ice thickness & safety?

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Steve » Wed, 31 Dec 1997 04:00:00


There was just a show on TV here in MN about ice safety.  They said at least
5 inches for snowmobiling.  Didn't say anything about slush.

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Bud Kuenz » Wed, 31 Dec 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

> How thick is "thick"? How safe is "safe"??  Does anyone know how thick the ice
> should be before sledding on it?  When the lake is covered in slush, is it
> still safe? What about when the edges are still open water?  Is there a chart
> somewhere.....??

   The five inches mentioned is conservative, which is the right approach.
A lake can be slushy and safe or slushy and dangerous. Slush itself is
generally not dangerous, other than it can get you stuck badly. Very
badly. Open water is always dangerous, but can, in fact often be sled
across. The center of a lake should also be avoided early in the season as
the center often remains thinner than the outer section for quite a while.
Care should also be taken after severe cold. The ice can expand, crack and
allow water to flow up causing invisible slush underneath. Generally, try
to ride in the middle third of the perimeter if you don't know the lake
well, and pay attention to any places where running water may be entering
the lake and stay back from the shore in that area.  Ride in line with
wide spacing between each other so two people don't go down and people all
carry each OTHER's clothing so in case one DOES go through, HIS clothes
are in the pack of a friend waiting to be put on (assuming you carry spare
clothing.....)

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Anonym87 » Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:00:00

How thick is "thick"? How safe is "safe"??  Does anyone know how thick the ice
should be before sledding on it?  When the lake is covered in slush, is it
still safe? What about when the edges are still open water?  Is there a chart
somewhere.....??

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by DMoody62 » Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Quote:
> Open water is always dangerous, but can, in fact often be sled
>across.

What is the recommended speed for crossing open water
 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Richard Hermanc » Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:00:00

You never can be sure if ice is safe. There are underwater springs that can
allow for 15" of ice in one spot and only 2 a few feet away. There are no
charts because nobody wants to sign off saying a particular body of water
is safe. The best thing to do is ask locals. If you do go out on the ice,
have a rope with some sort of flotation device. Also, there are things
called ICESCAPES that attach to you snowmobile suit. These are basically
pointed ice pick type devices with handles. If you do take a swim, these
help in gripping the ice to pull yourself out. Never stop on the ice to
talk and obviously do not build a bonfire out on the ice. Do not assume
that a previously put down snowmobile track leads to safety. If you don't
know, don't go.



Quote:
> How thick is "thick"? How safe is "safe"??  Does anyone know how thick
the ice
> should be before sledding on it?  When the lake is covered in slush, is
it
> still safe? What about when the edges are still open water?  Is there a
chart
> somewhere.....??

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by trev0 » Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:00:00

        WFO

        (really not at all :)

        Chris

--
(delete * from mail address)



Quote:
> > Open water is always dangerous, but can, in fact often be sled
> >across.

> What is the recommended speed for crossing open water

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Donald J. Dickso » Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> You never can be sure if ice is safe. There are underwater springs that can
> allow for 15" of ice in one spot and only 2 a few feet away.

Big snip

The other thing to watch out for is areas where a stream either enters a
lake or leaves a lake. The combination of current and different
temperatures in still water and moving water has the same effect as
underwater springs. At least these are usually shown on maps.

Don***son

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Verna Savo » Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:00:00

This year's Skidoo snowmobile safety video (usually provided free with
the purchase of their sleds) has information in it showing safe ice
thickness for one person, a group, and vehicles. I will check the tape
again, record their recommendations and repost this information later.
Verna

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by at » Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> > Open water is always dangerous, but can, in fact often be sled
> >across.

> What is the recommended speed for crossing open water

Now this is a good question.... I have done as much as 4 miles on open
water (and could have done more). How fast was I going?? Fast enough
to aquaplane (obviously) but slow enough to be able to maintain
control. This "trick" takes a bit of practice, and some sleds can do
it with little effort, and some just can't seem to stay on top. I
suggest that, if you want to try it, find an open pond, about a foot
deep, and go for it. Just make sure you get the engine stopped  (not
turning anymore - you will usually have time) BEFORE it goes under,
and make sure you have a long rope so the sled can be dragged out of
the water. What you do when the thing does go under is a whole other
adventure, and be prepared for it to happen.
For the first try, hit the water (no more than about 20 feet of open
SHALLOW water) at about 40 miles per hour. Do this a couple of times,
trying slower, and faster to see what happens. After that, it is just
practice, to find out the limits of your sled, and the limits of the
driver. You WILL sink your sled, eventually, and you WILL get wet,
eventually. Be prepared for this.
After you finish playing boat, go home, and grease EVERYTHING to get
the water out of it.

