Friday, March 26, 2010

27th July (Dad and Clem's Birthday)

After a wonderful night biving, well except for the sudden midnight rain putting out bivi-bags to good use, and a lie in from everyone in camp(even the leaders) it was the day of the big ascent up Oksfjordjokelen. The wind had picked up so packing everything up for the day was very difficult, as was lighting the stove and preparing breakfast in general. Therefore I ended up with very watery porridge. There was another eventful toilet stop for Tasha, she managed to let a massive rock crush her thumb. We just can't let her go anywhere alone, well anywhere for that matter.

Half an hour later than planned everyone was down at Crampon Cove sorting their gear and we began to tie ropes to each other. Ropes were made up of about four or five people. i was on Markie Mark's rope at the end with Laura and Callum in the middle. Each leader did their job and took us up the glacier to the "coffee shop", why it was called that, I don't know! As we ascended the wind grew stronger and strong her to at least force 7 and would keep increasing the closer we got to the summit. We waited a while until the leaders came to the decision to take us to the summit, as by the time they had decided the wind had died down.

For the first time on the trip I felt I was truely pusing myself as it was really tough on my knees and ankles and I had to travel very slowly but ever time we stopped my knees would buckle and this added to the danger of crampons slipping. However in the end of all the muscles I could pull I pulled the pecks muscle... We sat on a on a nun attack at the top of the snout for an energy boost and come ice cold non-gritty water. 2km on and a 100m ascent later we had reached the summit of Oksfjordjoklen, the highest ice point in Finnmark. The view at the top made the whole walk Worth it. It can't be described in words, maybe a photograph, but not entirely as the view went on forever as did the clouds. It was something I had never seen before, the pure untouched white snow, blue skies, tumbling sheets of clouds and mountains skimming the horizon. My journal says it all really, it just says BEAUTIFUL, underlined many times.

There was another toilet stop over by moraine for the girls to pee but because of some meandering boys, most of us didn't get a chance. I spent the journey towards the descent finding red algae. Ignoring the obvious difference between the ascent and descent, the main difference for us, th YE's, was that we had to lead everyone down, well those who were at the ends of the ropes, including me. It actually wasn't as scary as i thought since I only had a minor slip, but even minor slips made your heart skip a beat. I don't think those on my rope felt in safe hands as I seemed to be more occupied in taking photos! Many found this first challenge difficult for a variety of reasons but we also so we saw each other really working together for the first time.

Back at crampon cover, I finally got to the toilet and we got tea on the go, well Alistair got his tea on the go but not anyone elses. Instead we made him go up the glacier for water. The swine. I had a good tea of chili con carne and chocolate chip dessert. During the ascent I had noticed something in my eye, like grit. Mary sorted it by iving me eye drops, well more of an eye paste, it was pretty hardcore touching eyeball stuff. We all settled into another night under the stars/sun in our cosy little bivi site.

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