The weather was spectacular. Warm and sunny with a few clouds hanging around to remind you that the weather could turn, if it so desired. As we left the parking lot there were only a few cars. It looked as if we might not have a lot of company.
Robert started out showing me a few of the standard techniques. French Technique was first on the menu so off we went. Pied Marche, Pied canard, pied a plat, Crunching along the ice with that signature sound of all twelve points contacting the ice. Up down and all around we went like a child in a supermarket. I was going left, then I was going right, up the slope sometimes and down the slope.
Next came the transitional practice. Going from French to front points and then returning to French. Lap after lap we went till I was starting to feel comfortable with the balance and how hard to kick my front points in order that they would stick. After that round of 20-30 min. It was time to start working with the tools a bit.
How to get a good stick. How to pick a placement. When to use Piolet Canne vs Piolet poignard (dagger) and pied troisieme positions. As an American who only took two feeble years of French, which was taught by a Swiss instructor in Japanese. I can say it was, is and will be a while before I can sit down and tell you all of the proper French words to define what my arms and feet are doing.
We marched along around the glacier getting a chance to see many beautiful view and colors that seem to be only located in the mountains. Reserved for the private viewing of those Mountaineers bold enough to seek them out.
We finally headed into a space between to seracs that looked promising. Promising for: A. A 70-80 degree angle slope to allow me to practice my techniques. B: A section that would provide vertical Ice for a bit more challenge if so desired. Then it was cimbing time.
A last parting shoot at what I would call the "Alpine Playground".