"Was it fun?"
The girl shuddered, "It was freezing."
"Oh, ok, but was it fun?"
The girl looked at me as though I was not quite comprehending the situation. "It was freezing."
Bearing in mind that I hate being cold, and especially wet and cold, I packed for the trip in the same way I would pack for an Arctic expedition. I took every piece of warm clothing I own, including my thermals, much to my guide's amusement. And, of course, as a result of that the sun shone all day.
I'm getting used to the fact that if you want to do something cool here you have to wear a silly outfit. It's kind of like an off-set scheme. You want to have fun? Ok, but you have to look stupid first. So we donned the obligatory knee length jacket, waterproof trousers and huge red bum bags which contained our crampons, and set off.
|Working the bum bag look.|
|An impressive first view.|
We all followed our guide Jeff in single file, with his warning that one step out of place could have us falling through the ice ringing in our ears. As we went he checked the ice in front of him by hitting it with an ice-pick and it was quite a scary sight when it gave way sometimes. Walking on the ice felt really strange at first. Even though logically you know you're not going to fall because of the crampons, it takes a bit of time to get your head around it. But as soon as you do it's almost easy to forget that it's ice you're walking on.
|Follow the leader.|
|Ice hiking made easy.|
The trek was made easier by the fact that the guides (who had obviously had a very early start) had hacked steps into the ice at difficult points. So it was just a case of using ropes to haul ourselves up and squeezing through crevices which were feet taller than us. And for those of you who are constantly trying to reassure me that I don't have a big bum - I was the only one who got wedged into a crevice. The shame. I thought we might have to all stand and wait for the ice to melt around it but luckily I managed to haul myself out. Note to self: Stop eating cake.
|Does my bum look big in this?|
|Not a bad lunch spot.|
|Everybody breathe in.|
|That's #12 done and dusted!|