Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Icefall

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!
 
 
 
 
 
 


2 comments:

  1. Hello! At start of this post I thought that you're writing from there :D I like to climb on indoor climbing walls but climbing on the biggest mountains is absolutely extremely! Don't you think that it's risky for your life? Regards from Poland! :)

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  2. Steve, I can't find you email address. Please send me a message to shotgym@gmail.com ,because I have some questions for you :)

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