Let this be your moment of zen today — incredible, ice-coated scenery with sweeping views and backcountry ice skating that’s so smooth you’d think anyone can do it.
Paxson Woelber and Cale Green produced the video with drones and a few ice-skating friends. Backcountry skating, they say on Vimeo, is going out and finding natural, wild ice — “whether on on a river, lake, glacial lagoon, or inside an ice cave.”
Most of the video was filmed in the 2016-2017 winter. But even though the ice hasn’t completely formed in Alaska yet, some of the scenes are from the current cold season. The Anchorage Daily News writes:
Green said he and Woelber, and friends who appeared in the video, did a lot of research on ice conditions before heading out. Much of the information came from groups like the NordicSkate-SouthCentral Facebook page, which has about 600 members.
Woelber said knowing how to pull yourself out of a lake if the ice breaks is critical. He and Green carry ice-rescue picks around their necks so they can claw out if needed. They also keep extra gear and clothes in dry bags.
Woelber, 33, said the filmmaking project was an excuse to get out and have fun. Backcountry skating can be “sublime,” he said.
“Skating around an ice track is fun and fast, but it’s just not an adventure,” Woelber said. “In backcountry skating you can find a channel cutting through trees or along these crazy paths. You never know what it’s going to be like.”
The locations in the video include Kenai Lake, the Portage Lagoons, Turnagain Arm, Wasilla Lake, Sheridan Glacier, Byron Glacier and Portage Glacier, they say on Vimeo.