Saturday, 28 February 2009

Ice Breaker

It's a little known fact that I don't "do" ice, except in a G&T. Ice skating was one of those dreaded events I was sometimes coerced into when a youngster. Never out of choice. The last time, however was different: Dawn and I had a truly glorious day on a ice rink in New York's Central Park. Our skating was abysmal, but we laughed like twats. No pain.

Progress in Shaksgam was all about ice. Frozen rivers were our way into valleys that are watery torrents at any other time of year. I knew this. I've even made a point of informing anyone who'd listen to me that this "is the only way of getting into these parts". But the reality hadn't struck me - walking up (and down) valleys on ice. In inflexible walking boots, which while great on rocks, mud, pavements and all manner of non-slip surfaces, are truly hellish when friction is limited. All I can say is thanks to the inventor or walking poles - and to Tom and Harry who encouraged me to take them. Brilliant. Hand extensions - like walking on all fours without looking like a (total) idiot. Just a bit of one.

Steady as you go.


  1. I'm pretty sure I remember asking you about crampons (entirely out of interest rather than by way of uneducated advice) and you telling me that you wouldn't be on ice.

    In fairness I'm pretty sure that all of your suppliers were busily making it very difficult for you to give them money in return for their products at that time.... you may not have been entirely committed to our conversation

  2. True, true... I promise to pay more attention next time. In fairness, I'm not convinced I wouldn't have come out with serious crampon related injury. But, with apparent silver lining inspiration could have turned it into a paper: