We’ve spent the last few weekends making improvements to the apartment. Between that and feeling ill for half of November, we hadn’t spend much time in the wilderness. But sun was forecast on Saturday! The days are dark at the moment so we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to bathe in some light, plus it’s always nice to disconnect from the world for a few hours.
Frozen lakes were another incentive to lace up. Several weeks of sub zero temperatures created some pretty thick lake ice and Nordic skaters were out making the most of it.
Nordic skating isn’t quite the same as ice skating — the boots have longer blades (that unclip) and are used on natural ice. It’s something we’d love to try but not without doing a course that covers ice safety. Most people carry throw lines, ice claws (for dragging themselves out of the water) and poles, which is good to see but also highlights that you have to know your stuff.
We packed a stove so we could have a hot drink and sit for a while. This is a Jetboil Stash. It’s super light and it all packs down into the pan you can see below (including the gas canister). I can see why it’s called “jetboil”… it’s fast! Half a litre of water boiled in two to three minutes, even in the freezing cold.
I poured my tea into a wooden kuksa and Scott used an enamel mug. His was excellent for warming our hands when they got cold.
We invested in some outdoor clothing this year. Last year, we made do with what we had so we could see what we really needed for a full Winter outdoors. Fjällräven Vidda Pro ticked all the boxes on the trouser department. And I’m now a longjohns convert… they’re a game changer! I bought Woolpower Lite and Icebreaker 300, and have even been wearing them under my jeans on regular days.
It got to 13:00 and we started making our way back home because sunset was only an hour away. Not before we had a go on the ice though! We stood on the spot where lots of people had joined the lake on foot and clipped their skates on, so we could see it was good place to stand.
That dark cloud was full of snow; there was a short flurry but it didn’t settle (much to my disappointment). I have a slightly sprained toe at the moment but I saw the sun shine on those trees and managed to hobble trot down to the lake edge before the light disappeared. You have to be quick at this time of year because the light changes fast.
A beautiful end to a much needed day outside in the fresh air.