WAYZATA, Minn. (KMSP) - The Hennepin County Sheriff's Department is warning people that ice conditions on lakes across the Twin Cities are quickly deteriorating.
Ice is only measuring 10 to 14 inches throughout Hennepin County and that’s down two inches from a week ago, according to the sheriff’s office.
But, those numbers didn’t stop thousands of people from heading to Wayzata Bay on Lake Minnetonka for a hobby they call extremely Minnesotan – golf on ice.
Almost 2,000 people took to the ice Saturday for booze, goofy costumes and a fun game of golf, proving even a mild winter couldn’t shut down the 32nd annual Chilly Open.
“We check the ice steps daily and twice a day during the week leading up with the sheriff,” Chilly Open event chair Jon Reyerson said.
Guests had to sign a waiver to make it onto the ice, but some few had a safety plan in place if they happened to fall through.
“It’s Minnesota, we’re not going to get people off the lake,” Hennepin County water safety patrol Sgt. Rick Waldon told Fox 9.
However, water patrol representatives say they’re taking a chance letting people out onto the ice. In the last month, there have been two incidents where people have fallen through the ice in Hennepin County.
Waldon said one person fell through the Mississippi River going after their dog. Fortunately, the owner and pet were helped to safety.
Last week on Lake Minnetonka, a biker broke through the ice and managed to self-rescue themselves.
Waldon said he hopes those willing to take the risk will remember to at least take three things with them; a buddy, ice picks and a life jacket.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's water patrol also stresses the ice conditions are way below what they are on average this time of year. They insist people going on to it need to check the ice every few feet.