When is ice safe? Things to consider: | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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When is ice safe? Things to consider:

Cory Fisher

-Review temperatures over the last four to five days. If temperatures have not risen above the low 20s, in general, at least one inch will have formed on a small body of water.

Three inches are generally considered safe for skiing or skating.

-Even in cooler temperatures, snow on top of ice can act as an insulator, making ice unsafe.

-Open water, such as streams and outlets, is common on larger bodies of water, and can make ice extremely unsafe.

-Beware of dark, wet-looking snow and/or popping and cracking sounds.

-Should the ice appear to crack, instantly drop, spread-eagle, “like a spider,” and wait for trained personnel.

-Stay close to shore.

-Large schools of fish have been known to create weak, hollow areas in unpredictable locations.

-Bodies of water at lower altitudes are more dangerous.

Source: Steve Mahnken, who served for 10 years as a Search and Rescue supervisor. Mahnken is currently teaching outdoor survival skills at Lake Tahoe Community College.

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