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Published: April 30th 2006
Crampons. I like Crampons. When on icy terrain such as a glacier I find that 12 sharp spikes are very useful for gripping. If I was to guess the evolution of footwear on ice, I would say it goes something like this:
- Hobnail Boots
- Crampons (with spikes)
- Crampons (with front spikes, for walking uphill)
So, given how good crampons are at what they do I wonder why the Franz Jospef glacier guides provide us with the spike free Talonz(TM). Crampons without spikes. Spikes being the things that grip. So two steps backwards in Evolution. No front points, no spikes. Just plain stupid. Anyway... enough of my rant.
Today I went up to explore the Franz Josef glacier - but got a lift up the first 6km by Helicopter! The flight was AMAZING. We flew up the glacier, over crevasses and seracs and under the shadow of towering cliffs before flying up round and over the accumulation zone. We then turned round and zigzagged down the glacier before landing on the ice and disembarking.
We then spent 2 hours wandering over the ice, crawling through tunnels and between cracks, and hopping over small crevasses. I
can't say that the actual ice time was my favourite - the Talonz were useless in comparison to crampons and the pace was painfully slow.
Finally I got a return flight back down to Franz Jospef village. The helicopter flight was definitely the highlight of my day, and perhaps of my trip so far... and dad, I think I've found your ideal job!
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