Morning – Petermann Island.
It had snowed again overnight and the morning was cold – the mountaineering team departed for the North East corner of Peterman island where we first had to get ashore! After making shore via a narrow cleft in the rocks and gaining the snowfield the we changed our boot and got into our climbing boots and crampons to start our way up the frozen slopes above us.
Temperatures had dropped enough overnight to freeze the water running off the rock and icicles were hanging from multiple rock overhangs with at least another 10 cm of new snow. With boots and crampons securely fitted we roped up to make our way to a short steep snow lead that gave us access up and onto a series of rocky, snow covered ledges.
Careful footwork with the occasional rest on broad ledges to have a look at the amazing views beneath us brought us to the wide open summit of Peterman – the local birdlife had laid claim to the very true summit though with a cheeky Skua giving the mountaineering team an inquisative look – retracing our steps again was fast than the ascent and a lower tide made it easier to reboard or zodiac for the ride back to our now very familiar Ortelious
Afternoon – Hoveguard Island
For those that had not brought boots that would fit crampons Hoveguard island provided the perfect opportunity to go out onto glaciated terrain once again using snowshoes – the new snow actually provided the perfect surface for the snowshoes to give us excellent footing.
The broad open shoulder rises up to a long summit ridge – however significant crevassing meant the going to the very true summit with a team of 13 wide eyed new mountaineers and 2 Guides was not the best option.
Instead – after finding a few ‘interesting’ crevasses for us to look into, Mal and Andy brought us to an amazing viewpoint the overlooked the Ortelious and large rock / cliff band that fell steeply away to the shore below us.
Obligatory group photo’s, hugs and laughs were had before we began to get too cold – whilst it was warmer back at the ship – where we were was sitting below freezing with an increasing wind.
A faster descent and a rapid pack up of our gear and equipment was done and before we knew it our Zodiacs were there to whisk us back to hot showers.
A fantastic day with amazing views and great people once again.