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47 votes

Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

If the snow was hard packed enough that a self arrest is not possible, and there are no intermediate anchors, then if one person falls, they can take the whole team down with them. If that was the ...
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26 votes

Ice skating on a frozen lake -- how thick should the ice be?

Found an answer by Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources. For new, clear ice, 4 inches should be good for ice skating or any activity involving just a person's weight. They recommend double ...
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24 votes
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How to walk as a roped party on a glacier?

First of all: Walking a glacier contains some serious risks and roping up is not enough to cover that risks, but also knowledge of crevasse rescue is needed. Therefore I strongly recommend a glacier ...
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22 votes
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Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

The most common options coming to my mind are: Securing from anchors and building e.g. one rope-party with 2 and one with 3 members This is slow but very safe. You do it in steep and/or difficult ...
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16 votes
Accepted

What's the best way to avoid slipping on ice?

Yaktrax advertises products intended to help with this, which might be less damaging to interior surfaces than crampons. You can find some SE discussion on those kinds of products here. Keeping a ...
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15 votes

What's the best way to avoid slipping on ice?

Here at south Russia, we have lots of ice surfaces every winter and need to walk around. So, practical experience: The simplest option to reduce slipping will be to just glue some hard waterproof low-...
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13 votes

How to walk as a roped party on a glacier?

The answer of @BenediktBauer covers pretty much everything you have to know as a beginner on glaciers. What you also have to know is the proper knot (and that was the second part of your question). ...
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13 votes

Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

It look like they are "moving together". Very common in alpine ascents when moving over easier ground where it would take too long to pitch the climb (fixed belay). The leader would run out around 10-...
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11 votes

What is the proper technique for self-arrest when wearing crampons?

Although @ReverendGonzo gave a nice answer I want to start a little debate. There is no explicit answer to this question. Different alpine clubs have different opinions and even different mountain ...
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11 votes
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River crossing in winter?

Traditional military routines for crossing a river under such conditions are the following Bag your pack and items in a waterproof sack/black bag Tie it up and use as a buoyancy aid Wear your normal ...
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11 votes

How do locals (short of drilling) determine that lake ice is safe for skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing?

My question is: short of drilling, how do locals decide the ice on their lakes is safe for winter sports? What people in North America do (for testing if you can walk on the ice) is: Check that the ...
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  • 356
11 votes

Can microspikes replace crampons when crossing ice in summer?

Absolutely yes. I don't leave my home without them (well, another model than the one you linked) if there is any chance of hitting snow/ice during a hike. For such hikes, they always, at any time of ...
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10 votes
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What are the correct techniques for rescuing someone who has fallen through the ice?

Most important: Be prepared! On organized skating tours (at least in sweden) the following is mandatory equipment. An ice probe (to determine ice thickness so you wont go through in the first place) ...
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  • 1,887
10 votes
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What is an ice circle, and how does it form?

Ice Disk That phenomenon is called an ice disc or ice circle. It occurs in slow moving water in cold climates. Ice discs form on the outer bends in a river where the accelerating water creates a ...
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10 votes

Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

It's impossible to say from a photograph whether something is "safe" or not. Many factors come into play, including the experience level of the climbers concerned. For all we know, they may have ...
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  • 4,348
9 votes

How can I perfect my backyard ice rink?

We have a pond on our farm and often groom the ice for ice skating. We have a pretty simple 3-step process that takes about 20 minutes with a couple of people and gives us great ice: Shovel off any ...
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  • 91
9 votes
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Self rescue procedure when falling through ice, but the ice keeps breaking

What do you do in this situation? Just keep moving, trying to basically swim through the ice, while breaking it hoping to reach thicker ice or the shore? More or less, yes with two caveats. If ...
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9 votes

Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

As mentioned by others: It is impossible to definitely judge the situation from just the photo, and that's all we have. As far as I see, there is no protection between the roped climbers here. So my ...
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  • 21.5k
8 votes

What's the best way to avoid slipping on ice?

This actually happens to be pretty relevant to Physics(so it's kind of odd it was migrated away from the Physics.SE). You were actually on the right track with the penguin idea and increasing your co-...
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  • 189
8 votes

River crossing in winter?

I thought about fishing boots. They would probably take the same space as an extra pair of pants and boots anyways, but they would save you from getting wet from freezing water and be a lot ...
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  • 4,545
8 votes

How do locals (short of drilling) determine that lake ice is safe for skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing?

In sweden, where skate touring is a popular winter sport, skaters bring a device called "ispik". (Ice pike). They come in two varieties. Either double pike, that looks like a sturdier version of a ski ...
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  • 1,887
8 votes

What conditions would lead to lake ice being extremely clear?

Conditions that can lead to clear ice such as this are: Water with few impurities causing less scattering of light: This lake does not have any water flowing into it, therefore rain is the only ...
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  • 2,750
7 votes

What's the best way to avoid slipping on ice?

There's a lot that you can do in regards to walking style: Avoid walking on the ice if you can. (if it's a poorly cleared sidewalk, and there's snow on grass near it, walk in the snow) If it's a ...
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  • 171
7 votes
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How do locals (short of drilling) determine that lake ice is safe for skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing?

You need between 3 and 4" of clear ice to be safe, but, with practice, you can visually determine if there is this amount or more. The key is that ice can support your weight in boots and not yet be ...
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  • 421
7 votes

How to identify good winter boots for walking on ice?

Rocky Mountain Canadian here, The easiest way to identify good boots for ice is to simply feel the rubber on the soles. The softer and the stickier the rubber on the soles of the boots, the better ...
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  • 53k
7 votes

What is this raised, icy-looking structure, found at the edge of a partially frozen lake?

Its just the result of pressure on the ice pushing the slabs up like that. It could also have been a solid non melting object underneath like a rock, but I can't see one in the picture. Ice will do ...
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7 votes

Can microspikes replace crampons when crossing ice in summer?

Depends on how steep your ice patch is. Crampons are really good when you have steep slopes and you need to do some real front pointing. Crampons are good for mixed climbing as well. They are also ...
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  • 7,785
6 votes

How do locals (short of drilling) determine that lake ice is safe for skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing?

A quick online search shares a few tips which echo what I've heard from ice fishermen and experienced myself: Ice freezes first and thaws first at the edges, and these areas tend to be weaker. ...
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