You probably read this blogpost because you are somehow interested in hiking and climbing. And today we want to satisfy your need for new hiking and climbing information by telling you something about glaciers! Almost everyone is fascinated by those fascinating natural structures, which are characteristic for the colder environments of this planet. But what exactly are glaciers, how do they form and what do you need to keep in mind if you want to climb a glacier? You do not have to wait any longer, because we are about to answer those questions!
Before we start with this small guide to glaciers, please keep in mind that winter sport and hiking during winter, and especially hiking on glaciers, can be extremely dangerous and you choose to go on any outside winter-activity at your own risk. Please prepare yourself carefully and seek help and guidance if you have any questions or if you feel insecure. Do not overestimate your knowledge and your abilities in sake of your own safety.
What is a glacier?
A glacier is a giant ice structure made out of compressed snow. Over a long period of time, the pressure of the masses of snow changes the structure of the snow, turning it into a large thickened ice mass. Since this process takes a lot of time, most of the existing glaciers are remnants of the last ice age. There are small and large glaciers, some even so larger that they cover whole land masses. As you might have known, glaciers are able to move. This is possible because of the immense pressure of the glacier on its own ground layers of ice and heat, which causes the ground layers to melt. The resulting water causes the glacier to move. Glaciers can be found in different cold regions of the world, but most of them are located in Antarctica, Scandinavia, the Alps and Himalaya.
How do you explore a glacier?
Before you head out, make sure to gather all the gear you need for a glacier trip. That includes things like the proper clothing, ice axes, ropes, crampons, crevasse probe and so on. But good gear is not the only thing you need. If you do not know how to use it, you probably won’t make it out on a glacier. So take your time and prepare yourself by reading about glacier climbing and take a class! There are a lot of classes exclusively for beginners, which are definitely worth the money. During those classes you will learn how to walk on snow and ice, furthermore you will learn how to cope with the high altitude. And most importantly, you learn how to act and react in emergency situations. Especially on a glacier hike, overestimating your abilities will probably end very bad for you, so take you time, get accustomed to the new conditions and train hard before heading out.
Speaking of emergency, it is important to keep in mind that you should never climb a glacier by yourself. Glaciers may be beautiful but they are extremely dangerous too. In emergency situations every second counts and you probably won’t be able to help yourself out. Slips, breaking ice and crevasses are a constant threat and you lower your own chances of survival if you decide to climb a glacier alone. Always climb glaciers with a team of experienced climbers. Usually you tie yourself to one or two other climber, a safety measure which greatly increases your chances to be saved in case you fall down somewhere.
This was our small guide for glacier hiking! And while it might seem that we wanted to scare you, we can assure you that was not our intention. It is just very important to underline the risks of glacier hiking, but with good preparation and a good team, you will have a great time on those icy giants!
Source Picture 1: https://pixabay.com/de/gletscher-argentinien-patagonien-530050/
WildernessWednesday is a blog series from AMAZONAS ultra-light that is published every second wednesday. It is all about survival tips and essential information that might be your lifesaver in difficult situations.
AMAZONAS ultra-light sells ultra-light travel hammocks and is a part of AMAZONAS which is specialized on hammocks and equipment as well as baby equipment.