Alpine Ice Adventure in Ticino, Switzerland
Lakes Sassolo and Naret have been the source of some of the most iconic underwater images ever taken. Accessible for just a few weeks a year, the lakes are the starting point for this Fourth Element Adventure.
The eerie light below the ice is the first thing that diver’s describe when they resurface from one of these altitude ice dives. Massive ice formations and often breathtaking visibility provide a sense of scale to leave all but the most emboldened in awe of the power of nature. But the journey is as much a part of this adventure as the destination.
Travel through alpine meadows and climb way higher than the Summer tourist, bound for the “lowland” lakes Maggiore and Lugano, typical of this region to some of the highest lakes in the Ticino region of “Italian” Switzerland. The views alone are incredible as you wind steadily up the mountain to Lake Sassolo itself.
After diving under the ice, spend the night in a diver friendly hotel close to the beautiful lakeside town of Ascona and the source of the next stage of the adventure
Fast flowing waters
Swiss River Diving follows the route of some of the fastest flowing rivers in Europe, and requires experience to select the right route so that the water flow is not to great. Some scrambling and climbing is needed to get to some of the best destinations, but the reward for the hard work is simply stunning. Channels of water cut deep into the rocks over thousands of years bring to mind a combination of bobsledding and flying a wingsuit through a canyon. The itinerary plans to take in as many dive sites as possible depending on the conditions, with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the incredible setting.
Experience the sheer power of a waterfall as you dive beneath it and let the rushing water speed you downstream.
After another morning perfecting the river diving technique, head home with a very different answer to the question “what did you get up to this weekend?”
Daniel Schmid grew up diving the lakes and rivers of Switzerland. A keen traveller he has dived all over the world, but his favourite sites are still in his own back yard. Based in Bern, he manages one of Europe’s most successful dive centres and is an experienced PADI Course Director.
He loves to teach diving, but his real passion is adrenaline-fuelled extreme river diving. Happy hopping off a bridge in Switzerland’s capital city into the glacial meltwaters of the River Aare, he is even more driven by the pursuit of the perfect river rush in the clearer mountain rivers of the Ticino region. A self-confessed adventure junkie, when he’s not diving, he counts extreme-snowboarding as his other “pastime” presumably to keep the adrenaline flowing.