Please don’t take this post as encouragement to venture out on the ice without extreme caution and careful preparation.
I’ve been hearing stories about winter activities on Utah Lake and Saturday decided I could stand by no longer.
I recruited my wife, son and Deputy Mayors Dixon Holmes and Corey Norman to ride our bikes across the lake.
We weren’t sure what to expect and packed life jackets, rope and two GPS units. Within the first few hundred yards we learned that most of our bikes wouldn’t make the journey all the way across the lake. The ice was plenty thick but a layer of snow on top of the ice made the going very difficult. Dixon and I had the best bikes and the most time so we continued on to make the round trip from shore to shore.
Before we left we consulted with Reed Price with the Utah Lake Commission. Reed gave us some good advice that I’ll paste at the end of this post. Ice conditions can change quickly so please use caution if you venture out.
Advice From Reed Price.
With the rain/snow event we had the past few days, it may have made the surface a bit slushy on the top. If there is a nice snowy layer, it should insulate it more. Watch out for dark spots, which indicates thinner, melting ice.
The fissures you see are where the ice sheets have cracked. They may have rolled on each other creating a bump. You’ll want to cross those perpendicular to the fissure.
Bring good gear, including a GPS so you know where you are going. Have a plan to check in with someone to let them know you are OK at regular intervals. Don’t ride too closely together, spread out. Ice claws or a pick would be a good thing to have. Bring rope.
Here are a few websites I looked up (including a post from our own utahlake.gov)