Four of us made it out to our backup swim site on Sunday after getting an update that L1 was completely frozen over. I arrived a bit early to scope out the lake, and I was elated to discover some patches of open water with fairly easy entry points. Still, there was some work to do to clear the heavy snow layer out of the way. Fortunately, the others had arrived by then, so we got to work making a pathway to the ladder.
We were interrupted by a rather striking sunrise which created some amazing colors on a cloud bank coming in from the north. As you can see by the pics below, it was quite a show! Also, it distracted us from the 19F air temp and a very biting wind from the south. But duty soon called us, so we geared up and climbed into the water.
We were lucky enough to have a clear swim lane of about 6 feet in width that went all along the side wall. In fact, I was hoping to be able to follow this channel all the way out of the harbor and into an even larger patch of open water on the other side of the breakwall. But alas, it was not meant to be since the ice sheet began to move inward towards the side wall.
Given the rather sudden change in circumstances, we had to accept the fact that a swim workout was not in the cards. So instead, we spent about 15 minutes gingerly navigating through ice sheets, breaking them up so we could get back and forth from the entrance ladder. Not exactly the swim experience we were expecting, but an adventure nonetheless!
Post-swim was pretty brutal as the south wind gnawed away at our exposed fingers as soon as we removed our gloves. So needless to say, we hustled to get into our dry clothes and got back to our heated cars as soon as possible.
Still, even with the more extreme cold conditions, this was one of the more enjoyable and memorable outings to date!