SAVING, CHECKPOINTS & TECH SUPPORT: This game incorporates autosave checkpoints. If you only rely on one save slot, you may run into trouble if you get stuck, encounter a bug, or if your autosave becomes corrupted. To avoid problems, I highly recommend changing your save slot in the pause menu at least once per level. If you encounter a bug that can't be fixed by restarting the game, reloading a different save, restoring a backup save in the Xbox version, or rebuilding the game cache in the PC version, I encourage you to visit the Official Rise of the Tomb Raider Support Forum and or put in a support request with Square Enix. I also have PC save files for download.
AREA 4: GLACIAL CAVERN
Camps: Mongolian Passage Weapons/Gear: none
Relics: 3 Documents: 4 Murals: none Coin Caches: none Survival Caches: none Strongboxes: none
Monoliths: none Archivist Maps: 1 Explorer Satchels: none
Challenge Tombs/Codices: 1 Challenges: none
Area Maps: Glacial Cavern
NOTE: document, relic, and strongbox locations are fixed; however, the exact items found in each spot may vary depending on the order in which you find them.
OBJECTIVE: Follow the Mongolian Path and Search for Signs of the Lost City
CAVERN ENTRANCE: Move forward to a steep drop-off. You could take a running jump forward and attempt to latch onto the ice wall, but it's not strong enough to hold Lara's weight. To save her from a minor fall, instead just drop down into the tunnel below on the left. (Avoid the deep chasm on the right.) Slide down the slope and then turn around. Above on the right is where you came in. Climb the short ice wall on the left to find a document (1/4), Shores of Svetloyar from The Hunter series, which confers Russian proficiency as well as XP. The climbable wall on the other side of the gap leads back to the start. So turn around, drop down, and follow the tunnel down into the cavern. (screenshots)
LOW-CEILINGED CAVERN WITH POOL: Follow the passageway until it widens into a small cavern. On the left is a box containing a relic (1/3), a Bone Arrowhead from the Mongolian Invasion set. Rotate the view and zoom in/out on the tip of the arrow for more info and XP. Then wade into the shallow pool, hold LT/Right Mouse/L2 to dive below the surface, and then swim forward through the arched opening into an icy tunnel. (screenshot)
WATER-FILLED TUNNELS: A little way into the tunnel you can come up for air and swim forward on the surface. Just before the next brick archway, swim through the short ice tunnel on the right. (screenshot) Surface in a small chamber containing a salvage crate and another relic (2/3). This one is a Paiza, also part of the Mongolian Invasion set. (screenshot) Examine the back for more info and XP. Then swim back to the main tunnel and surface for air. Then turn right and swim through the arched opening and forward into a larger cavern.
BASE CAMP: Wade out of the water near the Mongolian Passage Base Camp. You can pause here to upgrade gear, spend Skill Points if you have any, or just warm up. Now that you've discovered your second base camp, you can FAST TRAVEL between them using that section of the base camp menu. Later you'll discover many more such camps, and once you've beaten the game you'll even be able to revisit Syria this way.
Open the box to the left of the campfire to find some supplies. I found hardwood and mushrooms; not sure if it's random. (screenshot) Grab some herbs from the cylindrical container in the far right corner of the cavern. Then head up the ice ramp on the left and jump past the falling water into the tunnel ahead. (screenshot)
NOTE: On the harder difficulty settings, some of the base camps require hardwood in order to start a fire and activate the base camp interface. I assume the box here will always contain wood for that purpose. If you're playing on Seasoned Raider or Survivor, you probably won't be reading this anyway, but try to keep a little hardwood in reserve for future camps.
CHASM WITH WOODEN LEDGES AND SHIPWRECK: Proceed through the tunnel into a large cavern. A pop-up warns of an optional Challenge Tomb nearby. Jump across the gap and grab the wooden ledge ahead, Pull up and follow the ledge around to the right for a majestic view of a Byzantine ship embedded in the ice. Jump across the gap on the right, latch onto the ice wall with your axes, and climb to the top. Enter the passageway ahead, scramble onto the wooden ledge, and continue to the left. (screenshots)
I highly recommend completing the challenge tombs, since the rewards are well worth the effort. Also note that unlike Tomb Raider (2013), "optional" tombs may contain documents and relics. If you prefer to skip this one, continue along the wooden walkway. You'll find the tunnel leading to the level exit on the right, just before the end of the path. (Pick up the main walkthrough below.)
To reach the challenge tomb, proceed about halfway along the wooden walkway, step out onto the wooden spar and jump across the chasm to latch onto the ice wall. Then climb up to the decorated archway. Get some herbs from a container on the left of the archway. Then go through.
