Waking up to an absolutelly stunning sunrise, we packed our gear quickly and started skiing as fast as we could. Two hours of magnificent skiing brought us 8km closer to Laguna de los Esquies – a lake where we planned to climb off the glacier. Between us and the relative safety of the lake lay another 8km of technical ice and enormous crevasses.
The further we went, the harder, more dangerous and more otherworldly it became. Our minds were in quite the conflicted state. On one end of the spectrum were the survival instinct and primal fear of the gygantic waves of ice, whereas on the other – complete awe and respect for nature’s might and mastery at painting such vivid landscapes that enchant the soul even in moments of all-encompassing fear.
As we fought ro find a way through the maze of delicately woven crevasses, the fear was sometimes freezing us completely. The enormous waves sometimes spanned more than a hundred meters across and as much between the bottoms and rigdes.
However we were overwhelmed by the deep and saturated turquoise colors of the ice formations.
Here and there thin streaks of brownish hues swirrled across the ice, creating an amazing pallette of colors in this frozen hell of white and blue. Entirely void of snow this time of the year, every little frozen shape and detail of the glacier was accentuated. Although being cold and quite scary, the glacier was reminiscent of the colorful mountains in Peru and China.
Afrer climbing several 45-degree ridges with the pulk, we switched over to backpacks. Balancing precariously on the ice ridges, we were moving with very little security but just a little bit faster as well. Ironically, lack of protection meant an abundance of safety in our case.
Several more hours of wandering through the maze got us safely off the ice and camped by the crystal-clear waters of Laguna de los Esquies. And just in time to bid the storm welcome.
We were smashed and felt as though we’d passed through “el culo del mundo” but we will never forget those deep and enchanting shades of mesmerising blue ice…