The annual Polar Bear Plunge took place Saturday, January 1st at Lake DeSmet. There was a change of venue this year from the traditional Monument Access Boat Ramp to the Main Boat Ramp on the south end of the lake. Plunger Gordon Williams explains the change.
The south end had iced over enough for the group to cut a large hole in the ice and lower a ladder into the lake for the jumpers to get out much easier. In the past, when there has been little or no ice on the lake, the group has just lined up and all ran into the lake simultaneously. This year there was enough ice to make an actual plunge, with some minor changes, Williams said.
Williams, who came to jump for his second time Saturday, said he loves the experience.
This year's 24th annual plunge drew an estimated 150-200 people, although not all took the plunge. But of those that did, Williams said they all have their reasons for doing so.