Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Ice-Hiking with Brazilians

Spot MJC in the middle of the line towards the start of our marvellous two hour hike on Glaciar Torre.   The Brazilians are a red herring really.  They weren´t very interesting. 

More lively were the three Israeli girls who were also part of the party.  The initial trek just to the edge of the glacier from El Chalten took about 4 hours.  The gals were 25 minutes late without an apology at the start in El Chalten.  Then they sulked about the pace our guides wanted us to maintain to make up time.  It had the feeling of a school trip going horribly wrong - especially when lead guide Matias and the troublesome chicas had a huge barney over their attitude.  That cleared the air and they turned out to be good fun.

So was this.  The Tyrolean rope over a freezing cold river which we had to cross.  At the other end of this lake lies the glacier Torre.

MJC, master of the Tyrolean rope on his virgin voyage.

Excuse the face but it was completely knackering, trudging up and down this bouldery moraine for an hour to reach the glacier edge.

MJC crampons on.  Posing in the background is one of the Israeli girls, with MJC´s other trekking pole for a prop.  MJC giving as ever.

Guide Matias, having put away his disciplinary rod of iron and now instructing us on the art of walking with crampons.

We had to wear gloves to avoid ice burns if we touched the ice.

The glacier is punctuated with sink holes and cavities like this.  The blue colour comes from the ice having had all the air bubbles squeezed out of it over thousands of  years.

After a picnic on the glacier, we did some climbing with ice axes and ropes up one of the 30 ft ice faces.

Walking backwards down the ice slope.   A day which began with us thinking it would be a disappointment because of the early antics was in fact fantastic fun. 

But then we had another 4 hours to do to get back to El Chalten, fording streams swollen by ice that was  rapidly melting in the late afternoon sun.

And crossing the river on that Tyrolean rope again.

1 comment:

  1. absolutely incredible - photos and actions.
    my apologies for felloiw israeli bad behaviour. its amazing though wherever one goes, no matter how remote there are always israelis. they don't half travel. you both look like expert trekkers, ice walkers and climbers. ah the power of the still photograph. I hope you'll post some on flickr, could make you some good money!