rain turning to rain. After Christmas, rain melted the snow on the ice and there were puddles. Then, a foot of snow fell and the lake looked and still looks beautiful, but now there is a slush layer under the snow. This is common but makes skiing hard if your skis touch the slush and then freeze and snowmobiles have the same kind of problem.
Before Christmas, the lake had a nice little layer of snow to ski on. After Christmas, the rains melted that snow and there were puddles on the surface, well in some places ponds on top of the ice. The ice is generally quite thick so in most places you won’t fall through but a few places rarely completely freeze over so you always have to be careful. After the rains, a nor’easter came up the coast and left a foot of snow. The snow was rather heavy. This adds weight to the ice which then sinks and water then comes up through the cracks in the ice and makes a slush layer. This will be made worse with the new rain that is coming.
Below is a picture taken on the 3rd and it is quite dreary. A fine mist was coming down and it wasn’t an inspiring day compared to the previous day with bright sunshine.
Below are some human tracks in the slush and without waterproof boots, wet feet would be the result of making these footprints. The small rounded footprints are from a coyote but were made a few days before.
Snowmobiles have been out on the ice in places, mostly on the NW shore and no tracks are seen in the southeast part of the lake. Slush makes it hard even for snowmobiles to travel and if you do get stuck, it is a wet problem getting the sled out. Along the shores, the slush is evident although it is possible to walk on the lake because the slush is on top of the ice. Winter always causes changes on the lake and this is just par for the course.
Oh, and on the 4th, it was slushier. The rain over night made it so that walking on the lake meant you were often in 3 inches of slush. Supposed to freeze tonight and not go above freezing tomorrow. It may make the lake more user friendly.