With our love for hockey and the great outdoors, we're always searching for the ultimate pond hockey destinations. Years ago we heard tales of untouched black ice high up in the Eastern Sierra of California. The challenge is the limited window when the conditions align to be able to access this utopia. You have to catch it between the time low winter temperatures come in and freeze the lakes and the first snowfall. Once it starts snowing, these backcountry trails become inaccessible. On top of needing perfect weather conditions, you must hike up to 11,000 feet of elevation to get there. This became our white whale. ⠀⠀
We unsuccessfully tried 2 years in a row, but on the third attempt, it happened. We suffered from altitude sickness, dehydration, and fatigue on our journey, but what we experienced was truly incredible. Playing hockey on silky smooth black ice in our home state of California was our version of hockey heaven.