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Ice skaters inside a volcano enjoy the natural high elevation rink Dec. 17 at Crystal Lake. Photos by Mari Erin Roth

Ice skating in a volcanic lake is spectacularly scenic

Over a dozen skaters and a variety of dogs made the trek into scenic Crystal Lake in the belly of Mount Hough for adventures on ice Dec. 17. Sharing skates with folks without, the random collection of locals skated, played hockey, coaxed dogs on the ice and generally enjoyed the clear mountain air, bright sunshine and very thick ice on the natural skyline rink.

The window for ice skating may be short, “but if you are going to live up here, a pair of skates are a good investment,” said Suzanne Stirling, local skater and school teacher.

It was a nice touch when DJ Carroll Clark showed up with a sound system for the ice that played appropriately cosmic tunes for the unusual setting. With a hockey game already in motion, Carroll came prepared with two hockey sticks, a fellow hockey player and a sail kite for when the wind picked up.

7 thoughts on “Ice skating in a volcanic lake is spectacularly scenic

  • You may want to check on your geology, I don’t think that is a volcanic lake.

  • I’m calling BS on the volcano too.

  • Crystal lake is an extinct volcanic caldera, much like Crater lake, the empty the lava chamber filled with water, that’s why it get’s it’s reputation for being bottomless, that’s what I was always taught.

    • Correction, “the empty lava chamber filled with water”.^

  • I thought it was a “cirque, a glacially carved lake. If you look up geological pictures of how a cirque is formed and look at the shape of that lake, it makes sense.

  • A cirque can be formed in volcanic material.
    It’s hard to find information specifically about crystal lake, but there are many references to volcanic formations on and around Mt Hough, here is a US geological survey that contains some reference: https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/1957/report.pdf , if you hold ctrl f on your keyboard and type Mt Hough in the search bar you’ll see what I mean.

  • Sorry, actually hold ctrl f on your keyboard in the link above and type Mount Hough in the search bar you’ll get a lot more results, instead of Mt Hough as I previously stated.

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