No one had ever skated on this frozen mountain lake. Until now.

Winter is coming. For now, at least.

Winter in the coastal rocky mountains of British Columbia is not perfect filmmaking weather. So when aerial filmmaker Bradley Friesen finds a window to make videos, his collaborators have to be ready at a moment's notice.

For figure skater Katrina Lazzarotto, that meant saying yes to flying up to a tiny lake atop a mile-tall mountain — and buying a new pair of skates on the way to the airport.


Lazzarotto and her new blades on the way to the airport. Photo by Bradley Friesen, used with permission.

The expense was worth it. In a few short hours, she'd be skating on ice that human feet — let alone feet in skates — had never touched before.

Lazzarotto laces up for the skate of a lifetime. Photo via Bradley Friesen/YouTube.

The lake on which Lazzarotto is about to skate is extremely remote.

It's deep within the coastal mountain range, about 50 miles northeast of Vancouver. There's no way to get near it, no roads or access. You'd never know it existed unless you were a mountain goat or you'd flown over it in a small helicopter.

This glacial lake is one of seven nearby nicknamed "The Mystics." They range in color from deep blue to bright green during the summer. Photo via Bradley Friesen/YouTube.

Finding a frozen lake this high in the mountains without snow cover is extremely rare. "I'd say it's about a once every ten years phenomenon," says Friesen as we chat by phone. "But because of climate change, it's happened the last three years in a row."

And when it does happen, it's time to seize the moment.

To quote Internet prophet David after Dentist: "Is this real life??" Photo via Bradley Friesen/YouTube.

Before this day, Lazzarotto hadn't skated in four years. But it all came back quickly.

Lazzaratto called this skating "on heaven." She's not wrong! GIF via Bradley Friesen/YouTube.

When you're a mile high in the mountains, perspective comes easy.

Filmmaker Bradley Friesen has been flying helicopters for the last 25 years, but only in the last two has he actively pursued a living as an aerial filmmaker. He's passionate about documenting western Canada's wild outdoors — particularly in winter, which on the coast gets shorter ever year.

Lazzarotto shoots the duck for the camera. Photo via Bradley Friesen/YouTube.

"I'd be stupid not to be an environmentalist," Friesen says. "Climate change is having an effect on all of us. Our glaciers in British Columbia are receding so fast. They used to move back 10 feet in a season, now it's like, 50 feet or more every year."

Photo via Bradley Friesen/YouTube.

"I think it's important I'm capturing it, so we can show people in the future what winter used to look like."

Photo by Bradley Friesen, used with permission.

Friesen has two other winter videos he dreams of making.

He wants to film a pairs skating team in the mountains — holler at him on Twitter or Instagram if you are in one and live within a day of Vancouver — and he's desperate to build a hockey rink and play a game on a frozen mountain lake.

"I've tried to build a rink 15 times and failed every single time," he says, laughing. "I can tell you precisely how not to build a hockey rink at 5,000 feet."

Here's hoping winter sticks around B.C. long enough for him to make his dream come true.

GIF via Bradley Friesen/YouTube.

Check out Friesen's video of Katrina Lazzarotto skating here:

Most Shared
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared
via Hollie Bellew-Shaw / Facebook

For those of us who are not on the spectrum, it can be hard to perceive the world through the senses of someone with autism.

"You could think of a person with autism as having an imbalanced set of senses," Stephen Shore, assistant professor in the School of Education at Adelphi University, told Web MD.

"Some senses may be turned up too high and some turned down too low. As a result, the data that comes in tends to be distorted, and it's very hard to perceive a person's environment accurately," Shore continued.

Keep Reading Show less
Education & Information

A new Harriet Tubman statue sculpted by Emmy and Academy award-winner Wesley Wofford has been revealed, and its symbolism is moving to say the least.

Harriet Tubman was the best known "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses that helped thousands of enslaved black Americans make their way to freedom in the north in the early-to-mid 1800s. Tubman herself escaped slavery in 1849, then kept returning to the Underground Railroad, risking her life to help lead others to freedom. She worked as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, and after the war dedicated her life to helping formerly enslaved people try to escape poverty.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture