Henry and I had an amazing experience skating on lake Minnewanka this winter. The lake, just outside Banff, is huge, and gives you so much space to explore.
Our new year’s resolution of making more time for each other has started with our Friday afternoon dates. Making the most of a small amount of time we have between finishing work and picking Rocket up from day care. Adventure time! We have called it.
Minnewanka is about a 20 minute drive from Canmore, so perfect for a quick afternoon skate. The day we went was stunning. The sun was out. It had not snowed for a good couple of weeks so the surface of the ice was completely clear. It looked as though the whole of the lake was frozen, but you never can be too sure.
If you are new to skating like us then please be careful. Our general rule is, if no one else is on it, then don’t go on it! And also, if you ever feel uncomfortable get the hell out of there.
That being said, there were lots of people out on the ice that afternoon. At least 3 groups playing hockey, a few girls figure skating and making us all look like real amateurs, and then a load of beginners like us. Henry and I are improving though. Were both pretty confident and Minnewanka gives you the space to spread out and just give it a go.
The lake was amazing. The booms from the moving water and cracking ice makes you feel like you are skating over giant mythological sea creatures (But also makes you crap your pants when they go right under you) I love the story I told you about in a previous post about the legend of the creature in Minnewanka. Half Man – Half Fish. I kept reminding Henry of the monster every time we heard another boom. The methane bubbles in the ice below are not only beautiful but give you a great indication of how thick the ice is. We both skated as far out as we could brave and then laid down staring at the sky and listening to the moving water under us. Pretty thrilling, and a magical moment.
Not a bad way to spend an afternoon and relax after a weeks work.
We were out on the ice for a good hour and a half and had the opportunity to get some beautiful photos. Henry even made a great video – you can watch it here. The perfect afternoon date. In fact we are completely inspired and swiftly went out and got ourselves a couple of hockey sticks and a puck so next time we can have a good knock around on the ice.
–That evening when we got home it was all over the local news about 4 people who had fallen through the ice that day!! This is natural water and it changes all the time. The sun was out and this must had melted some spots. Also there are natural hot springs under the water which leaves thinner patches of ice. I am no expert but please be careful out there if you want to go exploring!
NOTE – all the people who fell through were fine! Just cold and wet!