The approach to Changi Tower was blocked by an icefall in the glacier. An ice fall is where the glacier tumbles over a steep section of underlying rock causing it to fracture into a jumbled mass of tottering ice towers, overhanging ice walls, and deep crevasses.
|The route went up the middle to the ice wall near the top then down and over to the right side|
To get to the tower we knew it would be a challenge to find our way through this mess. The Polish attempt on the peak in 2010 reported that "the approach caused distress: a massive icefall festooned with seracs, followed by a few hundred meters of snow slope, barred access to the col at the foot of the Tower’s northwest ridge".
|In the lower portion of the icefall|
|We mistakenly went left at the ice wall on the first day|
On the first day we made a mistake and went left at the ice wall near the top and went left. Above we found that all our possible routes ended in overhanging ice walls.
|Climbing around crevasses where we could find solid ice|
We found a safe place to camp for the night since it was now too hot and the snow was becoming too unstable to climb.
|In the middle of it|
The following morning we reversed our tracks over to where we could drop down and cross several large crevasses over to the right side. A trough up the right side led to a glacial basin below the Polish col.
|Graham sketching the landscape at our bivi|
It took us two days to find a safe route through the icefall. The same amount of time it took for us to climb the tower. After finding a route though, it was much quicker travel. On our second trip through the icefall it took two hours.
|Coming out of the icefall into the basin below the polish Col|
My next blog post will be about our successful climb of Changi tower!