Paddling through Engadin's Ice Labyrinth

The high-sided Engadin Valley is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the Alps. While the local ski resort of St. Moritz attracts very affluent visitors the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the endless possibilities for sport and adventure attract outdoor fans with pockets of all different sizes.

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Last March, as winter’s grip loosened on the valley, the ice on the Silvaplanersee began to break-up. Although great skiing conditions at higher altitudes were plentiful, a small group of adventure-seekers took the opportunity to paddle through the lake’s breaking ice on SUPs, making the most of the short-lived transition between winter and spring. The break-up of the ice on these Alpine lakes happens rapidly and this year it was particularly fast, in fact the day after these images were shot the ice had vanished. Much as the beatutiful deciduous forests of Maine will be golden one day and leafless the next, this magical time of year in the Engadin is as short and equally as breathtaking.

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Photographer Filip Zaun perched himself high on the valley sides. It’s a lake he knows very well since shooting NAIR, a book of ice skating images taken on the lakes’ famous black ice before the first snowfalls, there. As the paddlers drifted through the maze of ice and calm dark waters Filip framed some stunning imagery for Pally'Hi.

All photos by Filip Zaun. www.filipzuan.com

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