Well it's been an epic season for sure. The snowiest we've seen since getting into this kite skiing silliness 14 seasons ago. Our typical New England firm/fast conditions were rarely seen most of the season and were instead replaced by western style 3 foot deep powder that made Utah powder look like Sierra Cement. Our winds were feast or famine and almost everyone agrees that we were all either on the biggest kites we could fly or the smallest.
There was very little middle ground.
In the last week we've managed some great tours on Winne. One rider bagged 101 miles in a 5 hr session to give you an idea of what the conditions were like. Along the way we inspected various spots that are known to open first and they are still locked up even at this late date. This said, things can change rapidly and we are no longer able to monitor the conditions like we do in the mid-season. At this point we are only focusing on limited locations for lessons and guiding.
The ice on most of the lakes from Berlin NH to Gilford NH have between 1.5 to 2' of ice on them from what we've seen and heard from others. The Surfaces are highly variable and at the moment with the warmth and rain we've had some are covered in water. The Pressure ridges, like the one in the image above, are melting out and becoming increasingly hazardous. Resulting in limits on where you can go.
Be mindful of the damage the recent temperature swings can have on the ice. Compounded by solar gain the ice, even thick ice, can become rotten and unsafe. Especially in warmer temps later in the day. The ice that supported you early on your way out may not support you on the way back!
Be careful out there. We are still riding locally but in the next week we will likely suspend lesson operations and focus on guiding. Be mindful of where you go and know the conditions before you venture out. And when in doubt, don't go out.
Have a great remainder of the season. Thanks for all your support!
WARNING. No ice is ever 100% safe. We offer condition reports as a service to our students and clients who are familiar with the area and as a source of general condition information to others. These reports are not intended to replace common sense or up to the minute first hand knowledge of a given area. Nor is it a substitute for common sense. When in doubt don't go out.