ICE SHIP CHALLENGE TOMB: Walk out to the end of the wooden ledge and jump to grab the bar above the red banner. Then climb onto the wooden mast above. When you reach the ship's deck, climb onto the ledge above. (screenshots)
Position Lara next to the metal gear assembly and press Interact repeatedly to pry off the large hook with your axe. This lowers an ornate golden bucket full of ice off to your right. Go around to the left, look inside the cylindrical container for some herbs, then scramble up the wall onto the mast above. Walk all the way out to the end of the mast, then onto the spar that juts out to the left. Jump from the end of the spar to grab the handle on the bucket, which then swings forward, smashing the ice wall ahead. Wait for the bucket to settle before dropping down onto the ledge below, or Lara will fall into the chasm instead. (screenshots)
Examine the document (2/4) sitting next to one of the skeletons. It is titled Impossible Pursuit and belongs to the Glacial Cavern series. It confers Greek language skill along with XP. Pick some mushrooms miraculously growing out of the frost near the other skeleton. (screenshot)
Now you can climb the wall on the right that was previously blocked by ice. At the top, climb to the left and pull up onto the ledge. Use your climbing axe to turn the crank here by pressing Interact and then swiveling the left analog stick counterclockwise or holding A (Left) on the keyboard. This lowers a second ornate bucket on the other side of the ship. Continue cranking until the bucket is as low as it will go. Then release the crank and run out onto the mast. As you run, the bucket rises. You need to reach it before it gets too high, but don't run and jump, since it's easy to fall. Just move quickly to the end of the spar and then jump to grab the handle on the bucket. The bucket then swings forward smashing the ice wall. (screenshots)
Again, wait for the bucket to carry Lara over to the ledge before you let go. Then jump across the gap to grab the ledge on the left and climb the ice wall above it. At the top of the ice wall, jump up to grab the lower of the two oars embedded in the ice. Jump again to grab the higher oar, and then press Interact for a saving grab. Climb to the right and jump to grab onto the embedded beam. (screenshots)
At the top of the ice wall, jump up to grab the lower of the two oars embedded in the ice. Jump again to grab the higher oar, and then press Interact for a saving grab. Climb to the right and jump to grab onto the embedded beam. Continue climbing to the right until you can pull up onto a small ledge. Then scramble up the wall onto the wide ledge above. (screenshots)
Collect 2 Byzantine coins lying on the ground. (It looks like about 20, but trust me even Lara is not so lucky.) Move forward to find more treasure. There's a lot of stuff you can't take, plus a jar with some herbs inside, 2 bunches of arrows, and a document (3/4), The Captain's Revenge from the Glacial Cavern series. Examine it for XP and Greek language skill. There's also an Archivist Map on the table to the right. Examining it reveals the locations of any unfound relics and documents on your map. (It says murals rather than documents, but there are no murals in this level.) (screenshots)
Finally, go up the steps and examine the codex titled Ancient Abilities. Doing so unlocks a special skill without having to spend any points. By reading this book, Lara learns a Byzantine technique that allows her to "Quickly shoot up to two successive arrows without the delay of redrawing from the quiver. Rapid fire arrows by quickly pressing and releasing RT/Left Mouse after an arrow is first shot." Codices are technically documents, though they are not marked as such on your map or counted as documents in the total for the level. However, if you want to learn more Byzantine lore, look for Ancient Abilities in the Codices section of the Documents screen in your inventory. (screenshots)
When you're ready to move on, turn around and go to the left side of the ledge overlooking the chasm. Slide down the rope line, drop onto the icy slope, and slide into the tunnel below. (screenshots)
TUNNEL TO THE EXIT: Immediately after sliding down the icy slope from the challenge tomb, look to the left to spot the next relic (3/3), an Enamel Brooch from the Tokens of Faith set. If you've skipped the challenge tomb and come up the path from below, it's at the very end of the path on the right. (screenshot) Examine it for XP and Greek.
If you turn around after examining the relic, the passageway leading out of this area is just across a deep hole on the left. Jump across, latch on to the ice wall with your axes, and climb into the tunnel above. (screenshot) Follow this tunnel, jumping across two gaps where the floor has disappeared. Just beyond the second gap, there are 2 Byzantine coins lying on the ground. (screenshot)
Continue forward until the tunnel ends in a shallow pool. (screenshot) Wade in, dive down (LT/Right Mouse/L2), and swim forward as quickly as you can. (Move forward while holding B/Shift/Circle to swim faster.) The passage splits but both sides end up in the same place. Staying to the right seemed a little faster, but I'm not completely sure about that. (screenshot) Lara's lungs are about to burst when you finally reach the other side. Don't waste a bandage healing. On the easier difficulty settings, Lara will heal automatically once she's out of danger. If you're playing on the harder settings without automatic health regeneration, you just need to make it a little farther before a cutscene kicks in. Lara will then start the next level with full health.
Climb out of the water and turn around to spot the last document (4/4) lying on the ground beside the pool. (screenshot) This is The Frozen Wastes from The Hunter series. Examining it gives you XP and the skill to translate Level 1 Russian, provided you've found all the Russian documents up to this point. If not, you'll get there soon.
Head away from the pool, follow the ledge on the left, and then scramble up the stone wall. (screenshot) Continue along the path to the next level and a cutscene in which Lara makes a new friend. Almost.... Sort of.... OK, not really.
REVISITING THIS AREA LATER IN THE GAME
There's only one base camp in this level. So if you missed anything the first time through, just fast travel back to the Mongolian Passage Base Camp or the Installation Vista Base Camp in the Soviet Installation and retrace your original route along the tunnels to find whatever you need.
The separate GLACIAL CAVERN COLLECTIBLES GUIDE can also help locate any major items.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 11/29/15 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
11/30/15 - Added note about needing hardwood to light the campfire on the harder difficulty settings, thanks to a heads-up from Marie.
1/28/16 - Added PC keyboard controls and made a few minor tweaks.
4/4/16 - Added Collectibles Guide and notes on revisiting this level.
10/11/16 - Added PS4 controls.
12/26/16 - Added a few notes about the harder difficulty settings after completing the game on Survivor.
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