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Cold enough to skate on lake

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Mike Statham takes a pass from his son Grayson, 9, as the pair celebrated Family Day by playing hockey on a patch of Okanagan Lake that's frozen over near Kinsmen Park.
A skateable ice surface on Okanagan Lake, almost as rare as an Ogopogo sighting, has developed at a shallow bay.
More than a week of near-record cold temperatures has formed a wide swatch of solid ice just north of Kinsmen Park.
Area residents were out with shovels and brooms on Family Day to clear a large patch of ice for some impromptu hockey games and ice skating.
"Shhhh, this is a secret," Mike Statham joked as he practised taking shots at a net with his nine-year-old son Grayson.
"Everybody knows about Stuart Park's ice rink," in downtown Kelowna, added Shane Forrester. "But that's artificial. This is the real-deal, an honest-to-goodness lake rink like from back in the day."
The Maude Roxby bird sanctuary juts out into the lake at the spot, creating a calm and shallow bay where still ice has had plenty of time to form during a week when overnight temperatures went below minus 15 C.
Many winters, it never gets cold enough for long enough for ice to form in the bay, said Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, who owns property in the area.
The coldest night of the winter was last Thursday when the temperature in Kelowna dropped to minus 21.3 C.
But the long spell of cold weather is ending with a high of 1 C expected today, and 8 C on Wednesday. Normals for early February are lows of minus 4 and highs of 2 C.
The cold weather has also frozen Skaha Lake in Penticton, where people could be seen on Monday skating and playing hockey.
The cold weather led to some troubles on Saturday afternoon for a father and adult daughter when their snowmobiles broke down in the hills west of Peachland. Police and search and rescue volunteers were sent out to retrieve the pair.
"After several hours in the cold, a 52-year-old male and his 26-year-old daughter were located and returned safely without either suffering any injuries," said West Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Steve Woodcox.

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