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Driving on Ice


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With it being around -20 at the moment and only reaching -8 to -12 during the day there are plenty of frozen lochs about. How thick would you consider to be 'safe' to drive on? It hasn't been thinner than 8" since around new year. Under the snow it seems more than 1ft deep. Would it be safe enough to drive on and have a slide about?

Cheers :o

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[not serious hat on mode]I think it would be safe enough for me if it was somebody else, not in my vehicle.[/not serious hat on mode]. :P

Eight inch plus thickness of ice would probably be ok, but I've no direct experience to underwrite the statement. I'm sure a grown up, possibly from one of them Scandanavian countries, will be along in a bit to assure you I'm wrong.

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DON'T, but if you HAVE to (or want to :huh: ) then here are a few pointers.

- Snowmobiles and ATV’s need at least 5 inches, and cars and light trucks need at least 8-12 inches of good clear ice.

- Carry a pair of homemade ice picks or even a pair of screwdrivers tied together with a few yards of strong cord that can be used to pull yourself up and onto the ice if you do fall in. Be sure they have wooden handles so if you drop them in the struggle to get out of the water, they won’t go straight to the bottom!

- Be prepared to bail out in a hurry if you find it necessary to use a car, unbuckle your seatbelt and have a plan of action if you do breakthrough

-Move your car frequently. Parking in one place for a long period weakens ice. Don’t park near cracks, and watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves.

-Don’t drive across ice at night or when it is snowing. Reduced visibility increases your chances for driving into an open or weak ice area.

Also consider that although there may be a layer of ice on'top' of the Loch, if the water is regulated the actual

water surface can be below the layer of ice. If you then breakthrough, there is no way to get back up.

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How thick?

Pretty bloody stupid on two counts if you ask me;

Firstly for even considering it - people die every year in Canada, (where believe it or not it is a damn sight colder than over here) falling through ice in their trucks.

Secondly, for asking strangers on the internet for advice that could decide your fate!! :o:o:o

Sorry if this sounds incredulous, but you must be off your rocker to even consider it.

Darwin Award anyone....?

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Bang on Bish - costa del Finland, Sexpest is certifiable and marginally suicidal but he knows ice, two of us can pick his scooby up and load it onto a trailer, it weighs bugger all.

I wouldnt like to trundle onto ice with a Landrover (and definately not in this country - its just not cold enough for long enough) unless an adult said it was ok, even then I'd be munching on the seat cover with the doors on one click, the windows open and a clear route out of dodge :huh:

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Wasn't it Top Gear that did some Disco3 and Aston racing on a frozen lake in Sweden in their 'Winter Olympics' special?

Seem to remember them saying it was 3" thick ice -but you can never tell if they are being serious of course....

Oh, and no, I wouldn't do it either :)

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Lifted from a Morgan Forum run by a Canadian.......

"It is common for lakeside or island property owners without road access

to have their construction materials delivered mid-winter. They clear a

road on the smooth ice and have a supplier truck dump the stuff on their

dock or property for spring/summer building.

At this time of year, the ice is 2-3 feet thick, sufficient to hold 12

tons. (3" are needed to hold a human being) Of course, even lake ice is

not uniformly thick. It will be less where there is a greater underwater

flow. (Ice also floats atop a lake and is subject to heaving and cracking).

Here are images we just took from down our lake. The truck and cargo

is/was estimated at 16 tons and he was traveling through a high flow

channel. He is very lucky because, the channel is also the shallowest

part of our lake and he hit bottom with his extended rear. Our lake is

one of the deepest in the Laurentian Mountains, 427 feet at its deepest

point and an average of 90 feet deep all through. The water is crystal

clear and you can dive off the shore almost everywhere. Look below!

I haven't the faintest idea how they are going to get him out. My guess

is a BIG helicopter."


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Ok, so I don't think I'll take any of my babys/toys out but Might give it a blast with a scrapper vitara and cut the roof off just incase the worst happens. I'll wait until the snow has cleared a bit though. -23 up the road this morning. Effffiing cold. At least the water won't be that cold. :o

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Where are you?

I'm guessing Scotland somewhere because of the "lochs" reference but its not been -20degC anywhere I know of.

I'm in Dallas however work in Glenlivet/ Tomintoul area most days. Temperatures were recorded at approx 7am each morning at Knockando. Not a million miles from you. Temp was picking up a bit today but in the valleys that see no sunlight the lochs have been frozen thick for weeks and weeks!

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