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  • Fly to: Santiago, Chile

  • Internal Transfer: Santiago - Cohaique

  • Visa required: Not if British

  • Currency:Chilean Peso

  • Time Zone:-3hrs GMT

  • Journal:Click here

Day 11, 14/11/07 - Patagonia Northern Icecap

Left the tents pitched, and headed out at 8:00am for a day learning snow skills. Weather was gorgeous and we covered snow anchors, the 4 ways to self-arrest, practiced glacial roping up. Ariel was clearly attempting to replicate a giant caterpillar in her attempts to start a slide from which to arrest, bet she's glad she's got her go-faster helmet on!?

Next came the embarrassing; no, no the humiliating moment when Ariel stood on the rope with her snow shoes! OMG!! The nerve shredding, brain piercing, neuron bursting shriek from Jaya of, 'ARJA DON'T STEP ON THE ROPE!!' Now any normal functioning human being would have shuddered, convulsed or even winced under such an outburst but no, Arja merely responded by...yep, you've guessed it, stepping on the rope for the second time! She's unique I'll give her that!

We then roped up into two teams, Ariel was in the same team as me, and in all honesty I was left thinking, 'OMG, I don't trust this woman or her ability & under no circumstances do I want to be roped up to her on a glacier'. It's got to the point that I'm starting to be worried about my personal safety in her presence, hey let's not under egg the situation with her on my rope I'd be worried for my LIFE!

We returned back down to camp where, after dinner we practiced a tree (virtual crevasse) ascent using a Texan Prusset. It was hilarious, Ariel (now dubbed the 'crazy frog') couldn't get off the floor, I really, really wanted to laugh out loud but instead just had to pretend that I hadn't noticed it had taken 10mins for her to ascend 2cm - classic manoeuvre.

Eventually we bedded down for the night, I was just nodding off when Ariel announced that we needed to have a discussion about what we should do in order to make the girl's tent team happier & more efficient...oh joy, just the conversation to be having when I'm just about to fall asleep, and we're suppose to be getting up at 3:30am. Comments like, walk you off a cliff, bury you alive or suffocate you in your sleep all sprung to mind but instead I think the only point suggested was, 'there are loads of jobs around camp to do, if you see someone doing one, just do something else'. As usual Ariel's response to everything was to repeatedly say 'yes'. To begin with I'd thought this was to verbally demonstrate her understanding of what was being said, but at this stage of the trip I now believe that she merely answered 'yes' to everything irrespective of her understanding, or whether she had any intention of acting upon her acknowledgement.

I can't think that anything else was said that night, but that may have been because I really was falling asleep.

Perhaps it's me being too harsh on the woman, perhaps she genuinely can't see what group jobs need doing around camp, perhaps the minute she takes off her 'crazy frog' attire she loses all her super powers...who knows? What needs to be made clear here is that the night's task, in fact every nights' task was to try desperately to fall asleep before Ariel!