12:30 pm

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Now that we're on the downhill part of the trek I'd expected to be bounding down the steps. Turns out I'm even slower going down than I am climbing up.

The ice covering the rocky steps compounds my anxiety about possibly falling and smashing my face into a rock. Before we take each step we have to assess the rocks or slope ahead to look for a non-icy part to step on. Sometimes there are none, and my stomach clenches in fear as I ready myself for the feeling of slippery ice beneath my sole, preparing to break a fall if it happens. The DSLR camera slung round my neck is actually affecting my balance at this point (and to be honest I would protect it with my body in a fall haha), so Sumit kindly offers to hold it for me.

Not fun at all, but the combined charm of snow and nature did make the experience a little better.

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