Weather rules all – 100% in the mountaineering world. The plan had been to go up a short but spectacular rocky ridge but low cloud and snow storms meant that the terrain would not have been suitable for us to use.
Instead we hiked along the beach past the toe of the ridge and around and onto the foot of the nearby glacier. The snow storm had increased and although we knew that the glacier was nearby, we couldn’t see very far onto it at all. We then climbed up a short way on the side of the hill – using the rocky terrain like a handrail to allow us to gain a small knoll. Here we were led through a short ‘Quiet Time’, allowing us to reflect on the differences between our normal lives and the journey we had experienced so far.
The guides weren’t done with us yet though, after hiking back down and towards the main landing we stopped at the suitable snow slope and started to learn how to cut steps and to self-arrest.
Self-arresting is one of the main skills needed to keep mountaineers safe, it allows us to stop sliding in the event of a slip that could end in a nasty run out ……… The human train we made after brought all of us back to being about 8-12 years of age and the laughter and smiles were a great way to end the last mountaineering excursion on the Antarctic Peninsula!