As many in the Commonwealth know, this was the snowiest winter in Boston for as long as winter snow has been recorded. This has led to multiple delays in our commutes to and from work, snow days for our kids, and icy and slippery roads and walkways. There is perhaps a silver lining, however, as the accumulation of snow has led to ideal snowboarding and skiing conditions.
As a result of the heavy snow in New England, the skiing season has been considerably lengthened and slopes are better than they have been in years. But now that it is starting to get warmer and the snowfall has all but stopped, it is important to be aware of where you are skiing. Spring is technically upon us and the snow and ice has been steadily melting, leading to potentially dangerous skiing conditions.
This was sadly the case recently for a Devens, Massachusetts cross country skier. WWLP.com reports that 76-year-old Rosa Donabedian was an experienced skier and was traveling across Mirror Lake when she failed to come home. Donabedian’s husband called the police and filed a missing persons report.
Tragically, the next day Donabedian was found near the shore of the lake after apparently drowning. First responders on the scene believe that she fell through the ice on the lake, which had been getting considerably weaker and thinner as the weeks got warmer, and that she drowned before she could get back to the surface.
While you may not immediately consider drowning to be a risk of skiing, you should be mindful that frozen lakes are going to be increasingly dangerous as spring moves forward and ice continues to melt.