New video showcases beauty of wild skating in the Rockies

Photographer Paul Zizka has long had a thing for the wild ice of the Canadian Rockies. He’s captured image after breathtaking image of the incredible skating experience that can be had by finding the perfect solitary spots amongst the myriad of frozen lakes in areas such as Banff National Park. 

Recently, Zizka took things up a notch when he got the opportunity to work with a former top competitive figure skater in Canada. 

Elladj Baldé is a former Canadian junior champion and co-founder of the Figure Skating Diversity and Inclusion Alliance.

“The shoot came about when Elladj Baldé reached out to me about a routine he wanted to film on a frozen lake,” Zizka says. “He had never been wild skating before and as soon as he reached out, we began collaborating on an image. Sharing his first wild skating experience was truly special.”

The result of their collaboration is an epic short video for Travel Alberta that can now be seen on YouTube. 


“Elladj is a super talented, creative, and collaborative skater,” Zizka says. “He’s a total professional and his precision blows me away every time we work together.”

Zizka grew up playing junior hockey in Quebec, and he says skating has always been a big part of his life until he moved west and discovered the mountains. 

“Wild skating is like a bridge that combines two very special things in my life,” he says. “Skating and the landscapes that fuel my creativity. Skating outdoors is also a cherished family activity.”

Zizka’s favourite places to skate in the Rockies include Lake Minnewanka, Abraham Lake, Vermilion Lakes, Lake Louise, Waterfowl Lake, and Bow Lake. 

“I was also lucky to skate on a glaciers and inside an ice cave this year!” says Zizka, who also cautions would-be wild skaters that safety measures should be taken to assess the ice and mitigate risk at all the locations. 

Lead photo by Paul Zizka.



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