Posted by: Stefan Anderson | December 7, 2014

An Afternoon on Ice

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This semester Conserve School has set records for snow accumulation and average low temperatures. This afternoon I set out with an ice spud and ice auger to see what this meant for the quality of ice on Big Donahue Lake. The spud is a heavy steel rod with a chipper on the end that is thrust down into the ice to test how strong it is. In general, if you can’t break through with a few thrust of the spud then the ice is probably safe. Probably isn’t good enough for Conserve School students. We use an ice auger to drill a clean hole through the ice so we can measure the thickness and the quality of the ice. Today we found that we had 7.5 inches of new clear ice in the area I wanted to clear for ice skating. You can see from the chart below that 7.5 inches is a safe amount for this activity.


Initially Sarah and Morgan helped me drill the test holes and start clearing ice for skating. We were soon joined by over a dozen additional students and it didn’t take long for a large skating area to be cleared. It was fun watching students from the south experience lake skating for the first time. Please enjoy the photos that I took throughout the afternoon.


Stefan Anderson
Head of School

Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all students accepted to this amazing semester school receive full scholarship support.

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