Nordic Skating is a recreational form of long distance skating on natural ice that forms on lakes, rivers and seas. For safety ice claws, a boyancy aid in the form of a rucksack, throwing line and ice poles for probing the ice are used. To protect against the cold and possible immersion also a set of exchange clothing is carried. Tour leaders develop their probing and route evaluation skills by participation in teory training and practice over the years. 

By this day Jöns has covered in excess of 30 kilometer of ice. Some weak spots as well while there are fairly trustable ice too. As always it is important to test the ice one way or the other to avoid the weak spots. If it comes to swimming you need to be prepared with short spikes to get a grip on the ice to drag yourself up, and also to have change clothing, preferably in a rucksack that gives some boyancy at the same time.

Perfect skating ice usually does not last for long. A snow fall makes evaluating ice quality harder. The video was filmed on a section where waves formed along the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea starts to break ice. The outer edge will break first, forming a barrier of crush and possibly pack ice. A bit further in waves still travel, but under the ice that bends unless the waves are steep enough to break it, initially to large skateable sheets of ice that as waves continue, break into even smaller sheets. Here the waves limited the skating area most.


Ice thickness varies a lot. This video demonstrates ice which is only a couple of cm thick. Jöns carries a boyancy rucksack, and is connected with a throw line to the shore with which to pull back in case he floats and has no other method of turning back.


Yesterday tuesday morning was the first time this winter that I probed the ice. Generally I found ice from a few centimetres upto a maximum of 6 cm between Gullö and Ekenäs. The direction from Vedaberget or Paddlingsfabriken towards Källviken was not strong enough for safe journeying the the other shore. Today the 5th a couple of cm have been added and with proper probing and a skilled guide safe routes exists. I went to buy my forgotten butter from Vedaberget to Ekenäs by skating. Groups of 4 people would be safe, while bigger groups should spread out. The ice would have some cracking noice, but again, a guide can keep you safe. Please use the general map here on the website that marks generally weak spots and avoid those spots if you decide not to go guided.

For advice call us or e-mail us.

P1070372s.jpgThis winter has been different from previous winters. We had snow earlier than during the latest 10 years, and it has been colder. On top - the water has been frozen since before mid December. As it happens there is no skating ice yet. We are expecting some later on in the winter. However something we call double ice has developed.

Double ice is formed by one layer of ice against the see having a layer of water on top and then that layer has a second layer of ice. There is really water in between the two ice layers. SnoBlue sky seen through the Igloo top w acts as insulation on top of the upper ice and prevents the water between the layers from freezing. Without the snow we would have had strong compact ice able to carry a car, but now we only posess two fairly weak layers of soft ice. It does however carry a human being in most places.....   as always there are weak spots too.


A few videos from skating tours primarily in the Ekenäs neighborhood.

Nordic skating is about recognizing and avoiding the soft spots, and being equipped for swims between tours. While you may stay on top for years and miles. Here appears some articles on what a tour leader will be looking for and have knowledge of. This is by no means a handbook, but will give guidance.