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You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Wisconsin Snowmobile Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Snowmobile Safety Certificate.

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Video: Crossing Frozen Bodies of Water

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  • Ice presents many of the same handling problems as riding on pavement. Also, spins are common and fast stops are impossible.
  • Maintain a slow, steady speed. Don't speed up or apply the brakes abruptly.
  • To stop safely, release the throttle and coast to a stop.

Frozen Bodies of Water

Do not ride on frozen rivers and lakes if you can avoid it, but if you must:

  • Scout ahead.
    • Go to as high an area of elevation above the lake as possible and use binoculars to look for dark spots on the ice. This indicates slush, water, or deteriorating ice. Do not attempt to cross this ice.
    • Watch for rivulets flowing on the ice or streams flowing under it. Even when the surface looks solid, a current under the ice causes erosion from below. Ice over a flowing river is at least 15% weaker than ice over a lake.
  • If you're in a group, avoid crossing in single file. If the group leader falls through, riders in single file may not be able to stop or maneuver the snowmobile quickly enough to keep from following the leader through the ice.