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Just a big caution for all those riding machines on Vermilion. With the moderating temperatures, the Big Bay pressure ridges have come to life. The area around Moose and Comet Islands is especially dangerous. There is ice standing 4-5' high in spots and there are areas of standing water that is 3-4' deep. Numerous machines have gotten a good bath in it already. The trail has been re routed to the south. Just be aware that it is constanly changing. I went over there today to check and a lot of the water was skimmed over with a lot of snow blown in disguising the danger. Don't just go in another track and expect it to be safe. There have been a couple of locals that got an unexpected bath the last couple of days. Heartattack and I pulled one out of there Tuesday. I know of 3-4 others that ended up with water up to their windshields. careful out there and use your heads. I would like my pager to stay quiet this weekend.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Thanks for the heads-up Shamrock7!!


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Friday Feb 23rd edition of Mesabi Daily News Virginia, Mn

'3 Stooges' on Lake Vermilion

4-to-5-mile pressure ridge clearly marked, but snowmobilers dive in anyway

Jesse White

Last updated: Thursday, February 22nd, 2007 11:00:00 PM

LAKE VERMILION — The pressure ridge goes for 4-to-5 miles and sticks up 4-to-5 feet high. And watching some people on snowmobiles going up to it and dive in any way, even though it is clearly marked, is like “watching the Three Stooges.”

That’s how Vermilion Penguin Snowmobile Club Trail Coordinator Gary Skogman describes the scene on Lake Vermilion’s Big Bay these days.

Skogman said there are two marked trails across the pressure ridge, which he said start on the end of Big Bay where Everett Bay Road is located, then “wiggles” out toward Moose and Comet Island, down toward Spider Island and then back south before it “peters out” as it gets to the north of Ely Island.

“It’s four to five miles long and has stop signs ... trail closed signs and everything and they still dive in. There’s no good way of getting over it. It’s wet on both sides. Just dumb,” he said.

Scott Kelling, area trails and waterways supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources in Tower, said he hasn’t had any calls on the situation yet but advises snowmobilers to be on the lookout anyway.

According to Kelling, pressure ridges tend to form in larger portions of the lake due to ice shifting as the temperatures get warmer.

In the most basic sense, a pressure ridge is a long crack in the ice that occurs because of repeated heating and cooling on the surface of the lake.

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The problem is it was below zero the last couple of weeks and a person could drive up and over the ridge where ever they wanted and not get wet, now it's warmer and the water is comming up, there's a million tracks leading poeple to the danger zone. Snow should cover up the tracks and solve the problem. Maybe wink.gif

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