Tag archives for ice

Iceland is a bit of a misnomer. The country’s frigid name was a bit of a knee-jerk response by the old Norse explorer Flóki Vilgerðarson, who, after suffering a calamitous winter in the West Fjords, climbed a mountain in hope for some hopeful sight and instead encountered a bay that was filled with icebergs (most…

The Canadians are coming. They’ve invaded America and are taking over our towns and cities one by one. The tiny town of Whitefish, Montana is simply crawling with Canucks. They zip across the 49th parallel to buy up our cheap(er) gas and groceries, and to subvert our peaceful American way of life through seemingly-innocuous cross-border…

“There were three skulls and their teeth were so white!” That’s how my mountain guide began our hike onto Aletsch glacier—by recounting with excitement and detail the condition of three dead bodies he had seen laying on the ice the day before. A British couple had happened upon them while exploring the glacier and my…

Glaciers taste good, as I discovered in Norway. When it’s 85°F outside and you’ve been hiking for an hour, a big mouthful of ancient icepack tastes better than any Slurpee ever could. The diamond, sparkling ice is cold, wet, clean, and delicious–not to mention endless and all-U-can-eat. (Almost.) My journey through Norway continues to be…

Corduroy

The fate of snow lies in front of me. Feathery flakes blow all around us, but where they fall makes all the difference. The snow on my right will one day melt and flow downward, into creeks, streams, rivers, and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. The drops on the left will one day pour into the…

Ice Climbing

Once you fall, the fear of falling goes away. That’s what I learned halfway up a wall of dripping blue-white ice in Banff National Park. Or rather, I learned it halfway down, as my harness halted my plunge and bounced me against the frozen upper falls of Johnston Canyon. I fell because a saucer-size chunk…