As promised few days ago, here comes the post about our latest adventure: ice climbing. The exit glacier is in Seward, a small touristic town about 2.5 hrs driving south from Anchorage, Alaska. Seward is also renown for fishing trips, fjords touring, and Alaskan Cruise trips. Since we didn’t have any climbing experience we decided to go through Exit Glacier Guides agency. This way we had two experienced guides who lead the trip, plus the package included all necessary climbing gear like boots, metal cleats, helmet, backpack , gloves, harness, hiking poles. Other essentials for this trip were hiking shoes, rain jackets, and we had to wear layers because the weather on the glacier is not the warmest and the wind blows full strength. To reach the Exit Glacier we hiked uphill for about an hour and a half, so be prepared for some serious water drops rolling down your forehead. This trip was something unusual for me because even though I am an outdoorsy person, I never did any type of climbing, let alone glacier ice climbing. I was a bit hesitant to try rope climbing on the ice wall, especially after seeing a guy climbed up and having troubles coming down, but I am extremely happy I overcame my fear and tried it. The first stop on the glacier was for instructions. The guides explained climbing techniques, how to use the gear, as well as how to move on the ice when wearing metal cleats. Then came the fun when we start climbing down into the glacier’s crevasses. This is the view when you look up from the inside of the crevasse. Here is when you look down into a crevasse. For a moment I imagined what would happen if the rope broke, but I chased away this thought the very next second. A crevasse is a deep crack in a glacier or other body of ice that starts at the surface and usually it can go as deep as 61 m (200 ft). Crevasses are hazardous features of the glaciers because they often get covered with snow which makes them invisible and a perfect “dead-fall” trap. This is the reason why the guides won’t organize any glacier trips until the snow is pretty much completely melted. During our ice climbing adventure we climbed 3 different crevasses with various depth and width, and each of them were featuring unique ice design. The deeper you go the harder it gets to penetrate the ice with the front spikes of the metal cleats. Also, after couple feet the ice becomes clearer and bluer and even the air has an icy taste.As you can see, the struggle is real 😀 Even though it was quite exhausting, I had so much fun climbing the ice that I didn’t notice how fast the time passed by.
One of our guides casually resting on the edge of the crevasse because why not, right?
I hope you enjoyed this visual trip and got an idea about what ice climbing looks like.
Have a great day, Victoria V.