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Scuba Divers
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Ice Diving Might Be Colorado’s Chilliest Sport

Only a small percentage of scuba fans attempt the sport.

Sure, ice anglers’ fingers may get cold. But for those who really want to earn their hot chocolate, there’s ice diving, wherein scuba fanatics explore the world beneath a body of water’s frozen surface. Few try it, says David Moravek, a scuba instructor at Colorado Springs’ Underwater Connection—which isn’t surprising, as the only things between them and hypothermia are a thermal layer and dry suit. From January to March, these hardy divers venture to Turquoise, Isabelle, and other alpine lakes, where they chainsaw a hole into an eight-inch layer of ice (the minimum thickness needed to safely support the team and equipment). A support person helps the divers out of the water after 15 to 45 minutes of exploring; an emergency diver stands by. Below, the icy ceiling reduces debris, resulting in clearer-than-usual water with a dramatic ray of light beaming through the entrance. “Three-quarters of our Earth is underwater,” Moravek says. “Once you start getting into ice diving, it’s another pinnacle of that beauty.”

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