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On October 15th & 16th 2007 I had the opportunity to be involved with the BBC's mission to Lake Alta as a rescue diver. If you use the link below you will find a "watch" option near the top of the page, unfortunately the window is tiny but you get the idea.. sorry I can't link directly to the video.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/winter_sports/7235736.stm

There were 4 Queenstown locals & 4 BBC crew from the sports department doing a short piece on ice diving.

Views from the road up.

BBC crew.

Transport up to the lake by Snow cat.

Lake Alta break in weather.

Welcome to the dive site... the small black dot in the centre on the other side of the lake.

A while later.. snowing steadily again after digging & ice breaking. An ice hole complete with steps & refreezing surface after a few minutes. The bottom is at around 18m although the plan is not to go to the bottom. To cut a hole in the ice is quite a challenge with layers of snow, ice, water & more clear ice before you break through.

Frozen divegear, snow, wetsuits nah its not cold its feezin... if you're in a wetsuit it hurts, I switched to an Oceandry Bravo drysuit a while back... wetsuit now as backup only otherwise forget it, once you've gone dry you dont go back. Extremities such as feet & hands in conditions like this are likely to be numb & the drysuit makes a huge difference increasing the time able to be spent in the water from a few minuites to normal dive times with the right clothing underneath only hands lips & perhaps feet feel the cold.

Icedives are among the more challenging of environments with a lot of planning & preperation needed, ropes & lines a requirement.

Frozen divegear in background snow everywhere.

The wind & weather while making the trip look antarctic presented quite a number of challenges as gear was easily buried & lost, I spent much of the day grabbing things that were being blown away or covered up. Ideally for something like this a big tarpaulin very securely anchored for laying gear out would've probably been a handy thing if you can prevent it from flying away.

Still snowin froz'd divegear 'n divers.

Ready for a swim?

The camera went astray... (was packed away while I was attending divers) stay tuned for more ice diving photos when I get back up there.

Inventiveness with kitchen utensils tape & string... due to very low light conditions I had to get 4 torches to act as 1 to provide sufficent light for the camera... several hours, a couple of rolls of tape, polystyrene inside the pot to neutralize bouyancy & string later "the pot" torch system was ready... worked like a charm these photos were taken later its still holding together with no sign of wear. If you want to build something like this, you are going to need at least twice as much tape & string as you think & an extra set of hands to help hold it together while you assemble it & your best kitchen pot. I still haven't disassembled it & am not looking foward to getting rid of the tape glue.

I hope to do at least 2 icediving photography visits to Lake Alta this spring & should get photos from beneath the ice, repairs & modifications to equipment pending.

Also on the drawing board are river drifts from cruisy to extreme, rides caught on camera...