Have fun...
******************************
From the PC of Doug Bissett
doug.bissett at ibm.net

******************************

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Bud Kuenz » Fri, 02 Jan 1998 04:00:00

I don't recommend it at any speed. I've known too many people who had done
it numerous times then got caught. Ergo, it is dangerous. The speed
depends on your weight, paddle size, ski width etc. As fast as possible is
a good rule of thumb. 50mph would be a good starting place, but be ready
to get pulled out. With skill one can indeed ride for a long long time on
water, but all it takes is one  wake at the right angle at the right time
to catch a ski. Even experienced people go down....That said, here in Ak.
I've had to cross open water more than once and I just go like a bat out
of hell and x my fingers. I do NOT do it for fun and I won't cross fifty
or sixty feet of water, period, although again, many people do. I can't
afford the funeral right now. :0)


Quote:

> > Open water is always dangerous, but can, in fact often be sled
> >across.

> What is the recommended speed for crossing open water

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by bummer mcconne » Sat, 03 Jan 1998 04:00:00

just punch it!!   it's up to the rider what to cross!!

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Mark Wolvert » Sun, 04 Jan 1998 04:00:00

When it comes to ice, never make first tracks on it, unless it's in your
backyard and you know the body of water.  Previous posts mentioned the
problems that springs can cause, and you can't see them.  Ice can be way
too thin.  Never think because your on ice that it will be glass smooth
and you can hold it wide open forever.  If you want to do a speed run,
prerun a section first before going WOT.  Ice heaves can be big time
dangerous, and often times can't be seen in heavy snow, low visibility
situations, etc..  Always slow it down when you can't see-no tail light
radar either-you'll both hit the hidden object.  I remember going across
Rangely Lake a couple of years ago, and it was so rough you'd think you
were riding across a quarry instead of a lake.  I had an uncle drown on a
sled over 20 years ago, and as such, I don't take many chances on water I
don't know.
Mark

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by GW » Tue, 06 Jan 1998 04:00:00

If my memory serves correctly,  8 inches of ice are required (recommended?)
for safe passage of a snowmobile, 10 inches for a vehicle.  

Slush on lakes doesn't necessarily mean that the lake ice is unsafe - for
example, water can come up from cracks in the lake; snow cover on top of
solid ice could melt due to warm temperatures, etc.  Every year I travel on
slush-covered lakes; However, slushy conditions could spell trouble -- some
unaware sledders found themselves stuck up to the tops of their seats in
slush last year on a local lake - even though there was good, solid ice
below all that slush.  Took 4 men (all soaked to the thighs in icy water)
with long ropes to get the machines out.  It's backbreaking work, and I
know this from experience.

If you are going to cross a slushy lake, here are some pointers: Be sure
you have a powerful sled that can keep moving in that slush; and be sure it
is running well (you'll need all 2 or 3 of those cylinders).  Don't stop or
slow down until you are on hard packed snow.  If you bog down, rock the
sled side to side to clear out the slush build up.

In my opinion, it is best to avoid ice near open water.  Go around it at a
distance, when possible.  Too many people drown each year when they get too
close to open water.  At minimum, it's a pain to pull out a sled from
shallow (<10 feet) water; at worse, well, you'll be missed!

Best advice is to talk to locals who know the ice conditions.  If you're
unsure, don't go.  It's not worth it!
--

-for what its worth...
George



Quote:
> How thick is "thick"? How safe is "safe"??  Does anyone know how thick
the ice
> should be before sledding on it?  When the lake is covered in slush, is
it
> still safe? What about when the edges are still open water?  Is there a
chart
> somewhere.....??

 
 
 

ice thickness & safety?

Post by Chad » Fri, 09 Jan 1998 04:00:00

I have to agree. If you want to sled on open water get a SEA-. doo



Quote:
> I don't recommend it at any speed. I've known too many people who had
done
> it numerous times then got caught. Ergo, it is dangerous. The speed
> depends on your weight, paddle size, ski width etc. As fast as possible
is
> a good rule of thumb. 50mph would be a good starting place, but be ready
> to get pulled out. With skill one can indeed ride for a long long time on
> water, but all it takes is one  wake at the right angle at the right time
> to catch a ski. Even experienced people go down....That said, here in Ak.
> I've had to cross open water more than once and I just go like a bat out
> of hell and x my fingers. I do NOT do it for fun and I won't cross fifty
> or sixty feet of water, period, although again, many people do. I can't
> afford the funeral right now. :0)



> > > Open water is always dangerous, but can, in fact often be sled
> > >across.

> > What is the recommended speed for crossing open water