Wednesday, January 9, 2008

the patagonia trip: Alpine Eve

We woke after 9am to a chilly but beautiful day. After breakfast of hot cereal we were soon having endless mate with Ivo. Then Ivo and I watched as spectators of a very slow sport: Dave searching for the slow leak in his Thermarest. First there was a visual inspection, then a soapy sponge trial, followed by stripping down and dunking the whole thing in a slow section of the stream.

 As the day progressed, the three of us, alone in our camp, fell into a rhythm of social interaction. First we'd hang out as three, then break and do individual chores, which would give way to being social in pairs, then the third would join, and so on. 

 We cooked a nice lunch with a sauce made with Ivo’s fresh veggies and our pasta and tomato paste. We played on a slack line, with Ivo showing us how it’s done and Dave and I trying to make our first steps. 

Abruptly, Ivo took off for a walk. A short time later he returned to tell us that he’s found a boulder with a crack that we should go play on.

 A short walk on and off a trail brought us to a short granite boulder with a left leaning crack, a small corner that made for a difficult pinch and a sloppy under cling. We took turns exploring the holds and the movement possible between them. I felt weak and self conscious at first, but soon found a groove and enjoyed the movement on the rock.

When we returned, Christian had arrived. He told us that the weather might be good the next day and that we’d attempt the Monzino route on the North Tower. Dave and I, in almost panicked excitement, set about organizing our gear and getting ready. We bedded at almost 1am to clear, star studded skies. Our wake-up time was 2:30am.

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