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News From 91.3 KUWS
Ice caves open after a little weather rock 'n roll
The Apostle Islands Ice Caves held strong through the snow storm last week. Tourists who have visited since have already re-groomed the trail. Brad Phenow reports.
The National Park Service temporarily closed access to the ice caves Friday for the safety of the visitors and stability of the ice pack. Following the storm, Park Rangers surveyed the ice conditions and re-opened the caves mid-day Saturday. Apostle Island National Lakeshore Resource Manager Julie Van Stappen says the trail vanished with over a foot of snow
“There was a pretty hard packed trail out there again, a little rougher than earlier but not too bad.”
She says the caves themselves have been changing but the storm isn’t to blame.
“Every time you go out the formations are a little different, and some of the columns are cracking but one thing is the surface is really dynamic and the ice does go up and down.”
She says the number of visitors was down after the storm, but it didn’t stop everyone.
“There was an estimated 2500 people on Saturday.”
She says parking has been a struggle but there is a shuttle picking up people from two different locations.
“There is a field off of Happy Hollow Road where people can park, and also Ehlers General Store in Cornucopia. The BART shuttle goes back and forth and drops people off.”
She says for people who haven’t been able to see the Caves, the ice conditions are safe, but dress appropriately.
“The ice is still thick enough that we are saying it’s low-risk and accessible. But dress really warm and wear ice cleats and things like that on your boots. Also, the formations are really fragile; make sure that people don’t break them off because we want everyone to be able to enjoy them.”
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