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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 38, 10/12/07 - Patagonia Northern Icecap

Today was spent ice climbing in a Moulin; it was pretty enjoyable though towards the end of the day being confined in the same hole was getting slightly monotonous. I was itching to get out & wander; we were in such a beautiful environment it seemed a shame to stay in one place. I think personally I would have preferred to combine the climbing with traversing somewhere; irrespective of this though it was a good day & a lot was leant.

Dale, Evans & Nic decided to climb up the waterfall section of the Moulin; brave decision by all accounts as it required a massive degree of determination. Dale tried, tried, tried again & eventually gave in; the ice appeared to be impenetrable by the axe swings. Evans was next to try; fair play young sir, after struggling on the initial stages he was soon up and over the ledge - good show chap! Nic was the third to give it a go, she seemed to take an eternity, and we were hanging on to her every scream, squeal and of course every swear word! The noise merely confirmed the magnitude of the task in hand but fair play, mission accomplished!

Whilst heading back to the tent Nic & I began collecting white rocks in order to build a white cairn from which to hang Sue's scarf. Ian cooked dinner and I took one of the packs to fill with rocks. I'd clearly overfilled it as I struggled like hell to get it on my back, then I stepped over a small pool and one foot slipped straight off some black ice (& black ice is very black!), the pool was exceptionally deep and my foot had sunk to just over my knee.

As I'm flat on my back fighting against the weight in the pack and desperately trying to stop myself from slipping further; Nic appeared on the far bank; thank f*ck I thought, then she shouted something and vanished - OMG! Help I'm stuck!

Eventually after mimicking a crab's mating ritual I managed to waggle myself out; shaken but not too stirred, well actually I was crapping my pants a bit! We both carried on building the cairn and eventually it was finished and what a fine job we'd made of it - even if I do say so myself!