PHOTOS: Madison recreation — on ice | Local News – Madison.com

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PHOTOS: Madison recreation — on ice

When the lakes freeze over, Madison gains just under 24 square miles of outdoor recreation space. In a city that is often named one of the fittest cities in America, the increased sporting area is celebrated. On any given winter day, one can witness snowkiting, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, fat biking, skate skiing, ice skating, ice boating or hockey. Campfires are even commonplace on the ice.Cap Times Visual Journalist Ruthie Hauge hit the ice to meet and photograph some of the people who consider the ice their playground.

Lifelong ice boater Jim Nordhaus sails his restored 1930s ice boat on the frozen surface of Lake Mendota on Tuesday. Nordhaus called ice boating “the most fickle sport you’ve ever seen in your life” because the window of opportunity for sailing is so narrow each winter.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Robert Cook, owner of Kite Riders, LLC., demonstrates snow kiting to his students during a lesson on Lake Waubesa on Feb. 26. Cook has operated his kite sports business out of Fitchburg for 18 years. He said, “It’s the best job around. My office is on lakes and oceans.”

RUTHIE HAUGE

Galen Stielstra and his dog Freya join friends on the frozen surface of Lake Monona to play disc golf and go ice fishing on Feb. 27.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Connor Polydoroff rides his fat bike on the surface of frozen Lake Monona in Madison on Feb. 20. Polydoroff is a paralegal by profession and an avid cyclist. He rides one of his bikes nearly everyday, even in sub-zero temperatures.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Jim Nordhaus, Brad Wagner, Grant Frautschi and Don Sanford get ready to go ice boating on Lake Mendota in Middleton on Tuesday. Ice boating is popular in Madison because there are four lakes to choose from, improving the chances that conditions will be right on one lake in the area.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Corey Stielstra, Drew Bears, Morgan Volbricht, “Tilly” Tillman and Hank Muardukis play disc golf while ice fishing on Lake Monona in Madison on Feb. 27.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Robert Cook shows his student, Hans Schlimbach, how to control the kite during a snowkiting lesson on Lake Waubesa on Feb. 26. Schlimbach, age 86, is a lifelong windsurfer. He said, “I thought I’d try something new before I get too old.”

RUTHIE HAUGE

Max Ackerman skate skis across the ice of Lake Monona, near Olbrich Park in Madison, on Jan. 25. Ackerman lives near the lake and can easily use it as a location for regular exercise.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Craig Szopinski goes ice fishing on Lake Monona in Madison. Szopinski often fishes alone because he enjoys the peaceful solitude.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Don Sanford gets ready to sail his “skimmer” ice boat on Lake Mendota in Middleton on Tuesday.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Karl Nelson holds a beer and wears a penguin mask while playing disc golf on Lake Monona.

RUTHIE HAUGE

A pair of paddlers navigate their canoe around the edge of the ice where the Yahara River meets Lake Monona on Feb. 27.

RUTHIE HAUGE

The remnants of a campfire remain on the frozen surface of Lake Monona on Feb. 27.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Robert Cook, owner of Kite Riders, LLC., demonstrates snow kiting to his students during a lesson on Lake Waubesa.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Don Sanford and Grant Frautschi sail their “skimmer” ice boats on Lake Mendota in Middleton on Tuesday. Local ice boaters have been eagerly waiting for conditions to be good enough for ice boating in Madison. They often drive an hour or more to other lakes with better conditions.

RUTHIE HAUGE

A group of friends play disc golf and go ice fishing on Lake Monona on Feb. 27.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Craig Szopinski removes his hook from the mouth of a perch while ice fishing on Lake Monona on Feb. 27. Szopinski prefers to fish in deeper water. He uses sonar to determine fishing depth and the location of nearby fish.

RUTHIE HAUGE

Connor Polydoroff rides his fat bike on Lake Monona on Feb. 20. Polydoroff often rides with other cyclists from local bike shop, Black Saddle.

RUTHIE HAUGE

74-year-old Jim Nordhaus sails his restored 1930s ice boat on Lake Mendota in Middleton on Tuesday. As a child, Nordhaus became interested in ice boating when he was playing ice hockey on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh and an ice boater offered to take him out for a ride. He's been ice boating or restoring vintage ice boats ever since.

RUTHIE HAUGE

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