Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Hall of Mirrors

When I reported, a few years back, that I'd crossed Iceland's greatest ice cap, the Vatnajokull--a 4,000-square mile expanse of ice, fluffy snow, crevasses, low-blowing mists and snow--I was, playing a bit of mischief, not 'entirely forthcoming'. I crossed the ice cap, as far as the Icelanders themselves were concerned: I'd been out there for 29 days and had very very nearly crossed the ice; but there was a seven-mile long glacier that I did not descend: I was picked up by a snowmobile sent by up the Icelandic Alpine Club to prevent the 'crazy American' from throwing his life away on the descent glacier, and since I could not send away the man (Old Bjarni) who had risked his life to pull me off the glacier, I took the ride off... And so I did not walk into that final hall of mirrors, that seven-mile disaster zone of crevasse fields, that place of more cracks and open space than ice to stand on--and out of a nearly-perfect 100-mile trek, those last seven miles remain untraversed by any person in the Winter season.

Those seven miles have kept me up at night!

Well, I am meaning to rectify that, and I am meaning to be the first person to do it, solo, in the Winter season; I am meaning to go back to Iceland--if the legalities (the whole ice cap is a national park, now) allow. Dozens of things have to be arranged for me to give this a last shot. I am starting on them now.

Flying my paraglider in Alaska is not forgotten; I aim to do both. It is time, now, to get to work!

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