The Glacier Strikes Back

Almost two hours into the first hike of this third Hoboxian Expedition, and I end up right back at the entrance I was trying to avoid.

Kids are on this lower surface, which seems like no big deal until you look down and note that it's less humans  walking on an icecube and more like microbes along the skin of a vast Ice Queen.

A queen who doesn't take very good care of herself at that.

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Here, let me give you a hand up on this old girl to have a look.

In addition to the many stunning diamond blue waterslides, (or Ice Queen Tears - she will likely be completely gone by 2030) there are frightening streams like this one just under the surface everywhere.

Even so, the footing seemed pretty solid. I'll point out now that, for the first time on the trip, I was wearing shoes. I gained a 30% bonus to boldness as a consequence. Not that I needed it. I mean, look at all those people way up ahead. Clearly it's safe!

When I reached the point where the furthest person is standing in the photo above, I was about here.

I went as far as this before turning right. There was a level in the strata I was trying to get to to save me a sheer climb.

If you've just joined me, my goal was to reach the glacier on the right of this one and I wasn't able to cross the river so had to go across the popularly visited Athabasca Glacier on the left.

Interestingly, across the glacier, there were dramatic bus tours that brought people down to the edge. Not sure if people could get out there.

 

I saw no one else at this height, but I wasn't after the top of this easy glacier.

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Then I turned the corner and saw this, the Ice Queen's hooha (I realize that messes with the SCALE of my previous metaphor, but things change fast on the surface of a glacier! Don't they?).

I looked back at the bus tours a million miles across the ice, hoping they would see my red shirt and remember to send in a rescue crew after their sightseeing.

I went down. The opening at the bottom was about three feet across and I could hear a roaring river deep inside. The moment I lowered myself, the rocks beneath my feet gave way and I had no footing. I started to tumble down into the abyss...

NEXT UP:

OH, NATURE.

or,

THE CONCLUSION, WHERE I FACE MY DEEPEST FEAR OR FAVORITE FOOD (ONE OF THOSE!)!!