Friday, 23 November 2012

4:55 PM, 10th November

Right now I'm huddled in my tent hoping for the storm to pass. The north fights the south in a battle of the winds outside. But how did it get to this? I'll explain.

So this morning I woke up at roughly 7:20, ate and set about getting a day pack ready for a little expedition up the valley of the frenches. I hiked up alone, finding a few people when I arrived at the first mirador; the wind was remarkably powerful; walking was useless so i crawled over the first mirador and made it to some shelter amongst the trees just below the ridge line. The wind was blunted by the trees allowing hiking to resume normally.



Another hour of hiking through snowy forest paths and I made it to the end of the valley, the second mirador.





The second mirador looked back on the Cuernos mountains, with Cerro Espada, Cerro Hoja, Cerro Mascara and Cuernos Norte all vanishing in the dark clouds; only to show their true form by sunlight.




Behind me on the opposite valley stood the darkest and most imposing mountain I've ever seen Cumbre Principal, 3050 metres  of jagged black rock jutting sinisterly through the clouds. After 20 minutes at the top I decided to head back down.

The way down was fast, running through the falling snow I stopped to dare myself to jump into a partly frozen river. I've swam across glacier rivers before but none that have frozen banks and bits of ice floating in them. It was refreshing and brought about that air of spontaneity born of all things off the cuff.

I sat in the snow beneath an overhang and played guitar, letting the breeze dry my skin.




After making it back to my tent I made some lunch and decided to battle the seemingly agitated wind by napping. That was three hours ago. In a moment I'll get up, if I see that the trees are fairing poorly in the now angry wind I might move on to Cuernos, in hopes of finding protection from the onslaught of the storm.