Backcountry ice skating is a popular outdoor activity in the Eastern Sierra. In the fall, mountain and (eventually) valley temperatures plummet — and stay low — for some time before snow arrives and covers local lakes, ponds, and creeks. It’s a great opportunity to experience a different side of winter.
We recently got some Nordic-skating blades that snap onto our skate-skiing boots, and gave it a try on a small inlet of Lake Crowley, between Bishop and Mammoth. It wasn’t exactly “backcountry” — we were a few hundred yards from US 395 — but it was a perfect spot for an initial foray. Although he has skate-skied before, this was Mike’s first day ever on ice skates, and my first day since I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts. Ice skating is a blast — the gliding is magical and we hope to be able to do more. But if it keeps snowing, we’ll take that too!