Ice Climbing — my new favorite hobby [ 6 of 11 ]
We went ice climbing and we LOVED it. Mind you, none of us have held an ice axe outside of REI nor have we ever touched a pair of crampons. We walked to the pier of where we take a boat to the Viedma Glacier. Our guide, Pablo, asked us if we had other boots. We were wearing normal hiking/backpacking boots. He told us we had poor choice of shoes for this adventure and gave us disapproving looks. What were we supposed to do then? We figured we would just make do.
Viedma Glacier is the biggest glacier in Argentina. The 3rd biggest in the world! We were also excited to do this glacier instead of the more popular Perito Moreno Glacier because of the craziness the PM one probably is. And man oh man… Was that the best decision we made our entire trip!
When we put on our crampons we started walking further into the glacier. All the crevasses were really frightening and to think of if one slip… But don’t worry, we are all ok with all limbs intact.
As we got more comfortable, Pablo showed us how to actual ice climb with the ice picks. Let’s just say I found myself a new hobby!
We climbed at least 5 crevasses and one was the “big mama” of a crevasse, as Pablo called it. It had to have been at least 70 feet down, if not more. Pablo would lower me on belay and then when we got as low as we wanted or if we got to the very bottom, we’d tell him to stop. When you get very far into the crevasse, the ice becomes blue and shiny and clear as glass. It was a little frightening to be sticking a sharp object that would spew glass into your face. It was spectacular and on the top 5 of the most memorable things I’ve ever done.
While you’re climbing you hear a roaring echo of ice calving. Its pretty loud and thunderous. At the end of the entire thing, Pablo told us to leave our backpacks by the rocks and then we walked down under the glacier. It was this huge cave that the glacier created. There’s even a way out to the front of the glacier itself.
When we were ooo-ing and ahh-ing at the huge cravasses and the vast land of ice, Pablo simply said, “You can’t beat this office view.” No Pablo, you certainly can’t.
Originally published on 12/21/15 at lizlizwanders.weebly.com.