Gareth trying to avoid hydrocution…
The intention was to go swimming at Bozel “Beach” (1400m altitude) where the the water was 6 degrees – but unfortunately the lake was half drained due to maintenance and there was only enough water for the ducks. We had to go all the way up to Champagny Le haut at 1560m where the stream water was at 0.5 degrees – seriously cold. I’d been swimming in the lake at Tignes a few days earlier at 1 degree so it wouldn’t be impossible – but fast running mountain water is even harder than swimming in a lake. The idea is to provoke a stress response through the skin – involving adrenaline. This not only adapts the body to the cold but also to stress, pain and a whole host of other positive things including increased sensitivity to insulin. The water has gone cold early this year due to weeks of clear skies allowing all the heat to radiate away from the ground.
Getting ready! Pretending to swim in a rock pool.
Bright lobster red from the cold – doesn’t even feel cold once getting back out. Being already well adapted (down to 8 deg) there is no shivering. The idea of cold thermogenesis is that the heat begins to come from brown fat – directly through the mitochondria and not from mechanical movement (shivering).
Thanks once again to Jay’s creative filming and photography we have a record of both Daisy’s and Tallulah’s introductions to their new sports – at 3500m altitude on the Tignes glacier. It’s quite a remarkable place to have a beginner’s slope and extremely dependent upon cooperative weather. The girls both coped well with the high altitude.
Daisy having decided that she wants to snowboard had the relative peace of the summer pistes of Tignes to learn in safety. Jay took on the job and looked after Daisy, giving her the benefit of his huge experience and capability – plus loads of encouragement. It was good to see Daisy smiling and enjoying the whole experience including the incredible weather, fresh high altitude air and scenery. Meanwhile her little sister was taking Bernie for a ski (they make a very brief appearance in the video) and her twin brother was making great progress at both giant slalom and slalom higher up on the glacier. Not to forget to mention Mike – who by tagging along with Alex and working quietly away at things by himself managed to make significant progress in a short time. Unlike the children Mike is partly dealing with “unlearning” – removing a few well constructed barriers to perception. Meanwhile Daisy is happy just having fun…