Lake Freiger lies just off the beaten track, at an altitude of 2,497 metres above sea level. To the south, the remnants of the “Grübl” glacier stretch into the distance. To the south-west, its namesake, the “Wilde Freiger”, rises majestically to 3,419 metres above sea level. This visually striking mountain is part of the “Seven Summits” Stubai family, and can be scaled from several sides. Covering an area of just 23,450 m², Lake Freiger is just half the size of Lake Grünau, situated below it. Living conditions are extremely tough in high-altitude bodies of water such as these. The sheet of ice only disperses late in the year, and returns long before winter comes to the valley. Its fascinating green-blue tinge, an attribute often seen in high-altitude lakes, is due in part to its extremely low nutrient content. As you can imagine, the scope of life at this height is limited. It is mostly dominated by algae and tiny lifeforms such as miniature crabs. For scientists, lakes found at such formidable heights are considered to be sensitive indicators of factors such as atmospheric pollutants, as well as both prehistoric and current climate events.