Frozen Trout Lake in Vancouver attracts many for skating and hockey (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Jan 1 2022, 9:05 pm

Thin ice warnings have not deterred crowds from descending onto Trout Lake in East Vancouver for an exceptionally rare impromptu opportunity of outdoor skating and hockey.

Thousands of people circulated in and out of Trout Lake throughout New Year’s Eve, with several hundred people spotted on the ice surface at any given time on Friday afternoon.

As of 1 pm Friday afternoon, the Vancouver Park Board stated some areas of the ice were just three to four inches thick, based on daily ice thickness drilling tests by staff. This is well below the minimum thickness of seven to eight inches to be deemed safe to skate on.

Park Board staff and lifeguards were present on-site throughout the day monitoring the conditions and on standby, but were not actively discouraging anyone from entering the ice at their own risk.

People brought their own hockey nets, and shovels to create snow-cleared ice rinks and skating trails.

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Although the entire lake had frozen over after more than week of sub-zero temperatures, by late afternoon there were small pockets of slush and pooling surface water over the ice near the centre of the lake, where the ice is most likely to be thinnest.

Conditions on the Trout Lake ice surface are expected to greatly deteriorate to highly dangerous moving forward; Saturday marks the start of a continuous warming trend, with temperatures dipping from sub-zero this afternoon to the freezing mark later this evening, when periods of snow mixed with rain are expected.

Daytime, nighttime, and overnight temperatures from Sunday to Tuesday will be well above freezing, reaching a high of 5°C and accompanied with rainfall, guaranteeing unstable and thinning ice conditions.

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

This is only the second time in about a quarter century that a frozen ice surface has formed over Trout Lake to an extent that it can support skating, albeit not to technical safe standards.

The last time ice skating was possible on Trout Lake was in January 2017, when Vancouverites enjoyed 10 official days of ice thickness safe for skating. In 2017, the Park Board deemed Trout Lake was safe for skating from January 5 to 16, with the exception of a short two-day closure from January 9 to 10 when temperatures warmed up briefly.

If you fall through the ice, the Park Board advises yelling for help, reaching and grabbing onto the ice, kicking hard and pushing your stomach onto the ice, and rolling like a log onto the ice to distribute your weight. Do not get up to walk to shore.

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

trout lake vancouver ice skating december 31 2021

Ice skating on Trout Lake in Vancouver on December 31, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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