Perhaps because of the wet weather, or maybe because I’m trying to fill the skiing void. (When have you seen an Alpine climber descending on foot with a shit eating grin on his face?) But this season I’ve been lusting hard after new mountain bikes. After my first foray into bikepacking earlier this month, I’ve been no less than super-psyched on bike adventures.

I think it’s more the possible adventures that each bike represents, not so much the bikes themselves. Because of unsettled weather in the Alps this season, I’ve also been doing a more than normal amount of glacier trekking. Bare glacier ice is an interesting beast. It’s slick yet tacky. Dangerous yet safe. Flat but also rough. I wonder if you could ride a bike on such a substance?

Well, it turns out you can. And actually quite easily.

Okay. Let me first explain a few things… First,  this was a dry glacier, meaning all the crevasses are exposed and therefore you don’t have as much of a “falling into the mountain” hazard. Second, Geoff and I know this glacier well from many days spent teaching ice climbing courses.

Yes, it was kinda sketchy and I would recommend hiring a guide (I would suspect I’m the only IFMGA guide in the universe that might guide such a thing) if you are at all interested in something so perverse.

Overall, Our adventure ended up going relatively smoothly. I coached Geoff on the inticacies of strapping one’s bike to one’s backpack and helped him accept that we were mostly adventuring with our bikes as opposed to adventuring on our bikes.

Pugsley is the perfect bike for Glacier ridingSurly Pugsley. The perfect glacier riding bike

I suspect that the perfect beast for such an adventure would be a fat bike. A Surly Pugsley or something similar would be most excellent, but don’t let that dissuade you from going out on your MTB and giving her a go.

Jumping a crevasse with a mountain bike