As drivers whizzed past along King George Boulevard, snug inside their warm vehicles, half a dozen young men sat at the edge of Serpentine Fen, Thursday morning, (Dec. 22) lacing up hockey skates with frozen fingers before grabbing sticks, nets and pucks and gliding onto the ice for a pre-Christmas game of shinny.
With temperatures hovering around -11 C, White Rock’s Thomas Seidelmann and Joseph Chen of South Surrey, skated in wide circles, passing the puck between them and testing the ice.
Although the friends keep an eye on the fen for any chance to get out and skate, Thursday’s outing was the first in a couple of years, noted Chen. Despite a long stretch of cold weather last winter, it was just too slushy, he said.
Asked how they knew the ice was thick enough to support them, the skaters acknowledged with a chuckle that they didn’t, before admonishing a visitor to “be careful.”
Thursday’s freezing temperatures were just a prelude to what Mother Nature has in store for Metro Vancouverites.
What started as heavy snowfall earlier in the week, Environment Canada says is now turning into icy temperatures and possible freezing rain.
The weather agency says residents along the south coast will be hit particularly hard Thursday (Dec. 22). Wind chill values are forecast to drop to -20 to -30 C in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Greater Victoria and the Gulf Islands. This is expected to last into the night in the Lower Mainland, but only throughout the morning in Greater Victoria and the islands.
– file from Jane Skrypnek, Black Press Media