Most free divers would not claim diving on a single breath to be extreme. However, diving on a single breath under solid ice definitely is.

The conditions are tough, as the water and air temperatures are very low. Under the ice the water is only 2 degrees Celsius and everything freezes very fast. Even the holes in the ice freeze over within minutes when they are left alone. Even though you have a neoprene suit which keeps you warm to a degree, the fingers and toes get numb right away. It is a challenge to your body and your equipment.

How do you deal with conditions like this? The cold and the limited exits form a training ground where you can test your abilities under extreme conditions. In performance sports there is a formula, „performance = potential - disturbance“. This means delivering a great performance depends not only on your physical conditioning but also on your conditioning to deal with disturbances.

While diving under ice is diving in pure silence, there are factors that will disturb and distract you. Some of them are external, like the cold and the thin air which is brought on by the altitude in the the mountains, making everything you do more and more exhausting. But most important is the internal factor. How do you deal with your fears, doubts and negative thoughts? If you cannot deal with them, this can lead to panic which can be life threatening in the limited time during one breath under the ice. All of our relaxation techniques which we train for free diving, can be tested under extreme conditions and in case they work there, we can be sure they work anywhere.

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