A group of skaters took a photo after a day of playing hockey on Whonnock Lake on Dec. 30. (Clayton Gagnon Facebook/Special to The News)

A group of skaters took a photo after a day of playing hockey on Whonnock Lake on Dec. 30. (Clayton Gagnon Facebook/Special to The News)

Subzero temperatures mean shinny on Maple Ridge lake

Skaters were on Whonnock Lake, but city advises it’s not safe

The silver lining of the holiday cold snap in the Lower Mainland was skating on Whonnock Lake.

It’s a traditional Canadian pastime, but a relatively rare event that the Maple Ridge lake freezes enough to allow groups of skaters. As temperatures dropped below zero for days in a row, Maple Ridge hockey players and other skaters took advantage of the ice that formed on the hidden gem in east Maple Ridge.

A group of skaters included this photo of themselves out for an outdoor hockey game, and it apparently included a number of members of the Ridge Meadows midget triple A team. They were on the ice on Dec. 30, and even had a fire going in a brazier to warm up beside.

READ ALSO: Skaters playing shinny on Whonnock Lake

The City of Maple Ridge does not recommend skating on any local body of water, at any time, and particularly not after the recent warming trend.

“The city does not monitor the ice levels on local streams and lakes, and we do not recommend that people skate or walk on, or over, local lakes and streams,” said spokesman Fred Armstrong.

“There was a brief period of very cold weather, however the variability of temperatures that we are seeing in the forecast, along with rainfall amounts, represents a risk for citizens.”

In the past, the city has advised residents to ensure the ice is 20 centimeters thick (eight inches) before it can be considered safe. The Canadian Red Cross ice safety guidelines advise that blue ice is strongest – double the strength of white ice. Grey ice is considered unsafe.

READ ALSO: Snow Wednesday night could affect morning commute in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows


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