Ice, all fours and the view of a crampon up close.

Okay I know I have left some of you in suspense and that is cruel. For those of you who have know idea what I am talking about… Well one of the pictures alludes to how a person traverses thick ice without the aid of anything useful….

So lets start from the beginning- two Australians, me and a guide. The guide who had earlier told me to be careful blowing off… a cliff – was now telling me to be careful blowing off on ice. What must he think of me? I think it is the English language said in a foreign tongue that makes this amusing. Well I did inform Magnus that I was always careful where I blew off. Anyway before me spanned a plateau of thick ice. Oh yes I am wearing sterdy walking boots, which in hindsight, was a marvellous idea. Although it might have been better if they had suckers or crampons protruding from them. Of course it was lucky they didn’t because I might be compelled to try them out on vertical walls, as one does with such things… So to the ice. One very large weighted camera bag, one camera and a person who has much skill on ice as an elephant has tight-rope walking… So what happens- I stood on the edge of the ice for a while looking like the kid who had not been picked for the school team. The two Australians did their best iceskating moves, and me, well I just stared and stared. Finally I watched a couple fall over and decided it wasn’t for me. There was one thing for it: all fours. Oh yes a crowd of tourists arrive on a tour bus just as I venture on my knees towards the water fall. Please noteI am wearing a big jakcet, a scarf, a hat, trousers and a huge rucksack of camera gear. So I figure that if polar bears can do it so can I. Well there is a technique… Opposite arm to opposite leg no less- keeps the weight in the centre… It worked too until I got to the edge of the rope and realised there was not way I was going to be able to stand up. Now there was a moment of perfection where I noticed things the other tourists had not seen. The angle was perfect. Others were just skidding, falling over, getting up, taking their picture of the waterfall and going again. Oh no… not me. I was on all fours heading away from the crowd. The angle had enabled me a glimpse of a field of grass clad ice and it was amazing. As I was traversing the tretcherous five meters a crampon-clad smugo circled me a couple of times grinning. He pointed smugly at his crampons. I pointed smugly at the ground, ‘I have seen things others won’t see from here.’
‘Oh,’ he said in the ‘she actually completely insane tone’. Never mind, people see the world their own way and mind was similar to that of a dog’s view, which I might add was pretty interesting and made a change. Anyway to the icefield. I took my pictures, was stared at, then made my way to the cafe where everyone sat with their backs to the view. I shook my head, found another ice-sheet and continued my photographic journey until the Australians were completely bored. And then we were whisked off to the next place…. I will tell you more about that in another entry…

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