Ice Harvest to begin Thursday, February 7th


HOLDERNESS — After several postponements and much uncertainty, the annual Ice Harvest at Rockywold Deephaven Camps will begin on Thursday morning and go until Saturday.

RDC Ice Harvest

John Jurczynski, Rockywold Deephaven co-general manager, said, Tuesday, that the ice conditions are finally at the point they needed for the ice harvest, a tradition that has taken place at Rockywold Deephaven Camps for over 100 years. He explained that, if conditions hold, and the ice and equipment cooperate, the entire operation should take three full days to complete.

“The ice looks good and we will be starting everything on Thursday morning,” Jurczynski said. “If all goes right it should be done by Saturday.”

For those interested in the event, Jurczynski said that people should come by the winter office called Roswell. At the office, staff will warn ice truck drivers that people will be on the roads, as well as give directions for parking. They will also explain the best ways to walk to the ice field or the ices houses.

“This operation normally takes place mid-week making it difficult for working folks and school aged children to observe the harvest,” Jurczynski wrote in an e-mail to those interested in the Ice Harvest. “A Saturday ice harvest at RDC is a rare opportunity.”

He recommends that those who go to the event wear some form of crampons and dress warm. While various aspects of the operation take place from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the best times to view the operation are from 9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Jurczynski said that in his 23 years at RDC, this year has turned out to be one of the later ice harvests that he has been a part of. This was due to the recent wild weather that involved rain, warm temperatures and wind. It caused the ice to decrease and thickness significantly, but recent cold weather has made the conditions favorable.

As of Feb. 4, Jurczynski said there were 12 inches of poor quality ice at Squaw Cove and 10-and-a-quarter to 11 inches of beautiful black ice at Deep End. Eight of the 12 locations measured at Deep End were at 11 inches. He added that the weather may get close to 50 degrees on Monday, and the potential for this made it clear that the harvest needs to happen over the weekend.

Jurczynski said that each year about 14 people participate in the ice harvest. Many involved have done this for years. He said there are plenty of local residents and media outlets that come to view the event, as well as a fourth grade class from Holderness Central School.