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Ice Skate the Range of Light

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Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby John Dittli » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:12 pm

The Ice is in. Not really hiking, but not exactly winter either. More skate pics at http://dittli.wordpress.com/
Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EG7kLjpzsM
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0712_1139_AH12_D1A.jpg
Royce Lakes, John Muir Wilderness
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Tulainyo Lake, Sequoia National Park
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Dusy Basin, Kings Canyon National Park
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Rae Lakes, Kings Canyon National Park
Last edited by John Dittli on Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby The Other Tom » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:54 pm

Great pics ! Thanks for posting.
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby trav867 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:35 pm

This is awesome. I never considered merging two of my favorite hobbies, but I might just have to bring my hockey gear next time I go backpacking. When is the best time to skate?
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby gdurkee » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:52 pm

When it's a late snow year, there's often ice skating at Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite. We keep about 15 pair of ice skates in the basement for people to use. Also very cool to hear the ice boom back and forth with wind.

To extend the ice skating season there, Howard will often shovel out a lane of snow down to the ice if the snow fall wasn't too much.

g.
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby John Dittli » Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:26 pm

Hi George

I put some captions on the photos.

trav867 wrote:This is awesome. I never considered merging two of my favorite hobbies, but I might just have to bring my hockey gear next time I go backpacking. When is the best time to skate?


Right Now! Usually November and December, but it really depends on snow. Once the ice gets snow on it it's over (unless someone keeps it clear). Some years they all freeze up with the first snow and the ice never really happens. This year some of the smaller higher lakes froze early and now have snow while others are still open water.

Headed in to skate the Humphrey's Basin circuit tomorrow.

JD
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby gdurkee » Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:39 pm

Hey John!

Looks like you've been out having fun... . A few years ago, I gave Howard a pair of ice picks on a string that make them quickly available should you go through the ice.

Not sure anyone's ever skated on any of those lakes. It was 0 deg. the day we left (about 10/8) so I figured they weren't too far from starting to freeze. In '77 a bunch of us were skating at Tenaya and Ellery, I think as late as January 1st (well, ok, I wasn't skating, but was a keen observer!).

Your book looks great -- saving up my pennies... .

g.
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby John Dittli » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:27 pm

Ya George, when I saw that pic of Randy skating Tenaya I was green with envy...

JD
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby gdurkee » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:31 pm

Yes, that was the very trip. I've got some more around here somewhere. Looks like you easily surpassed that.
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby rlown » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:52 pm

gdurkee wrote: A few years ago, I gave Howard a pair of ice picks on a string that make them quickly available should you go through the ice.
g.



Ever tested that "go through the ice" thing in the backcountry? Sounds cold and scary, given where you are.
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby John Dittli » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:06 pm

Never tested it in the backcountry, but in the front country. We carry the ice picks George mentioned as well as short coils of rope. Back on shore we have full changes of warm clothing and maybe overnight gear depending on the trip.

Best advice is not to "go in".

Here is a link to a short article on the subject http://www.theeastsidemag.com/index/2008/12/19/winter-on-ice.html

Spent all day yesterday skating the lakes of Humphery's Basin. I'll try to get photos and video up soon!

JD
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby Cloudy » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:20 am

Wow, those are amazing photos! It's wonderful to see places that I've hiked through in another light. Too cold for me but more power to you - keep on skating!

Alan
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Re: Ice Skate the Range of Light

Postby Howard Weamer » Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:09 am

John et al

Great photos. Except for Ostrander which I skate every year even if its not great, just to do it, we had seamless water ice on Gull Lake (road accessible) on Christmas Day, late 90's. It was seamless because there was still open water, so as the lake froze it had an open area to expand into without cracking and buckling. Ostrander frequently freezes up in sections, so if snow falls on part, another area of open water will freeze--this may keep going for a month, or you may get no good days at all. The ice almost always cracks--lakes are weakest at the edges where there is heat transfer, even from logs, but its spookiest out in the middle, alone, when you get a lightning crack under your skates and right up your spine. Still, I've never seen anything but cracks--never a large piece that upends. We test by roping someone up and they whack on the ice with the back of a skate, or walking with boots, which distribute the weight more evenly than skates. No one has ever gone in, or even close, except in spring as the edge of the lake melts out. Have fun--there's nothing like a 25 foot glide on skates.
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