Ali and Lay’s Mountaineering Blog

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Crevasse hunting

June 26th, 2007 · 16 Comments

ways to improve your creative writing skills Today we wake to improving weather and leave the hut at 8 am.  As yesterday, our objective is La Luette.  This time, however, our route will require us to cross the Luette glacier. We rope up and Ali leads the initial steep section up onto the glacier itself.  We proceed with caution.  Our knowledge of crevasses is purely theoretical – we have received instruction on crevasse rescue techniques but we are untested. To give you, dear reader, some background – a glacier, as you’re probably aware, is a large, slow moving river of ice which is formed from compacted layers of snow.  The lower layers deform under the pressure of the layers above, allowing the glacier as a whole to move slowly downhill like a viscous fluid.  However, the upper layers are more brittle, and often form deep cracks known as crevasses as they move.

source If I was to fall into a crevasse then Ali would have to stop my fall.  Failing to do so would have dire consequences for us both as we are roped together.  She has a nagging doubt as to whether she would be strong enough, should the worst happen.

need help with my homework assignment Here is what Fred Mummery had to say about such situations over a hundred years ago:

go “The main strength of the objection to two men climbing alone is, perhaps, to be found in the common belief that if one man falls into a crevasse, his companion will be unable to pull him out.  With regard to this extremely unpleasant supposition, it may be pointed out that there is no particular reason for him to fall in.  Why any one should wish to dangle on the rope, in a dark and chilly chasm, is one of those profound and inscrutable mysteries which may be regarded as past all finding out.   It is, of course, a quite unnecessary incident.”

source link It could be noted that, despite his many climbs in the Alps and elsewhere, Fred never did fall in a crevasse during his lifetime – he was killed by an avalanche on Nanga Parbat a year later. The problem is that crevasses are not always visible on the surface.  They may be completely covered, but not necessarily filled, by fresh snowfall or drifts.  This creates the illusion of an unbroken surface while hiding the opening under a layer of unknown thickness, possibly only centimetres thick. 

other ways to say in conclusion essay And so it is, that Ali and I proceed cautiously across the glacier.  We are looking intently for any tell-tale depressions that might indicate hidden crevasses.

children labour essay [singlepic=258,480,360] A sense of Alpine scale – Ali and Lay crossing the Luette glacier (below left of centre – click to enlarge, then click Full Size).  Photo courtesy of Stephen Whiting

go Tags: Arolla · Crevasses

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