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Raised ridge of broken ice forms near shore in Salmon Arm

Fire department strongly recommends people keep off ice on Shuswap Lake
Salmon Arm foreshore trail user Marcia Woods checks out a nearby ridge of fractured frozen ice on Shuswap Lake on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. (John G. Woods photo)

The Salmon Arm Nature Bay has a new, albeit temporary feature attracting the attention of foreshore trail users.

On Sunday, Feb. 27, John G. Woods and his wife Marcia were out on the eastern end of the trail (below the Raven subdivision) where they saw a fractured ridge of ice near the shore on Shuswap Lake. John estimated the ridge to be more than 100 metres long and about 1.5 metres high.

“I don’t know how often this happens. It is visually wonderful,” said John, adding he was told by other trail users the ridge had been growing over the last week or so.

John noted there were quite a few people out on the lake ice over the weekend and he urged caution as the weather continues to warm.

The Salmon Arm Fire Department strongly advised staying off the lake altogether this time of year.

Firefighter Carmen Guidos, with the fire department’s ice rescue team, said the ridge indicates the ice has moved around enough that it has created a “fault line,” and once it starts doing that, there can be weak spots elsewhere.

“The problem is, the ice, especially at this time of year with the warmer weather, there’s melt coming off up top and so you’re going to have water moving underneath the ice,” said Guidos. “Sure, it might be thick where you’re standing but a foot over it could be paper-thin. Or it could be hollow, there could be air pockets under it.

“Just because it was safer a month ago, that doesn’t make it safe now.”

Read more: VIDEO: Salmon Arm residents enjoy Valentine’s Day skate on frozen Shuswap Lake
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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor, Salmon Arm Observer
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