Apnea tra laghi e monti 2005

Rodi, Switzerland

After an unbelievable experience last year with Igor Liberti in Switzerland ( check out Maggia 2004) me and my girlfriend (and photographer) Patricia Ribas immediately said yes to his idea to join him at yet another of his Freediving adventures from the 15th till the 17th of July 2005.This time it would take place in the Swiss mountains where we would do some trekking and most importantly dive in mountain lakes at an altitude of around 2000 meters !!

Since we were familiar with the complex route to get there it took us litlle time to arrange everything. So first a flight from Amsterdam to Milan, then the bus to Lugano , and several trains to get to Bellinzona where Igor would pick us up.

We arrived a little after lunch time and spent the afternoon with Igor walking around this very old mountain village enjoying the scenery. The end of the day we went to our starting and rendezvous point , which was the bottom of a mountain in a village called Rodi (Tremorgio) , where a cable cart would take us up the mountain to a lodge next to the first mountain lake (lago Tremorgio) at 1827 meters altitude.


After chatting up with many old and some new acquaintances at the cable cart, we loaded up all the luggage and people in small groups to go up the mountain.

After about an hour everybody was up and in the Tremorgio lodge.

Evening had already fallen but we could still see what was up ahead the next morning since the lake already looked spectacular with an early blue glow. The sky was looking a bit different and clouds were coming in fast. Since everybody was prepared for mountain weather conditions we were not worried other then not being able to freedive in full sun, which we hoped for (thinking of the water temperature)
That night we slept like babies in very comfortable bunk beds after some light dinner.

Next morning we woke up early to do our dives and found the sky was clouded and rainy, which dropped our moods a bit , but we headed for the lake anyway. Soon after we saw the spectacular view, our worries were over. Better yet, after just one hour the sun broke out and weather turned good on us.

The diving was amazing. Not for it’s depth or other performances reached, but just floating in something which resembled a volcanic crater filled with emerald water , surrounded by mountain peaks , grass fields , trees and screaming mountain goats in an otherwise completely silent surrounding on roughly 200 meters altitude is something you can not put on paper.

We did experience early fatigue symptoms because of the lower oxygen levels, which matched our expectations.After the dive we had a good lunch and exchanged lots of stories with our old and new friends. Then it was time to pack and gear up for the long trek to the second base camp, a cabin near Lago Leit at 2260meters altitude.

According to Igor the trip would take about 1 hour, but maybe for mountain goats yas. It took us almost 2 hours (with full gear on our backs , since we wanted to bring everything, just in case). Also because we took our time to fully enjoy the trip and spectacular views along the way.

Since it was already quite late and most people were very tired and hungry , only one or 2 people already plunged in the lake to do some diving, while most others just enjoyed the afternoon sunset.

As did we and with a bottle of local red wine we nested ourselves on some rocky peak and just enjoyed the silence, the views and each others company.

Little explanation is needed to mention that we slept like oxes after dinner…….

The next and last day went unfortunately for us a little different then planned. We had originally planned to do our last dive down at Lake Tremorgio in the early afternoon and then leave for the long way back to be on time for all our connections. Unfortunately we had misunderstood the arrangements made for our trip back, since we still needed a lift from someone in the right direction to get to our first train.
The only person possible to give us that lift was hanging on the face of a rock at 2250 meters doing some serious freeclimbing together with a small group of other experienced freeclimbing freedivers (very nice to watch). The second person (we found out) able to give us a lift had lost his car keys in the mountains.
So we had no other choice then to start our descend to Tremorgio , get some quick lunch and head down to ground level to catch some local transportation to our first connection point. We were very very sad that we had to miss the one opportunity we came all this way for. Good thing we spend lots of time in the lake on the first day.

After that it all went bad , even our plane broke down on the runway, so it took us counting from Rodi almost 11 hours !!!!to get back to Amsterdam ;-(

Anyway, we are still happy we did it, since even for just that one perfect Saturday it was completely worth it and something not to forget. Next time we just have to learn from this experience and plan our way back a bit better (get a rental car for local transport). Also a weekend is just too short for this kind of trip. Last time was an extended easter weekend , which was just about long enough for international freedivers to join in. Igor promiswed us to make next years event much longer , which would be perfect for others abroad to join in.

Many thanks to Igor Liberti for making this possible and all the other lovely people we met (again) to make the trip complete.

Until next year !!

Greetzzzz and love,

Glenn Venghaus

Check out the foto gallery at Glenn's freediving gallery for lots more pictures of this adventure.

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