Taking pond hockey to new heights (2 km above sea level)
Wednesday, January 6, 2016, 10:13 AM - Talk about hockey on a whole new level. Helicopter pilot and aerial photographer Bradley Friesen had an idea to play pond hockey "up on a mountain" and was able to bring this picturesque idea to life in British Columbia.
Several of BC's elite hockey players got the chance of a lifetime in November after getting a last-minute impromtu text to play a pickup pond hockey game.
After trying several different locations, Friesen finally found the perfect sheet of ice 1,700 m above sea level and recorded this incredible video of the project:
The players met at Pitt Lake, where they were picked up by helicopters and flown to a glacier lake in the mountain behind Golden Ears Provincial Park. Shortly after, the helicopters arrived with all of the hockey gear.
WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?
Weather conditions were ideal at the time of the game, with sunshine beating down on the stunning sight. Both temperature and weather can differ however, as you increase with height.
"The obvious difference would be, in general, the higher up you go, the colder," says Weather Network meteorologist Dayna Vettese. "There are occasions though when there is an “inversion” in place and where the air actually warms with height."
Precipitation types can vary with altitude as well.
"It’s quite possible for it to be raining at the base of a mountain and snowing about halfway up," Vettese adds.
As you increase with height, the air also becomes "thinner" meaning there are less molecules per volume of air at, say, 1,700 m then there would be at sea level.
"You may not notice too much of a difference until there is some sort of physical exertion," explains Vettese. "When playing sports at higher altitudes, there isn’t as much oxygen which the body requires and is especially important while playing sports."
Many professional team sports deal with the effects of high altitude.
Denver Colorado's Mile High Stadium for example, is located about 1,700 m above sea level and is considered a "difficult competitive environment" for visiting teams. It's a similar story for visiting soccer teams to venues in Mexico City and La Paz, Bolivia, where athletes are unable to perform unless they have trained at the altitude (3,400 m).