Every year for our New Years Eve bash, I take the daddy role and build an outdoor rink on the Clear Lake at
my buddies place north of Huntsville Ontario. Every year the same thing happens, warm weather till about a week
before Christmas, then bitterly cold weather and up here lots of snow. Some people prefer to stay warm inside,
watching television or playing bingo but what's the point of this weather
if you can't go skating once in a while? It is a blast to hit the ice with friends and family. It is a lot of work
to make the rink, but well worth the effort! Ice-up happens quick and with the snow, I have to clear the ice fast to
avoid slush. I haven't seen much info on doing rinks on actual lake ice, but I've learned a few things in the last
few years. If anyone can help me in this regard, maybe some old fashioned advice, I would appreicate it. So here
is what I've learned:
1. Lake ice is level. Thats
the good news.
2. Lake ice is subject to
slush, differential freezing and whacks of other influences you haven't
3.If you have slush, watch
4. If you have lots of slush,
give up at least till later.
5. If after clearing snow
off the ice everything is pretty much smooth, you're in luck, follow these
6. With lake ice you cannot
build up the surface too much. I found with a commercial pump even in a
cold climate that I never could build up low spots, because I think of
water bleeding out the sides of the rink. Start with a smooth surface and
you should be okay.
clean every last smidge of snow
off the ice before flooding (shovels then push brooms)
using a small amount of water,
flood your edges
whether you have a pump or use
a bucket, add light water application, when air temp is cold, and little
wind (blowing snow is bad)
hope that after two or three
floodings you have a good patch of ice.
enjoy and don't whine about
the cold or occaisional bumps
large bumps or high spots can
be taken out with a hatchet then lightly flooded.
7.My buddy tells me that
ponds, because they are not as subject to wind and the big changes that
lakes go through are better for rinks. Cosier too.
8. Water is a problem because
out on a lake or river you are usually far from a tap and hose. I prefer
the laborious bucket brigade so far. I found a gasoline pump generated
too much pressure and water to work well.
Thats about it, best of luck
all you dedicated hosers out there - remember to actually strap your skates
on and keep yer stick on the ice eh?
with your "Lake" tips or comments.