27. März 2013

Ice around St. Saltkråkan

Newly frozen black ice in Stockholm’s Archipelago on March 16. Alone the tour I went with populated the ice with 250 people, which is four buses worth. The frozen sea was beautiful but sometimes treacherous – as ever, carefulness is your best buddy.

This was definitely the largest gathering of people on ice I have ever seen in my life. The reasons were obvious: the weekend featured new (snow-free, hard, even, black) ice, sunny weather, and also offered probably one of the last chances for ice-skating in this season.

Here and there were some breaks dividing two large and by itself solid chunks of ice. These breaks need to be passed. The safest way to pass them is not to pass them. Rather, you drive along the gap until you reach the nearest island, take off your skates, walk over the island for three meters, and put on your skates again. One of the skaters considered this to be too much of a deal, and tried to pass the gap close to the islands over the ice. Because the ice around this gap was in this particular case quite bad, it broke. While he got help and could roll himself away before the ice completely gave way, the lesson is definitely that taking off your skates might often be well-invested efforts.

Strangely enough, you occasionally see a mom with their children or reckless people without safety equipment and company on ice. Reason, reason, where are you?