Lake Willoughby, Vermont
Skating south into the Narrows
in late March, 2006
Willoughby is Vermont's deepest lake. Its depth has been measured at over 300 feet. But no one knows exactly how deep. The lake bottom is littered with house-sized boulders that have tumbled off the 1000-foot vertical cliffs. Drop a stone between two boulders and it could fall 400 or even 500 feet.
Because of its depth, Willoughby is the last late in Vermont to freeze solid. It usually doesn't freeze until late January or early February. So you can sometimes find new black ice on Willoughby when most other lakes are snow-covered. The lake stays frozen until early to mid April.
Top photo: Southbound skaters enter the narrows betwewen Mt. Pisgah and Mt. Hor, whose 1000-foot cliffs tower above the shores of Lake Willoughby in Westmore, Vermont.
Below left: Mt. Pisgah's ice cliffs are a mecca for ice climbers. But on warm afternoons the ice loses its grip on the rock face; giant chunks break off and shatter on the talus slopes with a thunderous roar.
Below right: Skaters pass Wheeler Mountain rising above the west shore of Lake Willoughby.
Bottom photo: In early April the warm sun glints off the pebbled ice surface.
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