3/25/10: El Chalten, Argentina
Today we did the Laguna de los Tres hike from El Chalten. It’s a 25-km round trip (15-mile) day hike from El Chalten that is supposed to give some of the best views of Mount Fitz Roy.
It turns out that Fitzie was feeling rather shy today and stayed hidden behind a cloud. Since it was so cloudy, we thought it might not actually be worth it to hike all the way to the top if the weather didn’t clear up, especially since we heard the views from the bottom of the ridge were already quite good. So we decided that we would stop at the bottom of the ridge before the one hour climb (which we heard was very rocky and steep and hard and practically IMPOSSIBLE in bad weather), and reassess the situation. Three hours and fifteen minutes after we had started the hike, we hadn’t seen any sign of the bottom of a ridge and had already started climbing up a rocky path.
Z: I think we’ve passed the bottom already.
K: No, I don’t think so. This path isn’t as steep and rocky as they said it would be.
Z: Yeah, but, we’re going up. I really think this is it.
K: No, this can’t be it.
As you might have already guessed, we stupidly had missed the viewpoint from the bottom, wherever that was, and had already unknowingly started climbing up the last part of the trail. We did figure this out eventually, and being the thorough (/stubborn) people that we are, we decided we might as well climb to the top.
When we reached the top, we had a view of snow and some mountains, but not coy Fitzie. He still hid underneath his cloud. I can see how it would be a really great hike on a clear day, but with all the clouds, I really wasn’t sure it had been worth the effort. Kevin, of course, didn’t feel the same way.
“I didn’t know there was a lake up here. Cool! If there wasn’t a lake, I’d say maybe it wasn’t worth it. But there’s a lake!”
Despite the fact that we’re pretty sure “laguna” means lake and this trek is called “Laguna de los Tres” AND despite the fact that there had been pictures of a lake on all of the trail signs, we still somehow never realized there was a lake at the end of the trail. Honestly, I’m not sure how we’ve managed to survive this long on our own.
We hunched down by the side of a big rock to shelter us from the now-howling wind and intermittent rain and ate a sophisticated lunch of tuna on crackers and salami on crackers. At one point a particularly strong gust of wind came by and blew the salami off of my lap and up against a rock next to us. For some reason I found this situation – the salami slices stuck firmly to the side of a rock by the force of the wind – hysterically funny and was rendered immovable from the laughing. Kevin, always the sensible one, calmly peeled the salami off of the rock and we finished our lunch. (Of course we ate the salami. We didn’t have that much food.)
After lunch, we took a few quick photos and decided to head back down to a less-windy altitude. You know, they say Patagonia is the windiest place on earth, and I was just about to mention this fact to Kevin when an unexpectedly ferocious wind started to blow and forced my feet to skitter towards the side of the ridge. I suddenly had visions of myself tumbling off of the edge of the ridge and down the rocky side. It really did not look pleasant. But I couldn’t seem to fight against the wind and I kept getting closer and closer to the edge, so I called to Kevin for help. The word “hysterical” might have been applicable to my attitude here. If I recall correctly, my exact words were: “HELP! I’m going to get BLOWN OFF THE SIDE! HELP ME!!!” What can I say? I’m a panicker. Kevin, who never loses his head in a tough situation (see: flying salami), somehow heard my cry for help over the wind. He made his way carefully toward me, planted his feet wide apart, firmly grabbed my shoulders and held onto me at arm’s length until the wind died down. Now that Kevin was fully anchoring me to the ground, I calmed down enough to look at him and laugh at how ridiculous I had been. Of course I would never get blown off the edge of a cliff when Kevin was around!
I am so glad I married him.
Puzzles for Postcards
Rhyme Time… Special Edition, take two! Someone didn’t understand the rules yesterday and blew it for all the real non-winners out there, so here’s one more chance for the non-winners to earn their postcards. Good luck! (And nice job, Amy.)
Friends Edition Rhyme Time:
Ross and Monica’s rooms for storing wine
Tribbiani covered in white wintery flakes
Picture of the Day: Turn left at the trees with the mossy faces on them. Then hike two more hours.