Ice diving

Dive into it!

The idea of ice diving undoubtedly sends a little shiver down your spine.  Light passing through a layer of transparent ice, air bubbles racing to the surface…maybe ice diving is the experience you have been dreaming of for your holiday in the mountains? 

Give the adventure a go!

An adventure accessible to all

Ice diving is not just for professionals and experienced divers.  It is accessible to all, even those who have never been underwater diving.  In fact, for one ice-diver in three, it is their first ever diving experience.
Professional diving instructors, for whom safety is the keyword, supervise this activity.  You will never be alone.  One instructor accompanies divers underwater, while another one waits at the surface.  The immersion is never very deep – between 2 and 7 meters – for it is just beneath the ice that it is most interesting. A rope called the Ariane Thread links you to the surface, allowing an exit at any given time.  The equipment for ice diving is of fundamental importance.  It is out of question to dive into an ice-cold bath (the water temperature is approximately 2 °C under 80 cm of ice) without flawless equipment: compressed neoprene wetsuit, pressure regulator with lip guard mouthpiece, anti-fog mask…all the equipment is provided.  Most times, your return to the surface is celebrated with a hot snack, or even a snowmobile ride.
 
Ice diving

 

Dare to dive

Ice diving is not an extreme sport, but it would be pretentious to ignore the little rush of adrenaline that comes when one leaves the outside world and slips beneath the crust of ice.  The contact with the water, the fading away of the light, the rhythm of the breath: one finds oneself in a new and mysterious world.  But once the initial apprehension fades away, it is replaced with the excitement of discovery.  The heartbeat slows; the eyes open wide before an enchanted universe.  Beneath a transparent blue sky of ice, air bubbles scamper toward the surface like marbles rolling across the floor.  Along the path of Ariane Thread, rays of light shine through holes in the ice as through the windows of a cathedral.  You are like a fish in the water, playing with the light and the air bubbles, following the rhythm of nature in an environment whose beauty touches on the fear of the unknown.  Only the insistence of the instructor will persuade you to leave behind this enchanted kingdom and return to the world above.

Text and photos : Christophe Migeo

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