and there is no dead body, so I must be on the right trail
02.29.2012 - 03.03.2012 58 °F
Arriving in El Chalten has been a mixed blessing. Prices are sky high, camping is crowded. So it´s time to hit the woods once again where I can find peace and quiet. So I went for a walkabout.
After visiting Cerro Torre, which was awesome, I went on a 4 day trek up Cerro Huemul, to see the third largest ice field in the world. The arctic and Antarctica are the largest, but this was a freeway or glacier longer than the eye can see. The national Park Guy was pretty pathetic at giving any information, basically he said ¨we are trying to keep it wild, and we have no maps, go find one somewhere else, and don´t go alone.¨ He was not the least bit helpful and probably lacking a girlfriend or wife I surmised. So I left him and went on my way. Weather forecast was sunny one day out of three, and get out by Friday or I will regret it.
So off I went. Luckily, my biker buddies Kristof and Doris would be out in the wild also, so if I needed to steal pasta, I knew where to find it. Headed into the woods, to get to the glacier, I had to cross a river. One of the coldest miserable experiences of my trip.... I had to cross a good seven times to keep the water below my knees. Imagine sitcking your body in a pool of ice over and over again, and walking on river stones between dips. That is how I started my morning. Then ascended above the mountains and through the fields.
Crossed this glacier field, over the summit pass, and there it was, the third largest ice field. Not bad, a super highway of ice. Nature has impressed me yet again. And I had two good buddies to celebrate with.
On the descent days later, I walked to the head of the glacier. Wow.
Massive blocks of ice right in front of my campsite. The blue was amazing. A huge storm hit that night, with howling winds, trees down, and rain dumping from the sky. So I built a shelter for my bivy. I love you bivy.
Luckily the howling wind and massive rain knocked the ice off the glacier and I woke up to over 75 icebergs at my front door. I got to see whales, sharks, even dinosaurs. It was pretty awesome.
And then time to head home. Imagine this scenario. last moments before getting to the highway, I have to cross another river. I was told not to go on to a man´s property, either his dog bites or he carries a gun and makes women sit and drink alcohol with him. Nonetheless, the river was quiet high and super fast. So I walked along his property to the bay, trying to find the safest crossing. None. So I resigned myself to cross where the water was deep, but not fast. I took off my shoes, as I don´t want wet feet for the next 4 days, and even my pants. Crossed 4 times, hoping a boat wouldn´t come by, and I was butt naked literally, and the water rose up to my sports bra. Finally when I made the last crossing, I threw my backpack onto shore... and BAM, dropped my shoes in the river. DOH!!! And then it began to rain. I didn´t know whether to laugh or cry.
Luckily I was able to hitch the last section of road home, as to not get too wet.