/ Glacier Travel Advice

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Oo - on 18 Mar 2014
Planning a long walk to a summit. Near the top there is about 1km of glacier rising 150m to cross. I've only been up on a dry (no snow) glacier once so I'm a bit tentative. After a bit of a google and watching lots of Glenmore Lodge and MCofS videos on youtube (great resource, thanks chaps) I'm trying to work out the best way to cross, the likely risks, and whether to plan for something else.

I'm presuming walking alone is considered very risky?

So, as a pair, you put a rope between you, say about 20m and walk. Would you say a harness is necessary? Or just a rope around the waist (some of the youtube videos just had this on a snowslope, I was a bit surprised). I've only got a 60m single rope, so that'll have to do. Ideally I think I'd want a 30m lightweight scrambling rope.

The chap I'm walking with isn't a climber, so I'll show him the basics of an ice axe arrest and explain the principle of how to rescue from a crevasse.

In essence, I am planning for everything to be fine, and am quite aware of the chances of an epic. What would you do? What are the risks like on a glacier?

For reference, I am looking to approach this from the east following the shallowest line.
Chris Craggs - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Oo:

What time of year? Many of the 'glaciers' on the higher peaks in Norway are just big patches of ice, they don't move much, so there aren't many crevasses. This is the one on Galhopiggen in high summer - you would have to try hard to fall into anything,

Dave Perry - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Oo:

What time of the year are you planning to do this? Winter when the glacier is still snow covered?

Oo - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Planning it for this weekend. Due to the small size of it, I was hoping that something along those lines would be the case. Just a bit wary as it's slightly unknown territory...
CurlyStevo - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Oo:

The other posters may be able to help with what's necessary for your particular trip, but you may want to consider the following if you think falling in a deepish crevasse is a real possibility:

Do you think you could Prussic up a rope with a waist tie on? I'd want to try it first somewhere safe myself.

Also bare in mind you'll pass out pretty quickly if suspended in space from a waist tie on and death from suspension trauma may not be be far behind!

Oo - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Good point, I hadn't fully considered the rescue part with only a waist tie. Looking at the contours, I'm starting to think it might be more of a big ice sheet like Chris suggests. Might have to make an assessment when we get there.

I'm expecting snow cover.

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