A masked ball on a glacier? Or why you should remember your sunglasses

Have you ever found yourself on a glacier in bright sunshine, without good eye protection? Ok, so it really shouldn't happen to a guidebook publisher, but due to a chain of events that I won't bore you with, I ended up in just that situation.


It's well known that you can risk seriously damaging your eyes with prolonged unprotected exposure to bright snow and ice. We had to find a solution.

As I wear glasses anyway, we at least had a framework around which to create something to minimise the amount of light coming into my eyes.

But what to use? When you're trekking, you tend to carry the minimum of supplies in order to save weight. The choices of materials we had at our disposal were duck tape, wound dressing tape, paper - which we would have to somehow attach, and aluminium foil - which would come from unwrapping and eating the final batch of home made flapjack I'd brought from home. All the tapes threatened to make a sticky mess of my specs, so we chose the foil.

In true Blue Peter fashion, we delicately unwrapped the flapjack, and Joe began to fashion my new protective eyewear. The foil was pretty thin budget stuff from our local supermarket, so the operation wasn't without technical hitches, but finally the finished product rolled off the production line.

Stunning... Shiny...Ok, seriously embarrassing!

Crossing the glacier, we passed one or two groups travelling in the opposite direction. People just couldn't keep their eyes off me. Can't imagine why. At least nobody knew who I was. Neither Jonathan nor Joe could look at me without falling about in uncontrolled laughter.

Finally we reached the edge of the glacier and I was able to remove my tinfoil. Fortunately my eyes felt fine, and, despite appearances, I hadn't cooked like a Christmas turkey!

And the moral of this story is, remember your sunglasses!

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