The glacier hike on the Exploradores glacier was completely different from the other ones again. In particular because the weather was just soooo crappy. Rain, wind, cold.. We had it all.
In the beginning the guides told us that it would be up to us to make this fun, because the weather was trying to make it a challenge.. It really was hard work.
However it is the rain this glacier frequently receives that creates the caves and tunnels which make visiting it so interesting. This was the first time I could actually walk through ice tunnels or climb into ice caves. The first illusion of being protected from the rain in the ice cave quickly were shattered when I realised that we still have about 10 degrees and what we escape is the rain and what we gain is the melted water dripping onto you everywhere inside the caves.
I was soaked within the first 200m we did on the ice. Mostly because I had the great idea to lean against one of the walls in an ice cave and thereby learned first hand that they have a lot of water running down those walls. Still, I kept my hopes up that the weather would improve, just like it had on the Perito Moreno. In the mean time we walked on. The weather got worse. We stayed strong. Though I didn’t see too many laughing faces. We were closing in on the lunch spot and not even the fact that clouds and rain make the ice appear bluer could cheer us up…
That’s when I noticed my crampons feeling loose and kinda funny. And three steps later, the crampon broke and I was left crampon less.. Luckily the tour guides come prepared and had replacements for the piece that broke. A few minutes later we were on the road again. Generally speaking the equipment made a much better impression than the one at Perito Moreno. It seemed newer and just more complete. We got helmets and waterproof gloves. We also got protection for our trousers/shoes from the crampons and the crampons, for me, stuck much better to my shoes.
All this, however, could not make up for the amazingly crappy weather. The wind had picked up and shock frozen the soaked jackets.. We finally admitted that it was time to retreat and probably made the way back in record time. It was a great experience, nevertheless, I’ll not be going again if the weather is predicted to be that crappy.
Of course the moment we got off the ice, a sun ray broke through:
(Then it rained some more)