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Facing Instability

Facing Instability

“Glaciers are delicate and individual things, like humans. Instability is built into them.”~ Will Harrison

Exhausted and uncomfortable, I had managed to get myself this far out of the bottom of the moulon, but I needed to pause for rest, and to make sure I don't slip out of being fully present to the moment. Half way up, I found a broken pillar of glacial ice large enough for my left boot, but I needed more stability than that if I was going to recover for a few moments. I looked over to my right and found a fractured pillar that I could barely reach my other boot to -- leaning back on my rope with one hand on it and an ice axe readied in the other, I swung my right leg over stabbing the wall with my axe and hoping I judged the delicate ice correctly as I dug my crampons in. I "relaxed" for a few moments, catching my breath, considering how delicate, individual, and ever-changing both of us are.

Photographed down inside a temporary 60' moulon, somewhere on Exit Glacier, Seward, Alaska.