Snap: Ice race on Loch Leigh

news-pondskatinglochleigh-copy4:23pm, Saturday, January 15.

Two youths and their canine friend prepare to race on the ice at Loch Leigh, a shallow lake in the West Leigh neighborhood.

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Not the brightest thing to do. I saw shallow but suppose the dog fell in and the boys went after him; now that would have been a sad story.

Adorable, I hope my new dog will be as well behaved and wait till I say go. So can dogs run on ice ?

Note it says shallow lake, so if someone fell in they could walk themselves out, but if you plan to venture onto a deeper pond or lake - here's a smart tip, and it never hurt to know what to do if you do fall in

" If you really want to be safe, you should carry a rope with you just in case one of your companions was to fall in. The worst thing that you can do when your friend falls in the water, is to go to the same spot he was in and try to grab him out. No, obviously that spot could not hold him so it will not be able to hold you. Grab your rope and throw it to him in the water. Now, if you are the person who fell in the freezing water, try to stay calm. Then point your body towards the shore. Now put your hands on the ice in front of you, make sure it is sturdy. If it is not sturdy it will fall in and then you just need to go all the way towards the shore until you do find a sturdy piece of ice. Then after you put your hands on the ice, you should kick your feet up and down to make yourself sort of float, and get in a better position to grab the rope so your friends can pull you out, or to better push yourself out. Now, when you do finally get out of the negative degree water, do not stand up. Your body is in shock and your body will be harmed. You need to just lay on that ice and roll yourself towards shore. It sounds a little awkward but it will keep you alive... You should never go ice skating in a frozen pond or lake by yourself or at night. Keep yourself safe, and follow these instructions.

Where they were is not even a foot deep.

I spent many wonderful hours skating on ponds as a child and this has been one of the coldest winters that I can remember since moving her in the 1970's.

By taking a few simple precautions pond skating can be safe and a great activity for young and old.

Reading Ice Conditions

" Temperature is not the only factor to consider when determining if the ice is actually safe. Recent precipitation, wind, the amount of sunshine and protruding objects can dramatically effect ice stability on an hourly basis. Inspecting, or reading the ice, each time before beginning your skating session, is necessary to ensure your and your skating party's safety.

Inspect the area where you intend to skate - about every 10 feet. As you walk around the ice, test its integrity by chipping at it to determine structure and thickness. If the ice comes off in chunks, this is evidence of high density and strength and it should be safe to proceed. When chipping results in flakes or thin layers, however, this is an indication that the ice is weak and deteriorating and it is unsafe to continue. There are four basic types of ice conditions: (1) frazil or old ice; (2) gray or black ice; (3) snow ice and (4) clear ice.

"Frazil" or "old" ice is the first to form. Its color ranges from oily to opaque and can form a solid sheet. It is very porous and weak, so stay off of this type of ice.

Gray or black ice is ice that is "rotting" and in an advanced stage of deterioration. It may appear light gray to dark black due to water saturation. This type of ice can bear no weight.

Snow ice is formed by wet layers of snow that have thawed and re-frozen. Its appearance may be white to opaque with visible air pockets. Snow ice is low in density and very porous and weak. Unless it has formed over clear ice, it should be not be considered safe.

Clear ice is the strongest and safest ice due to its thickness (more than four inches.) It is formed during extended periods of sub-zero temperatures and appears blue to clear. Clear ice that is located near the edge or the middle of the pond may not be suitable, so inspect carefully and proceed with caution. "