One thing that surprised me about hiking on ice is that even with crampons digging in, a hiker leaves no trail. Every time I turned around when taking up the rear of the group, I found it impossible to determine where we had come from. There was simply no trace of our trail.
So, it wasn’t surprising when our guides took us back a completely different way than that from which we had come.
On the way up, we had gone around an area the guides called “the cracks,” which contained many fissures, making the hike a little more treacherous. These fissures are caused by the movement of the glacier as it slides ever so slowly down the mountain.
We soon came upon one crevasse through which a small stream flowed,…
…and then disappeared into the moraine, “greasing” the way for the slowly moving ice to continue its slide toward the lake.
The scenery continued to amaze and inspire us.
Here we are nearing the end of our time on the ice.
Crampon; crampoff. We returned to the lateral moraine, handed in our harnesses and crampons (mine had broken on the hike, but the guides had replacements), then started our hike out.
The sun was lower in the sky now, as it approached 4:00 p.m. That’s where we were, out in that alien landscape:
Time for the hour-long hike back to the boat.
There she is, waiting for us in the Brazo Rico.
…anxious to pick us up for the return journey across the lake to the bus waiting to take us back to Calafate.
Now we have an even greater admiration and respect for what our son, Trevor, accomplished when he spent a month mountaineering on the glaciers of Canada’s Waddington Range.