British Columbia

Pond hockey game on a glacier lake nearly 2 km above sea level

Spending a sunny afternoon playing pond hockey nearly two kilometres above sea level was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for a goaltender from the University of Victoria.

'It was a pretty surreal image, and one that I don't think I'll ever forget'

Spending a sunny afternoon playing pond hockey 1,700 metres above sea level was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for a goaltender from the University of Victoria.

Federico Angel got the opportunity of a lifetime in November, in the form a text message: "Hey do you want to play hockey up on a mountain tomorrow?"

The picturesque idea was the brainchild of Bradley Friesen, a helicopter pilot and aerial photographer.

He put together this video of the project:

A surreal experience

Angel says he and about eight other hockey players met at Pitt Lake, where three helicopters picked them up and flew them behind Golden Ears Provincial Park, onto a glacier lake in the mountains.

Then the helicopters came back with the nets and gear. Angels says that's when the peculiar nature of the moment hit him.

Hockey gear and nets were then flown to the lake, which is 1.7 kilometres above sea level. ( Bradley Friesen)

"It was a pretty surreal image and one that I don't think I'll ever forget."

'It wasn't about the level of hockey'

This lucky group of hockey players included former NHL-ers like Manny Malholtra, AHL players, and collegiate players like Federico. (Shayd Johnso)

The group of hockey players, lucky enough to receive an invitation to this pickup game of hockey, came from the NHL, AHL, and college leagues.

Angel said the difference in skill level didn't matter.

"It wasn't about the level of hockey.It was just about the experience of being out there on the ice because it was so once-in-a-lifetime"

The sun was bright and the ice was crystal clear, black, and fast.

Bradley Friesen says he had to try several locations for the ice rink before finding this perfect sheet of ice. ( Bradley Friesen)

"It was very fast. There's no boards to hold the puck, so if you miss, the puck goes flying a good 30 yards," said Angel.

Facing off against ex-NHLers like Manny Malholtra on a remote glacier lake is not something Angel will ever forget. How did he get so lucky?

He says it pays to be a goalie.

"People always need goalies. We were just the lucky ones that got the call that day."


To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Former University of Victoria goaltender talks about playing hockey on a remote glacier lake.

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