When we went to Castle Lake yesterday to ski with mountaineering skis across it I was kind of nervous because I haven't really trusted the ice for at least the last 5 years because some years there has been no ice at all ever because of Global Warming. And a few years ago I fell in with skis on and might not have survived it if friends hadn't rescued me. I couldn't get my skis off or stand up because I had skis on because I had fallen as I skied onto the lake ice and my rear end went through the snow when it was 20 to 25 degrees out. So, one of my friends had to take my skis off before I went deeper and drowned below the ice. So, I was wet from about my chest all the way down. I felt sort of in shock after I was able to stand up on the floor of the lake and grab my skis and walk out of there But, luckily my truck was only about 6 blocks to a mile away so just moving kept me alive to the car. Then I put a rubber jacket down because I didn't have pants to change into and I just turned the truck heater on until I got back to my hotel room and got into a bath before it gave me more problems then.
So, needless to say I've been a little leery of the ice on Castle Lake after this experience. But, when we arrived on Friday Afternoon about 5 people were standing on the ice walking around calmly as if nothing was unusual about doing this. So, I realized it was much thicker and likely 5 inches to 1 foot or more of ice and no movement of the ice at all. It was very stiff.
The strangest thing was that I had never ever seen the lake with ONLY ice and no snow on top of it at all. This was really really strange. So, for once (yesterday) you could have ice skated because you wouldn't have to shovel off the snow to ice skate at all. In fact, a lady who worked at the hotel said her boyfriend had been Ice skating up there. And I thought to myself "Maybe they are just sliding around on their boots or something which I have done many times on ice covered lakes here in the U.S. when I didn't have ice skates with me at the time, especially in my teens and 20s in places like Big Bear Lake in Southern California.
But this experience (especially when the sun set over 1/2 of the lake and we walked into this area turned everything sort of blue and magical like you had gone into another world or something. My friend was really really glad he came for this amazing experience.
However, I never did feel 100% safe skiing across the ice this time, especially after falling through the ice and not being able to get my skis off alone a few years ago. So, I was sort of happy when we got off the ice onto the snow on the land and started skiing back to my truck.
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