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'Guerrilla' Ice Skating At C&O Canal

See who was brave enough to try it this year.

The C&O canal freezes over during the Polar Vortex. A few brave souls try it out for skating. (Photo by Michelle Peirano)
The C&O canal freezes over during the Polar Vortex. A few brave souls try it out for skating. (Photo by Michelle Peirano)
After several days of below-freezing temperatures and that one really chilly Polar Vortex, you may have noticed that Georgetown's C&O Canal froze over.

This past week, National Journal reporter Alex Brown strapped on his skates and hopped down into the canal. 

On his first attempt, the ice cracked a little, but Brown didn't fall in, he reported. But after another freezing night, he tried with success. 

Read the full article, "Guerrilla Ice Skating in Washington- A How-to Guide," complete with videos of Brown skating the canal. 

Brown is not the first person to skate, ski or play hockey on the C&O Canal. 

According to National Parks Service, skating the canal is legal "at your own risk."

There has not always been an ice rink in Georgetown and a couple years ago, when the weather was cold enough for long enough that the canal froze over thick, the Washington Post published this article

"Trying to plan a skate on the C&O is a little like trying to anticipate a flash mob. There is no schedule, and there are no signs," the article said. 

Skating on the canal can be dangerous if the ice isn't solid enough.

"The rule of thumb to be sure the ice is solid, skaters said, is to wait for at least a week of consecutive days with below-freezing temperatures," the article said. "Some years, that never happens."

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