Crevasse Trip
I am convinced when I finally settle down in upstate New York (or New Hampshire or U.P. Michigan - hey, it could happen) I'll need a SkiDoo. Not a snowmobile now, but a real honest to goodness work machine. I remember growing up, hauling sled loads of wood in from the forest after dark, just to get a few logs for the night. And no it wasn't uphill both ways. But with a machine such as the ones on which we rode the 12km out to the IMAX Crevasse, my brothers and I could have laid in enough wood for at least a week. Before dark.

Plus these things are fun. They top out at about 40kph, so you're not about to set any land speed records. They will, however, let you lug all your survival gear and your lunch on an excursion 12km from base camp. Which is exactly what we did on a fine clear Antarctic Sunday in February.

Watch out, here comes "Mister E."

The 2-track, single-ski machines by SkiDoo.
The crevasse itself is a big icebox. If you have ever been down into a cave and noticed the temperature drop, you can begin to imagine what it felt like to go from a sunny +3C to a deliciously cold -10C. Plus since we had been riding hard and then sweating across the top of the glacier while roped together, the sudden drop in temperature made us all shiver.

We moved through in tight formation in case the walls decided to let go, or the formations hanging from the roof were to break free. Every once in a while we stopped to listen to the absolute silence, then shuffled farther into the depths. After a half kilometer traverse of about 20 minutes, we began the slow process of wiggling through the exit tunnels made up of jumbled fallen blocks of ice.

The pictures speak for themselves, but could never do the Crevasse justice.

We all were roped for the descent into the crack.

The entrance to the IMAX Crevasse.

It is called the IMAX Crevasse because it was in a movie.

Our guide Ted is in charge of the survival school.

Now that's really cool.

Yes, we just went through the crack.

The different shades of blue were just amazing.

Ted stops to set up a belay sysytem for the last pitch.

Out the back side of the Crevasse and headed for home.

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Page posted 02/04/2002