It’s been a wicked cold winter. An article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise last week put the thickness of ice on one North Country lake near Saranac Lake at a whopping thirty inches. That sounds bomb-proof. But it’s still important to use caution when playing in the back country.
On Saturday, while snow-shoeing on a stretch of the Racquette River near Tupper Lake, I plunged through a rotten section of ice and got soaked to the waist. Crawling out, thankfully, was no sweat.
It could have been a lot worse. Just last month, two North Country men died in northern Franklin County after their snowmobiles went through the ice.
But even my little misadventure made for chilly trek back to the trailhead. (It’s no fun to be out and about when it’s 11 degrees F and your backside is dripping…) And it was a sharp reminder that even after a true Adirondack February, skiers, snowshoers, ice fishermen, and sledders should use all the caution in the world when traveling on lakes and rivers.
I got overly confident and casual and got spanked. Here’s a primer from the Canadian Red Cross on ice safety.