To start, it was about a fifteen minute hike from the drop off point to the base of the glacier. On the way, a girl wiped out on the trek and at the glacier base said she wanted to go back and wait at the bus. You could see the “What the f*ck was I thinking?” face as she left us.
After getting our crampons and axes ready, we were super pumped to get started.
We only trekked for about three minutes on the glacier before my crampon got caught on something and I wiped out. My knees and palms took the brunt of the fall, and I just laid there feeling the cool ice touch my face and said, “Are you f*cking kidding me?”
Our amazing guide, Stella, and a gorgeous Welsh (later identified as Matthew) guide were by my side so quickly trying to help me get up, I honestly wondered if I’d been knocked out. They immediately were trying to help me up, and all I could say was, “Can I just have a minute?” Because I knew the face I was wearing, the same one I saw the girl wearing when she left us at the base of the glacier.
I could feel snot running out of my nose onto the ice, I could see the small dents from the crampons that had successfully walked through before me, and I could feel my knees throb and hands shake and held back tears that were desperately looking for an exit.
These are the moments in life that I simultaneously dread and look forward to. It’s very obvious there are two choices, only two choices, and each one rewards and teaches differently.
I can go back down. And that will be okay.
Or, I can tell Stella and Matthew I’m ready to get back up and keeping hiking this glacier.
So I chose the latter.
My reward? The whole earth aglow standing on the largest glacier in Europe with a group of phenomenal women.
The lesson? That I can do it. Whatever “it” is. The bruises are insane, but the story is better.
I hiked a fucking glacier. And my clumsy ass will do it again, too.