That’s a lot of ice: Cross country skating at Utah Lake
Jim Harris is quickly becoming my favorite winter recreationist. After sharing his recent ice biking exploits with me, he applied yet another novel technique to Utah Lake.
“My wife and I have taken up a new kind of skating on the lake—at least it’s new to us,” he writes. “It’s called Cross Country Skating, and it’s very popular in Sweden. It uses very long, 50 cm blades with specialized bindings that can be used with regular cross country ski boots (as seen near the end of the below video). The long blades, coupled with a sloping front end, allows them to cruise over rough ice with ease.”
Also called Nordic or wild skating, Harris says he an his wife have put about 130 miles into the activity so far this winter. For ideal black ice, they spend most of their time at Goshen and Provo Bay, reaching speeds from 10 to 17 miles per hour.
“It’s absolutely beautiful out there,” he says. “Lots of wildlife, amazing booming and pinging sounds from the ice—it’s like music. And of course, we’re always alone when we go. It’s really a shame that Utah Lake isn’t used more by the public.”
So the next time you’re skating on Utah Lake, look our for Harris as he attempts a full crossing of the lake later this winter. Video courtesy of Jim Harris: