#9: bear tracks

2022-03-11 07:15:31am
An easterly wind blew all night but our camp was tucked into the leeward side of a hill and everything blew overhead. Morning brought more fog and we could see little of our descent ahead until half way down. Slowly we came out of the cloud and a sweeping view of the Jinn glacier, the flanking walls and Vendom Valley below began to appear in monochromatic contrast. Towards the bottom we managed a little tobogganing but for much of the descent we employed a braking system under the sled. Once in the valley we had a blissful cruise over frozen lakes, through snowy gullies and past moraine sculptures straight out of a fairy tale. But bear tracks brought everything into sharp focus and the remaining three hours, with clouds now enveloping us, were spent craning necks and straining eyes. We’re now camped in the lower valley with a wide perimeter alarm and an overnight watch shared in hourly intervals among the ten of us. We covered around 16km, temperature is a mild -10 but tomorrow evening down into the minus twenties.
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