Clear ice and lots of bubbles
This is turning out to be an amazing December on Abraham Lake.
Based on ice conditions checks from December 28, 2022
It was a moody morning on the lake with some snowflakes blowing through but the ice conditions are outstanding at the moment.
The first thing to note is the open water caused by the stream at Belly (see below for pictures). Because of this, we recommend that unless you are familiar with the area and ice safety you avoid this location and use nearby Abraham Slabs instead.
Have a look at yesterday's update about conditions between Abraham Slabs and the Ice Bubbles Parking Lot or scroll down below to see what we're finding at Preacher's Point.
Where to Go
Ice Bubbles Parking Lot and Abraham Slabs are probably the best options at the moment. Both have some great bubbles, clear ice and lots of options to explore from there. The rain from earlier this week has pooled in some areas, leaving some cloudy ice but overall the conditions are excellent.
The ice at Preacher's Point is now all on the grounds, except for the river. Conditions are not as good for bubbles but the area has some great ice features at the moment.
Cline Landing is mostly snow-covered but was starting to be clearer than yesterday. This could be an option if you're willing to venture further out from the access.
Head Out With A Guide
Make the most of your adventure and head out with a guide. Nordegg Adventures offers guided tours on Abraham Lake from November to April. Snowshoes, ice cleats and kicksleds are also available to rent in Nordegg.
Is it safer if I stay close to shore? Most accidents happen on the shore and near the shore where the ice is the weakest.
What will the conditions be like tomorrow? The truth is that we don't know. The weather is unpredictable and conditions change quickly. Case in point, earlier this week the forecast only changed to include rain an hour before it started raining. Until then we were forecasted to have a nice sunny day. What we can share is what we saw that day to give you a starting point as you plan your adventure.
How come I didn't see bubbles while you posted some from that day? We get this question a lot and it usually depends on where you went. Abraham Lake is a large reservoir and conditions can be drastically different from one end to the other. The Nordegg Adventures guides sharing these updates are on the lake daily and know where to go depending on the conditions. If you're heading out on your own, use the information we share as a starting point and give yourself plenty of time to explore different locations if conditions at your first choice are less than ideal.
Plan Ahead to be Safe
Please make sure to follow a few simple tips to be safe on your next adventure:
- Know where you are going. We're seeing a lot of people putting themselves into dangerous situations simply by being in the wrong place.
- Don't get stuck. Parking lots and access are not always maintained. Driving down to the lake is a lot easier than driving back up. If you have any doubts, park at the road and walk in.
- Be prepared for the weather. It's cold and windy on Abraham Lake. Dress warm and bring extra clothes in your vehicle.
We share more ice safety information here. If you are not familiar with ice safety or Abraham Lake we recommend booking a tour with local guides.
Open Water at Belly of Abraham
The small stream that often causes issues is once again creating a section of thin ice and open water. This is likely to be a concern for at least another week and we recommend using the nearby Abraham Slabs access instead.
This area has been a little more challenging to find great ice bubbles this season. Now that the lake levels have dropped low enough for the area to return to a river, we're finding some amazing ice features and reflecting pools. It's still a great option, especially for photographers and those who are ready to spend some time exploring the area.
We share this information to help visitors to the area plan their trip. This represents the conditions we have observed at a specific point in time. Ice safety depends on many more factors than just ice conditions and anybody going on the ice should have the knowledge and experience required to assess the risks, or should consider going with a guide.