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Though temperatures have risen above the arctic blast that opened January in Bozeman, two city ice rinks have officially opened.

Rinks at Bogert Park and Southside Park are both open as of last week. City Parks and Cemetery Superintendent Thom White said Monday that the larger rink at Southside and ice at Beall Park are not yet ready to be officially opened.

White reminded people to be conscious of others when skating.

“We have a lot of people wanting to skate, so just respect your fellow skaters and hopefully everybody can get along,” White said.

Skaters were eager for ice this year — even jumping on the rink under the Anderson Pavilion at Bogert Park before it was officially open. As is always the case with the rinks, city crews were battling the thermostat when laying ice this year. 

The city began laying ice in late December, White told the Chronicle at the time. Early season weather made it difficult to build the ice up, though the rinks are opening this year earlier than they did last winter.

White told the Chronicle in December that temperatures around freezing may not have a huge impact on existing ice, but can make it difficult to add more ice on top.

“It’s a lot easier to maintain an already built ice rink at 28 degrees than trying to build one at 28 degrees,” White said in December. “If we have a solid monolithic slab that’s frozen, 30 degrees won’t affect what’s there but we can’t put much water down.”

With warmer temperatures expected this week, White said Monday it is unclear when the Beall rink and the other Southside rink will be ready. Both rinks are larger, and just take more time to build up, White said.

“We need prolonged cold,” White said.

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Nora Shelly can be reached at nshelly@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2607.

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