Cordon del Plata: Day 8
“After yesterday´s great climb, last night Jeremy called a group meeting. The group decided that they did not want to stay in the snow and storms at la Hollada much longer. We decided to wake up, dry out the best we could and walk out to the trailhead.
I woke up early this morning in time to see the early red rays of light illuminate Cerros Rincon, Vallecitos and their glaciers. I slowly gathered my things and as the sun finally reached camp, everyone else began to stir, make a quick breakfast and pack their bags. By 11:11, we were off in the snow heading down, down, down, back to green meadows and the heat of summer.
The brutal trail that the team inched up over the course of a week, became a knee pounding decent that took only four hours. The entire hike had a total of two sections that were not very steep and were probably 200 meters in length. The rest was steep, pounding and unrelenting.
As I sit here, my right knee aches and I can’t really extend it too far or fast.
Our hike out finally ended at the San Antonio refuge, also the pick-up point for our bus back to Mendoza. After hours of hot, dusty trails and achy knees, we were thrilled to see the bus, our ticket back to summer, beer, empanadas and all things good in the lowlands.
Then as I approached the refugio, Eliza came to greet me with news: today’s bus is full. No rides back to Mendoza until tomorrow. Argh.
We are now stranded at this little place, hanging out on couches, drinking mate and unwinding. It´s actually not so bad. I think we were all initially disappointed to not have our expectations met, but there’s a bar, a big green lawn where we have been invited to sleep and we now have bathrooms with hot water! After sleeping in the snow at 14,600ft for a few days, sleeping out without my tent seems like a trip to the beach! Que lujo!
Tomorrow we’ll head to Mendoza to reequip, repair our gear and get in touch with our loved ones back home. Life is good.”