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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. Compare Ominous Crack and Danger Thin Ice.


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    Comic Books 
  • Tintin: 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 (the friend he's searching Tibet for) had carved his name.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.

    Films — 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.
    • Subverted later in the movie when 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.
  • In the film The Golden Compass, this happens when Lyra is crossing a bridge of ice and narrowly makes it to the other side as it collapses.
  • The Red Tent (1969). The survivors of an airship crash in the Arctic barely escape drowning when the ice floe breaks apart beneath the eponymous tent.
  • Everest (2015) has a scene where the party is crossing a large break in the ice on a ladder when an avalanche nearly knocks one of them off.
  • Iceman (1984). A sudden crevasse appears between Shephard and Charlie, splitting them up to enable the climatic scene.

  • 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.
  • Declare. Andrew Hale falls into one while climbing Mount Ararat, but is saved because he's roped to the spetsnaz team climbing with him. He nearly lets himself fall though because there's an Eldritch Abomination staring back at him from the abyss, compelling him to release his carabiner...

    Live-Action TV 

  • 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
  • The Metallica song "Trapped Under Ice", which involves someone falling through a crack in an ice sheet and drowning/freezing to death.
  • As does Kate Bush's song "Under Ice", which goes from a picturesque story about skating to pure Nightmare Fuel in under two minutes.

  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • This is the fate of Luke and possibly Bonnie, if you choose to cover Luke instead of trying to help him in The Walking Dead: Season Two, Episode 5. Thanks to an injured leg, Luke falls through the ice and can't recover. Clementine can find him attempting to claw his way out from under the ice, but no matter what, she can't save him.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: The Glacial Strata have a few pre-existing cracks that will form an actual crevasse if you step on them, leading to an annoying and sometimes painful fall. Climbing out is less of a problem since you have a pickaxe and Dwarven digging prowess.

  • 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.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Falling into and miraculously escaping from a crevasse was one of the many trials that climber Joe Simpson had to go through during his descent from Siula Grande in the Andes. It should be mentioned that he had a broken leg at the time and was suffering from hypothermia. The whole story is recounted in the book and film Touching The Void.


Video Example(s):


Tangled: The Series

Frederic and Arianna face serious near-fatal danger when a blizzard strikes.

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Main / ACrackInTheIce

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