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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 32, 04/12/07 - Patagonia Northern Icecap

Still miffed about the where-abouts of my camera, adding to the frustration was the nagging thought that it couldn't be lost because we'd left nothing behind. I think it's more to do with the thought that you want to check your bag but to go outside & do that is such a distressing task. Felt a total knob (getting a habit) when I saw it in the top of Ian's bag with the toilet roll. Even I cringed when I tried to apologise for my endless whinging.

We packed up camp and roped up on the same teams as yesterday; the wind was blowing an absolute gale, a couple of gusts took us clean off our feet. Jaya was having an exceptionally bad day, I kept hearing her crying and squealing with pain every time she tried (and failed) to lift her backpack on; I wanted so badly to get her to belay me in so as I could help but we were too far apart.

The next task was to get over the 'firn' line; I absolutely loved today, I felt fit, energised and Ariel Mark II(sled) was behaving herself a treat, it was like dragging Levi out for a walk! Jaya, Nic & I picked a slightly different line across the firn & crevasse's and I was well chuffed I'd managed to stay on my feet. In the distance we could hear Ben repeatedly shout out Dale, 'Follow my F*cking Footsteps!' and then when Dale eventually did he followed them straight into a hole! Evans was also having a mare of a day, he really didn't like pulling that sled and spent a lot of time on his arse.

Finally we were off the snow-line. Spirits were high and everyone appeared a lot more relaxed & jovial. Again both Nic & I had purple faces and for some reason my lips felt so frozen I was talking like a stroke patient. Jaya, Dale & Ian went to empty to the poo tubes in a crevasse, I think ours was the heaviest - that'll be the Beanfeast!

Ian managed to stand on the poo bag and split the liner meaning he had to hand pick a few nuggets off the snow; I think that's the second time he's had to grapple with our poo. The things you share aeh, special moments!

We made a cash of technical gear & the sleds at the edge of the snowline; in doing so Dale managed to fall backwards over a rock and land directly on Ben's head, squishing his spine, I think Ben's exact words were, 'mother f*cker!' Makes a change from his usual 'pig f*cker' comments.

Today had been very rewarding and it wasn't long before we were back at our familiar camp spot in the forest. It'd been an amazing day, felt like we'd encountered every kind of terrain. Another spider in the tent and after we'd flicked it off it reappeared between the inner & outer tent, Ian then opened the vent right above Nic's head to let some air in; so, so funny! 1st time in a few days we've been relaxed enough to laugh.