Then they started the 'we might not get to the top, the wind is getting worse, the snow is too hard etc' story, trying to prepare us for failure. Apparently the problem was mainly the fact that it had rained the day before (and most of the last week). The top third was hard ice; it was getting more and more difficult to punch our crampons through the ice to get a grip. They were communicating by walkie talkie with the other groups. Nobody had made it to the top; some groups were waiting at the final ridge for the wind to die down to give it a go.
Most of our group had already given up. We were losing people and guides as we went; they would stay behind at certain points and wait for us. Elizabeth did not want to give up; one of her many impressive qualities, her courage and determination, if Elizabeth makes up
|Elizabeth and Spock|
|Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go...|
Still an amazing experience, still brilliant views, but when they ask me on my deathbed, "What's your one regret?" I will probably say, "Not getting to the top of that bloody volcano."
A word from Elizabeth:
"I sit on beautiful Playa Blanca on the shore of Lago Caburgua under an umbrella with alternating panels of purple & orangey gold. Families are all around me sunning, swimming & sitting under equally colourful umbrellas. We're nestled among mountains & green forest and surrounded by the sounds of noisy happiness. The highest peak to the east still has remnants of winter snow on it. Gotta be one of the prettiest places in Chile. A perfect 27 degree day with the lightest of breezes & the lake water cool enough to make the skin tingle. Beautiful blue blue sky untainted by clouds. An idyllic end to a wonderful week. So glad we decided to start our year in Pucon."
|Playa Grande with its black volcanic sand|