Ice scouting complete - the Great Western Challenge Regatta is ON!

The IceMaker and I measured 4 inches if solid clear ice on Christina. Excellent ice. Osakis had 2-3 near shore but less further out . We dared not walk further. Unsuitable.
Big Detroit smooth ice out 100 yes but 2.5 inches. Little Detroit had 3.25 inches and somewhat more texture. Set up, wind at 3-8. Covered most of the little Detroit. No observed hazzards. Clocked 40 mph on GPS during an hour of sailing. Kiefer took a run too and lifted the runner a few times. Some areas had a rumble and a few chips flying. Stopped and checked two other local lakes, both with similar ice at 3-4 inches.
Heading home due to high wind forecast.

Nov 25, 2011 Scouting trip

Photos posted

I 5 photos of the ice checking trip of Nov 25, 2011 to Christina, Big & Little Detroit Lakes.

The weather event predicted for Saturday appears to lack the moisture and with colder weather and no snow predicted, these sailable lakes should thicken some.

Looks very promising for the Western Challenge!

Ice Checking 2011

Ice checking 2011

Ice Report Supplement and Discussion - The Regatta IS ON!

Had time allowed I'd be writing about more than a dozen Epic Lakes... but we had to stop in Perham for a cup of coffee with my mom.

Osakis - Treacherous thin ice, abundant hazards, large quantities of migratory waterfowl. Not a consideration.

Christina She's what we dream of, 4" of measured ice thickness. The launch site is in very bad condition, the bank has a 4' vertical heave to be traversed. Trailer tipping parking is clearly available there this year.

Dead Lake Same as Christina, reported a tad thicker by one reported at ~5" The resort is closed, access will a bit better than Christina, parking more abundant.

Sallie and Melissa both 2.5-3" I know iceboaters who live here, haven't spoken with them, no visible hazards, launching is yet undetermined here. 4 mils to Detroit Lakes.

Big and Little Detroit Lakes ***** This is one lake, separated by a narrow channel, the big side froze 4 days later than the little side. There is outstanding access, and sail in sail out accommodations, Little Detroit had a thin coat of what appeared to be frozen rain/snow covering the ice surface, slightly stippled it had unique kind of rumble, nothing to slow you much. The Big Lake noticeably smoother.

Ice checking 2011

All lakes froze in moderately turbid conditions, the ice crystals observed all under 3" in overall length, many under 1" There was a hint of standing water on all surfaces, all a with some surface imperfections. Sorry to say that optically clear stuff,the stuff that makes you feel funny between your big toes all the way up kind of clarity won't be there this year.

Housing, other issues yet open, but there are three viable sites with three host cities all possible at this moment, some things take a little longer.

Weather: There's a system developing at this moment, has some energy but not that much moisture, expect a lot of wind but they're kind of wiggly on precipitation type and amount. Most likely too much breeze to sail tomorrow, in a DN.

At some point tomorrow afternoon, a primary location will be announced, but I am leaning towards Detroit Lakes at this time, due to launch facility, hospitality and accommodation advantages in quantity and convenience. We know a lot of people here who would like to see the event come this way, they'll try to make it easy for us.

Ice checking 2011

Detailed Update on Saturday 11-26