April 2017, Argentinian Patagonia.
We were trodding the mountain trails on our way to Paso Marconi – the portal to the South Patagonian Ice cap, located some 26km from our starting point near the town of El Chalten. This small dwelling, between november and february, becomes home to the creme de la creme of elite alpinism. By the time we left on our “little reconnaissanse mission”, carrying 40-kilos each, over technical trails and glaciers, the town was virtually deserted. Season was over and everyone was back home. The only idiots heading out in the field were the two of us.
Fatigue from the extreme exertion was somewhat dulled by the breath-taking landscapes all around but we knew – it will inevitably take its toll on our bodies.
Ten hours later, we had only covered 12 kilometers. With the sun setting behind looming mountains, and setting fire to Fitzroy’s enormous west face, it was time to set up camp.
Completely exhausted from the day’s work, we just had a quick dinner and zipped up the sleeping bags for a warm and comfy sleep.
In the morning, we woke up quite excited about the day to come.
If we only knew what we were getting into…