Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cache Lake ice thickness report: 03/16/11

We had a visit from a couple of Cache Lakers today. While staying at the cottage for a few days, one of them drilled the customary water hole and then took measurements:

Top layer: 8 inches of firm snow

Middle layer: 14.5 inches of "white" ice

Bottom layer: 5 inches of "black" ice

Required reading for ice-out buffs
They reported that skiing conditions on the lake were excellent, though our driller did observe a thin layer of water-saturated snow on top of the white ice. The surface snow was firm enough to support body weight and keep them out of the slush. Temperatures are mild today but some cold nights are in the forecast, so things will firm up again.

I have been told that while white ice is not as strong as black ice, it takes longer to disintegrate due to its unorganized structure. For a good explanation of the difference, see pages 23-24 of the fascinating book Ice: The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance, by Mariana Gosnell. You can view the text online by clicking on that link.

Interpret this as you see fit!


  1. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Is there any new updates on the ice conditions? Or has it not changed?

  2. I have not had first-hand reports from Cache Lake recently. One of our neighbours here at Oxtongue Lake went ice fishing on Saturday (April 9) and buried his gas auger right up to the motor.