Go around the lake on snowshoes, dive into two-degree water, navigate in the snow: this week, dare to brave the polar cold to enjoy total isolation!
Silent hike at Lac des Corbeaux (Vosges)
Well known to summer visitors, Lac des Corbeaux, in the Vosges, in the heart of the forest in the village of La Bresse, is covered in white in winter. At 887 meters above sea level, it is freezing cold there, but the vast clearing carved out by its 9 hectares in the middle of pine trees gives it a particularly majestic appearance. There is a rare silence there. It is an ideal destination for a snowshoe outing, especially since the Chalet du Lac des Corbeaux restaurant remains open all winter. The good idea? Spend a night in the Clairière aux Cabanes, an unusual lodge in the middle of the forest and the ideal starting point for this exceptional hike. The departure can also be made from the Brabant pass. In both cases, it will take snowshoes and a guide to discover this unique natural site, as if out of time.
“Le Grand Bleu” under the ice at Lake Tignes (Savoie)
Do you remember the famous ice diving scene in Peru in The big Blue by Luc Besson? Well the scene was shot in Tignes. To dive – in wetsuit of course – in 2-degree water, head to the Tignes-Val-d’Isère area, in the Vanoise massif, in Haute-Tarentaise. The natural lake of Tignes 2100 is covered each winter with a thick layer of ice, between one and two meters thick, which varies according to the time of the season and each day according to the sunshine. Supervised by a qualified diving instructor, this activity can be practiced day or night. The less reckless will stop at ice floating, a Finnish relaxation method that involves lying in a hole in the ice equipped with a dry suit. Board in large ice cubes for total relaxation in front of the sun or the stars.
The frozen lake of Gaube (Hautes-Pyrénées)
At an altitude of over 1,700 meters, the wind often blows the snow off the ice of Lake Gaube in winter, revealing a huge bluish mirror in which the landscape is reflected. The lake is located above Cauterets, both spa and winter sports resort. To explore the Gaube valley to the lake, you have to start at the Pont d’Espagne. Then, it is a naturalistic walk which passes by frozen rivers and, if luck accompanies you, the meeting at a good distance with leaping isards. The lake is the final destination of this snowshoe hike which ends in front of the Vignemale massif. Lake Gaube is also on the program of Terres d’Aventure’s six-day “Cauterets-Gavarnie, jewels of the central Pyrenees” circuit. One way to extend your trip to the whole of this vast Pyrenean white paradise on the border of Spain.
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Snowshoes, combi or boat: five lakes to discover up there