A Crack in the Ice

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Don't be surprised when a crack in the ice
Appears under your feet.
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
With your fear flowing out behind you

As you claw the thin ice.

Any movie that takes place in an icebound wasteland like the polar regions should include a scene where someone unexpectedly falls down a crevasse obscured by snow. Another version is for the crevasse to be visible, but crossed by a snow bridge which could collapse under their weight at any time.

Examples of A Crack in the Ice include:

Comic Books

  • In Tintin in Tibet, Tintin falls into a crevasse during a blinding snowstorm. He climbs his way out two hours later, after having found in the ice cave below a stone on which Chang had carved his name.

Film -- Animated

  • Ice Age. The herd is walking on an ice field when a lava flow opens up beneath them, leaving only a thin bridge getting thinner by the minute.

Film -- Live Action

  • The Thing (2011) opens with the Norwegians in a snowcat homing in on a Distress Signal. They discover where it's coming from when the ground opens beneath them and they become wedged in a crevasse with their headlights shining down on a Flying Saucer.
  • The Day After Tomorrow:
    • In the first minutes, a science station has been set up on the Antarctic ice shelf. A crack in the snow appears. Moments later, a crevasse divides the camp in two. Naturally it's Played for Drama.
    • Later, a sled is sucked into a hole that appears in the snow. Moments later it's revealed that it's actually not a crevasse but a hole in the glass roof of a shopping mall buried in the snow!
  • The hero of Photographing Fairies is plagued by guilt over not having saved his wife from falling to her death down a crevasse. At the end of the film, when he is about to die himself, a fairy sends him back in time so he can change the past by saving her.
  • The climax of the 1956 film The Mountain involves a crevasse high in the Alps, with only two ice bridges crossing it. One of them is safe to cross, and the other only looks safe.
  • The documentary film Touching the Void is a real life story of how someone survived this.


  • Maximum Ride: Happens in the fourth book of the series.
  • British comic poet Harry Graham's "Patience":

When ski-ing in the Engadine
My hat blew off down a ravine
My son, who went to fetch it back,
Slipped through an icy glacier's crack
And then got permanently stuck.
It really was infernal luck;
My hat was practically new --
I loved my little Henry too --
And I may have to wait for years
'Til either of them reappears.

  • In the last book of The Tawny Man, Fitz and the Fool fall down one while crossing a glacier. Since Fitz is still under the influence of a drug that negates his telepathic Skill, they cannot call for help from the rest of their party and are forced to find their way through the ice caves on their own, eventually ending up in the White Woman's hideout.
  • In the Warrior Cats novel Night Whispers, Flametail falls into one and dies near the ending.

Live Action TV

  • Due South: Happens in the final episode. Ray Kawalski is trapped in a crevasse in the Canadian tundra.


  • In addition to the Pink Floyd song mentioned above, British Neo Progressive band Arena also used a crack in the ice as a metaphor for... something or other... in their 1998 Concept Album The Visitor.

I defy you to stand
On the crack in the ice
With the power in your hands
On the crack in the ice


Web Comics

  • Happens in this Wally and Osborne strip.
  • In Digger, Digger and Murai fall into a crevasse in a snowfield. Digger is OK, but Murai breaks her arm, and their friends are barely able to pull them to safety.

Real Life