Winter storms and early ice
It's been an exciting few days with some of the earliest ice we've seen combined with above average snowfall.
Based on ice conditions checks from December 3 to 5, 2022
The ice continues to thicken, from 8 cm on the evening of December 2nd to 10 cm on the morning of December 3rd and 12 to 16 cm on December 5th.
The ice between Windy Point and Allstones that formed on December 1st broke up in the strong winds we saw Saturday. South of Windy Point, in areas like the Ice Bubbles Parking Lot, Abraham Slabs and Cline Landing, we're seeing the ice get better each day with lots of great bubbles coming through. The storm that started yesterday and continues today is leaving the lake partially snow-covered with light snow that comes off easily with a broom.
The weather forecast includes winds gusting up to 80 km/h tonight which should help clear the ice before we enjoy a few days of sunshine and milder temperatures. We don't expect the ice in the sheltered areas to break up, but at this time of the year, this is still a possibility as we go through a change of weather system.
Where to Go
Preacher's Point continues to have the thickest ice (over 45 cm a week ago) but has been mostly snow-covered recently.
Cline Landing, Abraham Slabs and the Ice Bubbles Parking Lot all have great bubbles coming but the ice is still variable. Make sure to bring your ice screw and check the ice conditions as you go if you're heading out on your own.
Is it safe to go on the ice when parts of the lake are still open water? Abraham Lake is over 30 km long and always has a variety of conditions depending on where you go on the lake. Ice conditions at the location you are visiting are the ones that matter. For example, Preacher's Point froze on November 3rd and now has over 45 cm of ice while the area between Cline River and Windy Point froze on December 2nd.
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.
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.
A look back at the past few days on Abraham Lake
The last few days have ranged from gorgeous sunrise colours to complete whiteout conditions.
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.
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.