Who knew cracked ice would be…jaw dropping?
I recall the moment I started to tell the story after I returned from Yellowknife, my brother hands me a snarky remark of “how cool can ice be? That’s just right outside your door if you’re staying in Yellowknife isn’t it?”
Here we turn to our tour guide, aka Big Bear, of North Star Adventures.
Pendulum: What is so special about the Ice Road?
Big Bear: It’s only here for part of the year, the Ice Road is actually an inlet of the Great Slave Lake that has frozen over for the winter months. The houses you see here on the Ice Road are actually house boats, and they froze in this spot when the lake froze over. These homes are self sustainable, so it’s definitely living a free life here on the water. See that one over there froze on an angle, sucks to be whoever drops anything on the floor in that house.
Pendulum: It’s not there for the full year and it gets closed down in the summer. Why is that?
Big Bear: It just melts when it gets warmer! It starts melting in April and usually closes mid April. What you were standing on is actually a body of water that has frozen over. The Great Slave Lake is HUGE, and even that is an understatement. We are just at the tip of the inlet here on the Ice Road. The thickness of the ice is three to four metres and holds up to 23,500 KG of weight!
Pendulum: When is the best time to visit Yellowknife for the Ice Road Tour?
Big Bear: The best time to come to the Ice Road is in March/April; if you come in March it also includes the Snow Castle tour! The Snow Castle is something the "Snow King” builds every year, and it is a huge celebration. Expect parties in the Snow Castle if you come here during that time. It will be frozen, but definitely an experience you won’t forget!
So I’ve been there, and now you have all your questions answered. What I can tell you is, like any other place you have travelled to, hearing about a place does not do it justice. Go, see it with your own eyes. Experience the sensation of feeling you’re halfway frozen with the warmth of the northern hemisphere sunlight on your face. Lie on the slippery ice blocks on the ice road. Touch the cracks, hear the cracks, and be in awe of how nature creates something so magnificent, year after year. It will reset your perspective of the world. Let it serve as a beautiful wake up call, because you don’t see sunshine and blue skies like this everyday.
Want to book your tour with North Star Adventures? Click through to their website here. On WeChat? Scan this QR code and get in touch directly with Big Bear!
WeChat ID: Aurora_Hunter