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Day 16: “Shame we don’t have a bottle of champagne!”

August 18, 2010

Today we walked 20 kilometres along the Norman glacier. It was initially a tough climb up and then we entered a highly crevassed region. We entered a thick bank of fog and mist. Which descended over us, it made going extremely slow. Luckily at this point we were at the top of the glacier which levelled out and this meant we could carry on going we thought we would carry on going for an hour longer in the hope that conditions would peter out and become more optimal for us and in the othe side of the glacier in the next valley. So we carried on walking and we crossed crevasse after crevasse. The going was extremely slow.

The inside of a glacier

The inside of a glacier (photo from 2009 expedition)

We were on one four man rope, and one three man rope teams. it was quite scary in some place. the crevasses were very deep and there were snow bridges that needed to be carefully crossed and after an hour and a half of walking into the next valley, suddenly the mist broke and we could see a long distance into the next valley, clear skies and the penny ice cap was suddenly visible in front of us, as weredozens of small glaciers winding around hills and mountains on either side. It was one of the most fantastic moments of my life and I will never forget it. It was absolutely incredible. It was without doubt one of the best moments of my life. Everyone was screaming and everyone was shouting with glee and hollering and Rachel shouted “Shame we don’t have a bottle of champagne” and I said “Yes! Absolutely!”, at which point I fell down on my knees into the ice, but was fine.

The inside of the tent

The inside of the tent (photo from 2009 expedition)

We carried on moving through the glacier, the weather was consistently fine from then on. Incredible views of all the glaciers winding and snaking their way around the mountains us incredible ice formations and noise from the glacier underneath us as the ice shifted in creaks and groans and collapsed around us. Not dangerously, just in the traditional sense in which glaciers move. We are now camping just below the Penny ice cap and we can see a long valley down below us. We are near an icey river and many boulders are strewn around us.

Tomorrow we are going in search of a lake which was mapped 50 years ago by an aerial survey, but no person to our knowledge has ever been there.  in fact for the last two days we have been walking in a territory, the whole area we believe nobody has been. Perhaps inuit people have ever been here, no explorers are known to have been here before. We may be the first people to lay eyes on these hills, first people to see these views, set foot and the first people to visit this lake on foot if it still exists.

Listen to Toby’s report from Baffin:

One Comment
  1. Kathryn Richardson permalink
    August 19, 2010 5:20 pm

    Wow, what an amazing experience, it sounds fantasic and we are all enjoying following your progress. Good luck to you all, hope you find the lake and have some more champagne moments!

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