Blue Lagoon Base Camp
Edward Bailey Glacier, Renland
N71 Degrees 11’ 500”, W026 Degrees 10.318’
BC is not feeling quite so comfortable after three days of freezing in the rain. In the tent, in your sleeping bag it is warm, cosy and comfortable but as soon as you’re out it’s a bone chilling, damp cold interspersed with heavy rain. The mass tent is holding up to the rain well and is a haven, but for no more than eight hours can one bear the numb toes and contorted sitting positions. Back to bed. We’ve all ended up on different sleep patterns and now after an unexpectedly long spell of bad weather, are really out of synch.
It’s actually been good to get some proper rest and I’m really glad we aren’t on the wall. However, looking towards our exit strategy and the great deal we must accomplish between now and then, suddenly time is starting to feel tight. The weather is set to improve from 1800 tonight. We’ll head up and crack on as soon as it does. Unfortunately, it looks like there will be another front in five days, when we’ll almost certainly be high on the wall. Not only could this be rather unpleasant, but it also puts us under real time pressure. Same old story – long trip, not enough time.
It’s 15 days from now until the helicopter arrives and we must be back in BC with everything standing by.
My deep concern is that in this weather there is no way a helicopter can pick us up and there is only one flight a week back to Iceland. I am going directly on a family holiday, as I know are some of the other guys, and am desperate to get back to my wife and daughter on schedule. The grim reality is that there’s absolutely no way to influence the outcome, and that daddy my not be in France.
I try to mitigate the variables as much as possible in every decision on a trip like this, attempting as little as possible to rely on luck. But when it comes to the weather, it works to its own schedule and fortune is required for that to coincide with yours.
It seems to be clearing. Almost time to begin the long march back to the front line!
“Photo by Matt Pycroft / Coldhouse Collective”