IceTrek Patagonia


“Day 7
October 14
Distance 1.2km.
Altitude 592m

Going nowhere fast yet feeling good about our progress. Again Gary and I scout ahead while Wade digs a massive trench with our ‘Palla’ (the massive garden shovel we bought in Coyhaique) in order to get out of the basin we’d camped in. Top out on a mini-plain heralding the outfall of a subsidiary glacier and ski gleefully across it to a large moraine. Climb the highest mound and find what looks like a good route south. Return then triple through almost everything but the plain. A moist, humid day of stifling heat. Slaps of suncream all round, and a good half-dozen perspiration soaked feet. My polar boots are a tad overkill. On the far side of the moraine the terrain becomes flatter and rounded and we single much of it until blocked by a gigantic jumble of cascading broken ice. Spend the next three hours searching for a route through the mess but all lead to massive caverns and sheer faces through which we cannot pass. We stop and ponder our only option. Directly behind us is an icefall that leads directly underneath a dangerous slope looking ripe to slough onto some idiot. We don’t like the look of it one bit but it’s that or turn around and go back. The unthinkable is upon us.”

IceTrek Patagonia: A daily account
By Eric Philips

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