How to Walk on a Glacier

Begin by walking a few hours over mountains and through scrubby Patagonia valleys all while enjoying the view of dramatic mountains that are usually hidden by clouds but show themselves off the entire time you are in El Chalten.

Then clip on a harness and zipline across the river down which flows the melting water from the glacier you are approaching.

Next approach the edge of the glacier, which is covered in rock and dirt from the mountain from which this glacier comes.

Walk gingerly on the crusted top before stopping and putting on your crampons as the crust disappears, leaving only ice.

Taking wide steps so as not to accidentally stab yourself with the sharp blades of your crampons walk along the ledges of the glacier, passing small and large cracks which appear magnificently blue, peering down into an 11 meter sinkhole, stepping through small rivers flowing on the top of the glacier, and listening to the creak and moan of a glacier in decline (like most of the world’s glaciers).

Stop for lunch at the base of a large ice wall and after refilling your tank, pick up your ice ax, tie on a belay rope, and give ice climbing a try.

Continue walking on the glacier, passing through a tunnel of ice, dripping very cold water on you. Remember at this moment the one thing that you dislike about your Canon Point & Shoot Camera: that it doesn’t tell you the battery is low until it is totally and completely dead.

[Imagine here a 10 foot tall, 15 foot long tunnel that is icy white on the outside but bright blue on the inside with a texture that looks as if huge scoops of ice have been scraped out it. Picture a small river running through it and water dripping from the ceiling. And then imagine Theresa and Jeff with their tongues out licking the wall of the tunnel.]

Finally, exhausted from the hard work of walking on such a different surface, return to solid ground and then make the long hike back to town, returning 12 hours after you set out.

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