To Chaltén, with Love

To Chaltén, with Love,

It hasn’t been long that I’ve known you, but from day one I was totally captured. Before I ever saw your valleys – oh your valleys, those lush river valleys that gracefully lead to the most dramatic rock peaks I have ever glimpsed, oh that beautiful granite that juts forth from the earth, begging to be ascended – (but I digress) I was captured. Your rhythms, your community, your tranquilo ways…I am in love.

Wake up. Enjoy a slow morning with friends. Do a crossword. Or two. Check the meteogram. There’s a window on the horizon! Walk to Verde Limon, chat with Mariana, get fresh food for the day. Run into friends, talk about the weather more. What are people thinking of going for? Talk about bouldering. Perhaps, go bouldering. Or maybe for a run. Eat a Frutigran. Or a whole sleeve. Happy hour at Techado Negro. Maybe we’ll asado tonight. Or tomorrow? La Senyara tonight? And then we’ll Domo, right? Of course, duh. I’ve got 2 credits from that last mission. But empanadas now. Just one. Or two. What are you thinking of doing this window? Approach Thursday, climb Friday, Saturday, get the hell out by Sunday mid-day, right? We’ll try for a peak. Or two. I gotta stock up on some Mantecol.

And so your rhythms go. We head to the hills, and we try really hard, and we get really humbled. We climb up high on the most beautiful ridgelines, on pristine alpine rock, and we look around and feel like the luckiest people on the planet.

And then we come back to you, we celebrate, we swap stories, and we start scheming for the next time.

We are enchanted.

You were so kind to me for my freshman year: t-shirt climbing, no festering, dry, warm rock. Four summits in three consecutive windows: Guillaumet, Mermoz, de l’S, St. Exupéry. Barely a Patagonian experience, but it did the trick. You wooed me in, and now I’m yours. Your part-time lover. When the days begin to shorten and the rain starts to fall in the northern hemisphere, I’ll be back, into your warm, sunny, calm embrace.

Is love blind?

Until next time, my southern amor,


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