crevasse kri-ˈvas noun
: a deep fissure
The word crevasse has appeared in 42 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Jan. 3 in the Opinion essay “The First Solo Antarctic Traverse” by David Roberts:
In 1996, Mr. Ousland navigated by compass and the sun during the day, tracing his route on sketchy 1:250,000 maps, and used an unwieldy, early-generation GPS device at night in his tent to check his position. The silence and solitude posed psychological challenges of their own. As he later wrote, “It generally takes 10 to 14 days to find the inner harmony needed to survive in such an unforgiving world. But when it all comes together, being so totally alone is also a good experience.”
Early on, he fell through a snow bridge into a hidden crevasse and was saved only by strong titanium bars linking him to his sled, which served as a dead-weight anchor. If he needed rescue, he could have activated an Argos beacon that sent a mere dot of his location to a colleague in Norway. The only hope of evacuation was a Twin Otter airplane stationed at the Patriot Hills base camp in Antarctica more than a thousand miles away by the end of his trip.