In wintertime the Sport Office maintains a tour skating trail over the ice. Tour skates have long blades and can be rented from Mäntyharju Library.
It is vital to follow basic safety guidelines when walking, skating or skiing across the ice. The first rule is that you should always have ice claws with you – the kind that you can hang around your neck and get to quickly without getting your hands wet. The ice claws should have a sharp spike that can penetrate even the thickest ice. You should also have a larger ice pick with you that can make a hole in ice up to 5 centimetres thick – ski poles are generally not strong enough.
If you are planning a long outing, take with you a backpack containing a dry set of clothes packed in an airtight bag. In case you end up in the water, the backpack will serve as a flotation device. We strongly recommend also that you carry with you a rope to help rescue anyone else who falls through the ice. The most important rule to remember is never go out onto the ice alone. Researchers in neighbouring Sweden found that only one in two people can rescue themselves after falling through the ice, even with all the equipment listed above.
In case you fall through the ice
Falling through the ice is not a catastrophe as long as you remain calm. First, calm yourself from the shock and turn around to face in the direction you came from. The ice in that direction will be strong enough to carry you. Lean against the edge of the ice and, using swimming strokes and kicking with your legs, get your body into a horizontal position. At the same time take out your ice claws, stretch out your arms as far as you can in front of you and drive the claws into the ice. Then pull yourself forwards.
If the edge of the ice breaks again, remain calm and repeat the same steps. If anyone has thrown you a rope by this stage, grab hold of the rope. Once you are safely on the ice, take out your dry clothes from your backpack, take off your wet clothes and dry yourself. After you have changed into dry clothes, you can continue on your way.
+358 44 770 7229
Trail information and maintenance
Municipality of Mäntyharju, Sport Office
+358 15 770 111/switchboard