yanked from a guide book written, but never published, on how to walk across alaska.
i might add, this info has worked 100% correctly. your mileage may vary.
if things look edgy, is easy enough to tow an alpacka raft.
the fellow who taught me this stuff is quite the first rate northern canadian.
River Ice/Aufiess, ... use common sense and stay away from the leading edges where falling in will get one sucked under. Note from afar that edges are often radically undercut. Keep off where it’s rotting, back up if it’s warranted. If one punches through, one is G-o-n-e. This northern gift stays with us most of the season. Feel free to make good miles on it, savor the thunderous crashes at night as it settles. It’s great stuff.
What does not work well is when overflow (water) is on top of the ice. It is just too slippery, it takes only a bit of side load, and one rides the chute. Very dangerous.
There won’t be many frozen lakes to deal with, but courtesy of David Langford, Inuvik, this is a quicky on them : The ice can stick to the bottom quite firmly if the lake freezes all the way down. There may be water over hard ice in that instance. The author thinks it’s Ok to walk on this stuff even partially rotting, because one can only fall in about as deep as bouyantcy will allow, and it’s an easy crawl out. Or, ice can freeze xyz thick, and only stick to the bottom at the edges, while the center section floats up on spring’s rising waters. This will give us submerged edge ice, perhaps a small gap, and then a solid floating pan. By the time the edges start popping up, one is looking at perhaps not such a fine idea to be walking on that particular lake. But it may still be possible to effectively walk rotting edges keeping to waters less than 4’ deep. All lakes do not melt at the same time in a given area by any means. In all cases pay particular attention to those places where creeks enter and leave the body of water.
and what's with those losers at trailspace.com capping on Andrew ????