If there is a silver lining to our lack of snow it is that ice skating on local lakes is all time right now. Cold temperatures and no snow has turned many lakes into perfect slates of clean black ice. We’re talking better ice than an NHL Zamboni could produce. The combination of awesome ice and clear, dry hiking trails has brought into play an elusive sport known as backcountry ice skating. Small high alpine lakes are in perfect skating condition and easily accessible. If you want to turn your lack of snow frown upside down perhaps you should pack a lunch, pair of skates, and a nip of Scotch and head to the hills for some backcountry ice skating. It won’t be this good again until we have this bad of a start to winter again. And let’s hope that’s a long time.

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Here’s another great ice sport: