Laura Kottlowski is the mesmerizing TikTok ‘Wild Ice Skater’
It’s scary scrolling for hours on TikTok, and if you came across Laura Kottlowski’s page, you might get sucked in even more. On her TikTok page, the 36-year-old professional skating instructor uploads videos of herself carving ice all over Golden, Colorado and beyond, and her impressive skills and picturesque sets are fascinating to watch. “I’ve been hiking with my ice skates for the past 14 winters: skating on unique lakes, rivers, glaciers and frozen waters all over the world,” Kottlowski said. vogue.
For Kottlowski, who is also a photographer-director, graphic designer and illustrator, teaching and practicing skating is her full-time job and her passion. What she does isn’t figure skating, but rather “wild ice skating,” where she’ll take her 542,000 followers to various natural settings and then skate on them. “In 2017, I was the first known person to skate on the highest lake in the American Pacific Tarn (13,420 feet),” she says. “In 2019, I was also the first person to skate on Gokyo Lake, at 15,480 feet in Khumbu (Everest region in Nepal).”
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No matter the destination, Kottlowski always seems to know impressively when the ice is safe to skate on, even when it looks very thin. “I have been skating for over 30 years, teaching skating for 20 years and skating on wild ice for over 14 years. So I have a lot of experience with ‘skating ice’,” says Kottlowski. She adds that she skates almost every day and this year has already had a good start to skating. “So far the 21-22 wild ice season has broken records for me,” she said.
Below, Kottlowski explains how she got started skating, how she honed her skills, and what she wears to brave the cold.
How did you start skating?
I started skating at the age of six as an extracurricular activity and fell in love with the sport. I started competing the following year and competed all the way through junior freestyle at Penn State University. In 2010, I fell in love with “special figure” skating (learning to skate designs on wild ice in the open air of the 1700s and 1800s), and I now compete in world skating championships every year. artistic and fancy. I am a US Figure Skating Gold Medalist and have been teaching skating for 20 years with US Figure Skating, Learn To Skate USA and the Professional Skaters Association. In 2007 I moved to Colorado and started hiking the 14ers (mountain peaks over 14,000 feet). The following winter I started snowshoeing and found virgin mountain ice for the first time and wondered why I didn’t have my skates with me! Since then, I hike my skates to the high mountain lakes every year.