Whenever you can, take alternative routes over water and ice. PHOTO BY JIM JOQUE
Whenever you can, take alternative routes over water and ice. PHOTO BY JIM JOQUE
In my early, single years, I attempted to impress a young woman by asking her to go hiking with me on a brisk winter afternoon, then out to dinner or a movie. She agreed to go on a short hike for fun. 

During our adventure, we came to a creek. She asked me if it was safe to cross. So I stepped onto the ice to check it out.

“Sure” I said. “It seems okay to me.” I jumped up and down on it three times. On the third pounce I broke through into freezing cold knee-deep water. The lovely woman helped pull me out of the creek. But I was way too embarrassed to ask her out again. 

Fortunately for me, the water was only slightly above my knees. I have known people who fell through ice into water over their head. Fortunately for them, they were able to pull themselves to safety to tell the story. Sadly this was not the case for six Minnesotans who died between 2007 and 2012 from going through the ice when on foot, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

The entirety of Jim Joque's advice for snowshoeing on ice appears in the March 2014 print edition of Silent Sports magazine. To order a copy, call 888-706-4045. Or avoid missing a single issue by subscribing online here.