January thaw brings winter fun and thin ice – KARE11.com

Saturday temps hit 47 degrees tying a record set more than 130 years ago.

“Everyone wants to get out and enjoy winter in Minnesota,” Buck Hill manager Erik Moe says.

At Buck Hill, it was one of their busiest days of the year.

“Forty degrees in January is definitely a treat,” snowboarder Hanam Pham says.

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When a January day feels more like April, a light jacket or a sweatshirt is all you need to ride the slopes.

“Everyone likes to be more comfortable when they’re outside,” Moe says.

Above the ice and snow, it was a wonderful day to be out, but below the surface, things are melting fast.

“We’ve seen some melting, but no bare spots, the hill is fully open,” Moe says.

At Buck Hill, they have more than 4 feet of base, so they’re not worried about running out of snow.

“It would take extended temps above freezing and some rain to put a dent in it,” Moe says.

At Crystal Lake, around the corner, the ice was 8-inches thick by Saturday afternoon.

Fishermen say it’s thick enough to fish on but they wouldn’t drive a truck on it for safety reasons.

For that the DNR recommends 12 to 15 inches at least.

The agency sent out a warning this weekend that ice is melting rapidly on lakes and ponds across the metro.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has also placed signs at various sites to warn people about thin ice.

Both agencies are concerned the recent thaw will inspire people to push their limits in the pursuit of fun and frivolity this weekend.

They’re encouraging people to check the ice depth before venturing out.

Click here for the DNR’s Ice Thickness Guide

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html

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