Three images today that were taken within a span of ten minutes on a high altitude walk that I have walked many times – and no two occasions have been the same.
The first shows one of the remarkable sights of compacted ice. Think of the annular rings in a tree trunk for a moment and how they count the years. In ice, the compacted layers count individual snow falls. The dark layers are formed of sediment, debris, pollution perhaps, and even Saharan sand.
The second is s little further on – a steep slope of snow and ice above the track. The top third composed of compacted swirls of ice below which lies snow not yet melted, stained by dust and grit through which runs a thin fissure which over time will become a deeper and wider crevasse.
Finally the ice slope below the previous two images. A sheet of crazed, cracked, fragmented ice. As if a giant with a blade has incised the surface in a moment of madness.
All within ten minutes and probably two hundred yards of walking. Glacial ice always takes me by surprise, sometimes with its elegance, and at other times by the rawness of its chaos.