Diving under ice

The Tignes-Val d’Isère estate is full of natural wonders. Among them, the natural lake of Tignes 2100 which covers its mantle with ice for the winter season. One to two metres thick, the ice is forming and reshaping every day to offer a grandiose play of light and shadow. Supervised by a certified diving instructor, travellers will be able to go under the ice and discover this incredible sensation. You can book this activity as part of renting a luxury chalet in Val d’Isère with Les Chalets du Fornet. Contact our concierge.

Key aspects of ice diving

Diving under ice, also known as ice diving, is a specialized form of scuba diving that involves submerging oneself in frigid water beneath a layer of ice. This activity is typically conducted in icy lakes like the one in Tignes near Val d’Isère, quarries, or other bodies of freshwater that freeze over in cold winter months. Ice divers are required to undergo specific training and use specialized equipment to ensure their safety while exploring the underwater world beneath the ice. Divers are trained to use a tether or guideline that leads back to the entry/exit hole in the ice. This guideline is essential for navigation and for quickly finding the exit in case of emergencies. Divers also wear drysuits to protect themselves from the cold water.
Ice divers use equipment tailored for cold water conditions. This often includes drysuits (to keep the diver dry and insulated), specially designed regulators and hoses that are less likely to freeze, and thermal undergarments to maintain body heat. A hole or opening in the ice is created for entry and exit. This is usually cut using chainsaws or other cutting tools. The hole must be large enough for a diver to pass through comfortably.
Ice diving is almost always done with a buddy or a team. This is crucial for safety, as divers can assist each other in case of emergencies. The water beneath the ice can be very cold and may have limited visibility due to suspended particles. Divers often use underwater lights to improve visibility.
Depending on the location, ice divers may encounter unique underwater flora and fauna adapted to cold-water environments.
Ice diving is considered an advanced form of diving and requires proper training and experience. It can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for divers who are well-prepared, but it also comes with inherent risks due to the challenging environment. Therefore, individuals interested in ice diving should seek training from qualified instructors and dive with experienced partners to ensure their safety.
Ice diving enthusiasts can practice this extreme activity at Lake Tignes, near the famous ski resort of Val d’Isère where Oxalis is located, a luxury chalet to rent for up to 10 people.

Tignes, a popular ski resort near Val d’Isère

Tignes is a popular ski resort located in the Tarentaise Valley of the French Alps. It is situated in the Savoie region of southeastern France. Tignes, along with the neighboring resort of Val d’Isère, is part of the Espace Killy ski area, which is one of the largest and most renowned ski areas in the world.
Tignes is primarily known for its exceptional skiing and snowboarding opportunities. It offers a wide range of slopes and terrain suitable for all levels of skiers, from beginners to advanced. The resort’s high-altitude location ensures good snow conditions throughout much of the winter season.
Tignes is interconnected with Val d’Isère to form the Espace Killy ski area, which boasts over 300 kilometers of ski slopes, including groomed runs, off-piste areas, and challenging terrain for expert skiers. The ski resort is renowned for its high-altitude skiing. It is located at an elevation of around 2,100 meters (6,900 feet), and some of its slopes extend to over 3,450 meters (11,300 feet). This high altitude allows for skiing even during the late spring and early summer months. Tignes is one of the few ski resorts in Europe that offers year-round glacier skiing. The Grande Motte Glacier provides skiing and snowboarding opportunities even in the summer months.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Tignes offers various winter sports and activities, including snowshoeing, ice skating, ice diving, ice climbing and snowmobiling. The resort is composed of several interconnected villages, with Tignes Val Claret and Tignes Le Lac being among the most popular. These villages offer a range of accommodations, from hotels and chalets to apartments, catering to visitors of different budgets.
Beyond winter, Tignes also attracts visitors during the summer season. Activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and water sports on the lake are popular in the region. The resort hosts various cultural and sporting events throughout the year, making it a destination not only for winter sports enthusiasts but also for those seeking entertainment and relaxation.
Tignes is well-regarded for its excellent ski facilities, stunning mountain scenery, and extensive outdoor recreation options. It is a sought-after destination for winter sports enthusiasts from around the world.
To obtain more information on the terms of renting a luxury chalet in Val d’Isère from Les Chalets du Fornet, do not hesitate to contact us.