Walking on Thick Ice


Somewhere a few kilometers out on the frozen lake.

Walking on the ice has become a familiar activity, it’s by far the easiest way to get around these parts in the winter. The ice road stretches for miles and it is well maintained, making it an easy trample compared to the knee high snow that engulfs the north during the long winter. Also it feels safer at time, though that safety is fleeting with each incremental rise in the temperature.


A sign I found recently while on a hike. If there are wolf traps, it can only mean there are wolves to trap.

On a recent outing, I stumbled upon a home made sign concerning wolves and traps as you can see above. Needless to say it does not make one feel safe. I am told there is a relatively large wolf-pack that lives just north of the settlement and they are actively trapped for their fur as one can tell from the sign. The wolves do on occasion skirt the edges of the town, taking stay dogs along the way. The cruelty of nature is never understated here, some die so others may live. Over the last couple of evenings, the nights air has been filled with distant howls and the ever so panicked cries and barks of the local dogs. The wolves are once again near, the dogs know it and want none of it and neither do I. The ice  in this regards seems like a much safer option for a lengthy trample.

The ice road has it benefits, the sunsets are my personal favourite, can’t mention how many times I’ve walked on the ice to be greeted by the most memorizing crepuscular light that breaks through the clouds. With all that beauty comes an element of danger. On more then one occasion I’ve been a mile deep into the road when the ice shifts and expands. The noise send the most deafening chill down ones spine. The ice in places will play tricks on the mind, it transforms for a translucent milky white to a clear glass like structure. The most unnerving sensation fill you when you look down to see the dept of the lake staring up at you. Only reassurance is given by the long snaking fissures in-bedded in the ice, they slither beneath the foot as far as the ice can see. They carve the most intricate marble pattern that reveals the true thickness of the ice.


4 thoughts on “Walking on Thick Ice

  1. I know that unnerving cracking sound. I fell through the ice on a frozen lake in my hometown when I was child. It’s an experience one doesn’t forget and I’m lucky I survived. To this day, I’m VERY reluctant to venture on ice … I don’t care how many feet thick they tell me it is.


  2. Pingback: Back-country Camping in Northwestern Ontario | Ontario Camper

  3. Pingback: Reflections on the North | Ontario Camper

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