After a winter season with lakes of all sizes mired in deep and sometimes impassable slush, conditions have suddenly changed. Last week’s warm temps reached almost 60 degrees F and settled or melted the the fluffy lake snow that had insulated the slush. Then, some solidly cold and windy weather froze over the slush. I’ve seen the results while guiding dogsled trips this week. The lakes are quite fast for dogsledding, skiing, and walking now. While there are some patchy spots of bare ice that is difficult to ski or walk on, there is plenty of excellent snow-covered surface for skate skiing. These are the conditions that one can skate ski almost effortlessly for miles and miles.
This photo shows a family from Apply Valley, Minnesota, dogsledding with me on White Iron Lake near Ely, MN, on February 22. Their four-year-old daughter is tucked into the sled bag with barely her pink hat showing.