So here we go are!
When you have a cold snap that sets up a thin layer of ice followed by snowfall that covers the new ice and makes it nearly impossible to tell where the thick ice stops and thin ice begins. This is exactly what occurred on Lake Winnipesaukee just prior to a recent fishing derby. The "Broads" of the lake had just frozen over and the snow came. A number of people visiting, without any real knowledge of what was happening out on the lake, tried to ride snowmobiles out on the broads and went through the ice. A few unfortunately did not survive. A little effort to learn about where you are going can reduce the risk and even save your life. With ice you can't make assumptions. And when things like this occur the knee jerk reaction is "STAY OFF THE ICE". But the reality is, if you dig a little into the story you will find that in most cases these accidents are less about the quality of the ice and more about human error. As I said, "Know before you go." but also "When in doubt, don't go out." Either ride areas that you are familiar with and have been monitoring or ride with people who know what is going on. It's that simple.