I had been to Eispalast before. It is an ice cave that tourists can visit, 30 meters under glacier, near the top of the Gefrorene Wand mountain in Hintertux, Austria. But when I saw they had an option for trying SUP boarding on the river or lake in the ice cave, I knew I had to go again.
We did a normal tourist tour of the ice cave first, which was nice because my last visit was several years ago. We also did the rubber boat tour through the water that fills the large crevasse inside the ice.
All nice, but nothing compared to what came next: an option to try to standup paddle boarding and ice swimming. Diving, canoeing, and other activities are also possible. I only did the boarding part, however.
I had my ski gear on in this visit to the mountain, and I was told to not wear the ski boots, so I took them off and went barefoot to the board. No problem, the ice surfaces in the walking path were covered by rubber mats, and the board itself was of course also not ice. And I had initially feared that it would be unnerving to board in icy waters, but the board turned out to be huge, maybe 5 meters long and quite wide. It wouldn't be easy to get it to flip or fall down. Phew.
Wonderful experience! Although may be not as refreshing as the other guy who also decided to try ice swimming :-)
I also wanted to try 3D modelling parts of the cave, but it wasn't easy on a busy tour schedule. I in particular wanted to record the Eiskapellen, an ice chapel dedicated to three lost ski tourers.
The tour and boarding cost 36€. Details: go to the official web page. Much recommended, really a great visit, whether you are in walking, boarding, or swimming mode!Eiskapellen:
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