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Skating and swimming at Brohm Lake amid Fantastic winds
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.22 - 20:21:43
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (1 days)
Participants: Steve Grant, Betsy Waddington, Robin Tivy
Difficulty: 2: Must stay away from edges
Another great skating trip to Brohm lake, this time with accidental swimming.
[photo]01_Betsy.jpg[caption]Betsy skating along the shore[/photo]

[photo]05_Reflection.jpg[caption]My reflection in the ice. Note the change of color of my jacket[/photo]

This was another skating expedition to Brohm Lake, something we anticipate in every cold snap without snow. It usually takes 5 or 6 nights below zero to freeze up the low level lakes. This year the ice was as smooth and black as I've ever seen it. So we met at the church in North Van at 9:30 and headed up past Squamish. Although it had been calm and +2 in Vancouver, as we drove up the temperature dropped and there were tremendous outflow winds coming down Howe Sound. There were whitecaps everywhere, and wind blowing the tops off the waves. As we got north of Horseshoe bay, we could see a ferry out in the fury, in a holding pattern facing into the wind. It was too rough for the ferry to dock, so it was just in a holding pattern in Howe Sound. Later we heard all ferries were cancelled due to the winds. The road signs were blowing horizontal on their chains.

Although the lake is very deep, in places you could see the terrain along the bottom of the lake. The wind was blasting down the lake. When we got there, there were only 3 other cars. We took our packs to the waters edge, put on our skates, and sailed forth. The winds were tremendous, and below zero. I never took my heavy down jacket off all day. Going upwind was a battle. It was a few degrees below zero, and enormous winds. Every step you took, the white fluff from the skate stride would stream out like a con trail from a jet. I had never seen that before. There were three other people that came flying down ice with the wind behind them at some tremendous speed. When we turned around to go downwind, you quickly got going way to fast to be...

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