February 1 Local conditions

Ice continues to be problematic, both on and off shore. 2 days of warm weather and rain followed by a deep freeze left most of the land mass coated in a layer of smooth slick ice. That was bad enough, but now it's coated with a fine snow deep enough to prevent ice cleats, studs, crampons and snow tires from contacting the ice, but which slides over the ice quite easily. It looks like any normal snow-covered landscape but the effect is like driving and walking on a layer of greased ball bearings. Please be very careful.

Lake ice conditions continue to be highly unpredictable due to the repeated freeze/thaw cycles we have experienced this winter. Last weekend, 2 people on ATVs went through the ice near Deerhurst. Fortunately they were only in about 1 meter of water and survived, but the OPP and Huntsville Fire are warning that "no ice is safe ice".

This week's sustained cold has undoubtedly thickened the ice in many areas. Waseosa has been moaning and groaning almost constantly as it cracks, shifts and expands. A few times, particularly large cracks created thundering booms that echoed off the hills. This sort of activity often results in pressure ridges that can catch a snowmobiler unaware. It also can create weak areas in otherwise thick ice.

Finally, this week the Ontario Men's Curling Championships are being held at the Summit Centre. Parking throughout Huntsville is expected to be at a premium. If you are coming up to attend, there will be shuttle bus service to the event from the Huntsville Place Mall and WalMart parking lots. See https://2018tankard.ca/fan-guide-faqs/ for more details.