Here's a throwback re Lake Champlain

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Dr Jo

Mar 9, 2024, 9:56:29 PMMar 9
to vtnordicskating@googlegroups com, ADKNordicSkating
Screengrab from Facebook


Dr Jo

Mar 10, 2024, 7:43:36 PMMar 10
to dennis curtin, vtnordicskating@googlegroups com, ADKNordicSkating
This is beautiful, Dave.  Thanks for sharing.   I look forward to watching the movie.  

My current wild ice pals and I know we are just part of a long history (and hopefully a long future), flying and spinning and exploring  across the ice in our turn.  

I love to hear the backstories and memories which are, for the most part, still in the hearts and minds of those who lived them & need to be told and shared to be carried forward. 

Would love to hear more from you and others about explorations on the ice.


From: dennis curtin <>
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2024 7:53:16 AM
To: Nancie Battaglia <>
Cc: Dr Jo <>; vtnordicskating@googlegroups com <>; ADKNordicSkating <>
Subject: Re: Here's a throwback re Lake Champlain
Thanks Nancie--

There is an interesting back story to the movie….

About 15 years ago, Chris Munn retired after a storied career in the Army (his Dad was shot down and was a prisoner of war during WWII, and was later stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base) and contracted ALS. Chris told his wife Tammy “I am going to needs things to look forward to”.

Chris formed the “Friday Hiking Club” and we began hiking on Fridays, and other days as we all started retiring. We then included paddling. In the winter, we returned to scouting for Wild Ice, much the same way this group does.

Dave Hough started filming our antics and had a “Premiere” every December (they are all on YouTube) as another thing for Chris to look forward to, and us as well. 

Chris wanted Dave to make a film about growing up in Cliff Haven and ice skating and it took about 3 years , on and off, and we showed it to Chris days before he passed, and while he could no longer speak, he had a big smile on his face.

This past year, we lost Mike and Randy Hough.

So… we all have to keep getting out there and enjoy this beautiful place that we are all blessed to call home.

On Mar 10, 2024, at 7:37 AM, Nancie Battaglia <> wrote:

This flick is an all time great and has been a favorite of mine since first viewing it. (And I am not usually a fan of staring at a computer screen watching videos for more than 1 minute let alone 50 minutes).
Definitely the good ‘ol days. Everytime I drive by that neighborhood I think of Eddie Haskell. Highly recommend watching it. Sad news tho is some of these wild guys are gone. But what a good life lived!

On Mar 10, 2024, at 7:22 AM, dennis curtin <> wrote:

2015 was the last time we traversed the lake from New York to Burlington and back. A group of childhood friends from Cliff Haven - now mostly retired - knew we had a cold night that would make the ice thick enough for the crossing and were ready to skate when an overnight snow left a thin crust on the lake. We went to Plan B and bicycled from Port Kent to Burlington,. WE made land just north of Burlington and while having a beer on shore, a homeowner came down and asked where we biked from. When we told her Plattsburgh, she was in total disbelief.  (some of us did go partially through the ice at a couple of pressure ridges) We continued on to Burlington on the bike path, had lunch and a couple of beers, and returned to Port Kent just as the sun was setting. 

Growing up in Cliff Haven in the 1960’s, I recall large annual snow falls and the broad lake froze over every year. It was common to see ice fisherman get to their shanties with cars and pick up trucks. We skated long distances on “wild ice” and would get on our flexible flyer sleds with pieces of card board for sails and set off for points unknown.

There is a 50 minute movie Dave Hough made of our story of growing up in Cliff Haven and our relationship with Wild Ice on YouTube. Just Google “YouTube Dave Hough A story of wild ice”. It has some footage of that storied crossing and some great photography.

Sadly, since 2015, the ice has not been thick enough across the broad lake to make this childhood crossing. 

In fact, this is the first year I can remember in my life time that the lake did not freeze between the NY shore and Valcour Island.

Dennis Curtin

…..since 1956

On Mar 9, 2024, at 9:56 PM, Dr Jo <> wrote:

Screengrab from Facebook

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diana hanks

Mar 11, 2024, 7:38:15 PMMar 11
to dennis curtin, Dr Jo, vtnordicskating@googlegroups com, ADKNordicSkating
That video was great! Someone is a very good videographer. There were some artistic shots in there. 

Diana Hanks 
Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 11, 2024, at 10:35 AM, dennis curtin <> wrote:

Another short movie, the first we made, is about 7 minutes and is about skating across Lake Champlain to the Vermont side. and ice then and now. 

Worth a look

Google: YouTube David Hough Ice Men
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