- Luc Mehl, an author and outdoor educator with certifications in swift water and ice rescue instruction, took the skate with his wife, Sarah Mehl Himstad
- They were able to hit the ice on Rabbit Lake near Anchorage in late October due to what’s known as an ‘ice window’
- The lake froze over, as the region often does, but an unusually cold and dry season created an almost translucent effect
An Alaskan outdoor educator and his wife showed off the beauty of a once-in-a-decade ‘ice window’ as they glided along a translucent, solid lake thanks to the rare weather event.
Luc Mehl, an Alaska native, author and outdoor educator with certifications in swift water and ice rescue instruction, took the skate with his wife, Sarah Mehl Himstad in late October.
They were able to hit the ice on Rabbit Lake near Anchorage in late October due to what’s known as an ‘ice window.’
The lake froze over, as the region often does, but an unusually cold and dry season created an almost translucent effect, allowing you to skate and stare downward into the depths of the lake.
Mehl and Himstad shot footage of themselves and others skating over the clear lake from October 23 to 26, cruising over massive rocks and other aquatic life.
The ice window ended after just a week and has since been completely covered by winter weather.
It hadn’t been seen in a decade, which means Mehl thinks it might be another before they get the next window.
‘Since it took ten years, you know, maybe longer, for those conditions to present this year, I think it might be another decade before we get to see something like that again,’ Mehl said.
Mehl had never seen anything like it despite spending the past 12 years skating at Rabbit Lake.
He said that he and everyone else who laced up their skates had to take precautions.
‘Yeah, it is dangerous. And some people even did fall through during that week,’ Mehl said.
‘We’re all wearing ice picks around our neck and it’s not real obvious in those videos, but they’re basically just these handles that have points on them and those points give you traction if you broke through the ice and need to climb out,’ he added.
If anyone was in any trouble, Mehl or someone else would be able to throw them a rope and help pull them to safety.
In an Instagram post, Mehl said he and his wife decided to document this to pay tribute to their home state.
‘Another love letter to Alaska. We are so grateful to live here and for the Native and then conservation stewardship that preserved these wild places,’ he wrote.
‘We both grew up in Alaska and can’t imagine living anywhere else.’