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Cold weather transforms Kal Lake into stunning skating rink

René Le Bel and his daughter Suzy take a spin on freshly sharpened skates.
January 05, 2017 - 4:30 PM

VERNON - Frigid weather has had a magical effect on Kal Beach in Vernon, where locals and visitors alike are taking a unique opportunity to skate atop the frozen surface.

While average temperatures in the Okanagan are typically -1 C to -6 C, the mercury has dropped to -15 C around the region in recent weeks.

The cold weather has made the bay at Kal Beach perfect for skating, and many have been braving the bitter cold for a chance to enjoy it while conditions last.

Among those out for a spin on the ice Thursday afternoon, Jan. 5, were friends Sean James, John Lac, Justin Unruh and Eaden Ghazarian. They grew up here and recently graduated from Vernon Secondary School. None have never seen the lake freeze over enough to skate on.

“I thought it was cool the lake was frozen,” Lac says. “Our teacher said it freezes over every three years or so, so it seemed like a good opportunity.”

Justin Unruh and John Lac test out the ice.
Justin Unruh and John Lac test out the ice.

Réne Le Bel and his daughter Suzy, visiting from Dallas, Texas, couldn’t resist the chance to go skating on the picturesque lake. They’ve been visiting family in Coldstream for many years and while they’ve skated on nearby Swan Lake and the pond at Silver Star before, this is a first.

“We’ve never skated on Kal Lake ever,” Réne says.

“I swam in it,” Suzy adds with a laugh.

Someone has generously cleared off a large portion of the ice for skating or playing a game of hockey — the only downside is finding a place to change into your skates without your toes falling off in the cold.

The Lifesaving Society of B.C. has a few safety tips if you are venturing out on the ice. They advise that you measure the ice thickness and never go onto ice alone.

— This story was updated at 6:10 a.m. Jan. 6, 2017 to add a video. 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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