Wednesday, December 3, 2003

The Half Day Glacier Walk (3 of ?)

Here's where things start to go wrong.  Once we get on the glacier, we meet another guide, Kris, who is supposed to take the "Medium" group.  Kris isn't feeling up to it, so decides to take the slow group instead, so I wave goodbye to the nice cheerful guide, and go with Kris on the Very Slow Group.

OK, let me be extremely clear here -- Kris got me up... and down the godforsaken piece of ice (as I started calling it) and for that I'm totally grateful.  Seeing as we were the slow group, he used his pick-ax to carve us lots of steps and stuff, to make the walk do-able.  There's no way I could have done this on a more difficult path.  As it was, my knees buckled under me twice, and I lost my balance and nearly fell twice.  So, I mean, yay Kris.  On the other hand, we didn't stop much.  Although I climbed all over this thing, I didn't actually SEE it much, because I spent the bulk of the walk looking down trying to figure out exactly where I was putting my feet at any given time.  And there are no photos of me on the glacier -- there was one place where he gave us a second for pix, and the nice lady who tried to take a shot of me standing by an ice cave failed (my camera is one of those where you have to push the button REALLY hard, and everyone thinks they've taken a picture when they've only set the focus) ... and we never got a second chance.  Even at the top of our walk, when Kris had said, "We'll stop for photos up there," turned into, "OK, you guys can start on down now."  So, all things considered, I was kinda bummed that cheery enthusiastic guide didn't end up with the National Geographic group as originally promised.  (I did hear Kris say later that he'd just been off for three days with the flu, so maybe he wasn't up to their usual standard of cheeriness.)

So, first thing we do is go up this staircase.  It's in a wall of rock and looks all dirty and muddy, and someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to carve it out, and put a rope handrail in.  And as we walk on it and look closer, we realize it's totally made of ice.  It's muddy dirty icky ice, but ice.  We're definitely on the glacier proper, it just doesn't look like it.

1 comment:

annalisa135 said...

absolutely awesome!  i know that it sounds like you weren't overly impressed with the whole glacier walk, (not that i totally blame you), but i'm kind of blown away with your descriptions of the whole thing.  pretty amazing.