Is the Ice Thick Enough? Not Yet…

There is always excitement this time of the year when looking out over the lake and seeing the ice forming. “Is the ice thick enough?”  My standard safety gauge is that if the fishing shacks are set up and other people are venturing out, then surely it must be okay. Last on and first off is my rule. No way will I be the first to test the limits or the last one left alone! There must be a more prudent approach based on science and statistics and there is. This handy chart is courtesy of DEC:

 Ice Thickness Permissible

Load 2 inches one person on foot (Is that based  on 140 pounds or 180?)

 3 inches group in single file (How far apart?)

 7.5 inches one car (2 tons)

 8 inches light truck (2.5 tons) (Okay everyone out of the truck)

 10 inches truck (3.5 tons)

 12 inches heavy truck (7-8 tons)

 15 inches 10 tons

 20 inches 25 tons

If you are a boy scout you may remember this poem:

One inch…stay off

2 inches…one may

3 inches…small group

4 inches…okay

 My personal favorite while out on the ice is when I’m quite a distance from shore and hear the big craaack roll across the expanse. I stop dead in my tracks, as if that will help, and look around to see if I’m now an island adrift or whether I’m still attached to land and can I make it back! And how about those huge fissures…visions of that opening getting wider and wider…what if I step too close to the edge and it breaks off?

 If you’re still game to venture out on the ice, Lake George Winter Carnival takes place every weekend in February and has an impressive array of activities from car races, motorcycle  and ATV races, ice driving demos and all kinds of off the ice events as well such as; food cook offs, balloon rides, outhouse races, fireworks and much much more. For a complete listing of events go to:  Babbling Brook