Almost all Yellowknife lake ice reaches minimum safe thickness

Virtually all of the lake ice within Yellowknife city limits has now met the minimum six-inch thickness considered safe for walking, according to testers.

The Great Slave Snowmobile Association conducts annual ice thickness tests on behalf of the city, taking measurements at a range of locations from Yellowknife Bay and Back Bay to Grace Lake and Kam Lake.

As of November 13, the association said on Monday, all testing sites but one within city limits had reached the six-inch level of thickness considered to denote safety for walking.


The exception is Frame Lake next to City Hall, which was measured at 5.5 inches.

While six inches is the accepted safe mark, authorities routinely stress that measurements can fluctuate across lakes and residents should exercise caution whenever stepping out onto lakes.

Activities like snowmobiling are usually said to require 10 inches’ ice thickness or more.

Freeze-up is arriving roughly on time this year.

Last year, lake ice reached the same thickness around a week later. By mid-November in 20182019, and 2020, almost all lake ice had already reached or exceeded six inches of thickness.