Ice forms in many parts of the country this time of year, whether horizontally on bodies of water or vertically in waterfalls. This offers multiple dimensions for adventure--hikes to frozen waterfalls, ice climbing, ice caves, and ice skating are a few. Even if it's at an indoor ice rink, you can still get your frozen water adventure for the week.
The thickest ice on the planet is near the South Pole, where one part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet has been measured at 15,682 feet deep (4,780 meters, 2.97 miles).
Most of the world's frozen water (90%) is in Antarctica as part of these continental ice sheets, which are huge glaciers that sit over a large body of land. A considerable amount of ice forms over the ocean as well, where it can be up to 16 feet thick. An iceberg is a huge chunk of a continental glacier that has broken off and fallen into the sea.
The thickest non-glacial ice to cover a body of water is, not surprisingly, also in Antarctica, where the layer of ice over Lake Vida is nearly 70 feet thick.
How thick is thick enough to safely walk or skate on? Four inches or more is generally considered safe, but the thickness can be difficult to determine without proper tools to cut the ice. In addition, thickness can vary across a body of water based on the nature of the ice and currents flowing underneath. Use extreme caution if venturing onto unknown ice, and never go alone.
There are plenty of frozen water adventures out there, many of which involve minimum risk. Here is a list of various ice activities on Outdoor Project that are too cool to pass up.
We believe good things come from people spending time outside. We strive to provide inspiration and supporting information on incredible adventures to make it easy for you to get outdoors and explore new places. We understand that life is busy, but we strongly encourage you to make time for outdoor recreation on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To keep you inspired all year, we've put together a list of 52 geologic features and adventure themes. Check them out and join us in our #52AdventureChallenge!