Polar Explorer Eric Larsen
Cowboy up - Patagonia style
rainy and 50 degrees F
10 December 2014
Compared with Pekin and his son Louis, we seemed more like characters from Star Trek, than hardcore adventurers. Us with bright Helly Hansen jackets, DeLorme inReach, cameras and more. Louis with a wool sweater and sash, knife tucked in a belt behind his back.

We at Clif Bars and drank Skratch. After a stray cow slipped and broke its neck, Louis and his partner butchered it in about 10 minutes. Its not that I don't possess many similar skills, but it is awe inspiring to people so completely competent in their environment. Bad trail, surly horse, ice bergs... We are discovering this place for the first time. But Louis and Pekin this is their back yard. Its vast and wild.

After a long horse ride through fields and forests, along ridge lines and through lakes, we were unceremoniously dropped on another overlook farther away from Balmaceda Glacier than we hoped.

About the same time, it started raining.

We quickly packed up half our gear and started bushwhacking. I'll spare you the gorier details of trying to navigate through thorns, swamps and wet rocks but with the weather worsening (again) we made the decision to make camp near an old glacial moraine - the only slightly clear piece of ground we'd seen in several hours.

All told, we spent nearly 12 hours on the trail and despite being as positive and full of energy as I've ever seen anyone, young Josiah fell immediately asleep before I even had a chance to light our MSR stove.

Image: Louis taking a break.
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