Beside the beauty of the surface ice layer, ice diving provides unique photographic opportunities and beauties of nature that you won’t find anywhere else. Every dive, with all it’s challenges and efforts is still very much worth it, for every moment spent under the ice opens a new world of uniqueness and every image taken is different and surreal. Every January is a designated month for ice diving, and our favourite location for this exciting activity is Lake Weissensee in Austria!
Ice diving is completely different than normal scuba diving in warmer waters. Outside temperatures, specifically on the Lake Weissensee, range from -10 to -15 degrees Celsius, and water temperature is about -2 degrees Celsius. Special training, preparation, a lot of experience under the diving belt are prerequisites for anyone going under the ice. Coupled with underwater photographic equipment that I carry with myself when I go under, every dive requires careful planning and elaborate logistics.
Personally, I use ice diving to train myself and keep myself up in shape for hard underwater conditions, and to test out some of the new diving equipment. This time, I had the opportunity to try out Mares Blue Battle single back mount set and Power Plana Camo blue fins. I am a Mares ambassador and am honoured to test some of their newest products. As a Subal pro-team member, for this ice diving adventure I also used my Subal’s Yellow Limited edition underwater housing for Nikon D850 camera.
Ice diving is a very dangerous activity. Because diving under ice places me in an overhead environment typically with only a single entry/exit point, in extreme, below-freezing temperatures, it requires special procedures and using only the top quality equipment goes without saying. A drysuit is pretty much mandatory, and I am always equipped with a diving harness tethered to a line that is safely secured on the surface and monitored by an attendant.
Every January is a designated month for ice diving, and our favourite location for this exciting activity is Lake Weissensee in Austria! Situated next to the lake resort of the same name, Lake Weissensee (meaning “white lake” in German) lies within the Gailtal Alps mountain range. In winter, this 6.5 square kilometre lake becomes the largest natural ice surface in Europe. The ice is regularly tended to and maintained by local specialists, making it a perfect place for all types of winter sports including ice skating, ice hockey and, of course, ice diving! Many ice diving world records have been set in Lake Weissensee.