Polar Explorer Eric Larsen
Exploring in the Rain
rainy and 50 degrees F
11 December 2014
While I may have longed for the life of a vaquero yesterday, today it was technology that saved the day - specifically our Helly Hansen gear as we spent eight solid hours route finding in a driving rain with wind gusts that regularly knocked us over (We estimated several gusts reached 60 mph.

I don't know - maybe I've been living in Colorado too long and its 300 days of sunshine every year.

By comparison, it started raining yesterday afternoon and hasn't stopped since.

Still, I love this weather - bad weather. Any bad weather. I like being outside when most people would rather stay in. There's no such thing as cold weather, just not enough layers. In today's case, exchange cold with wet and layers with HH gear. Sorry to keep going on and on about it but, we have been pushing our gear to thee maximum.

Our goal today was to scout access to the Balmaceda Glacier. We would travel light to the glacier and then hike back to our tent, grab a quick bite to eat, bushwhack back to our gear stash (where Pekin dropped us off)grab our glacier gear and be back at the tent again for a late dinner. Simple. Right?

Spoiler alert: it was not easy. From our tent, we hiked through an old forest where every single surface was covered in thick moss. Eventually, the trees opened up into a series of long lakes separated by oblong ridges of bare rock scoured smooth by whatever recent glacier. Finding our way through here took hours - backtracking, scouting, scrambling and all in a steady driving rain with regular intervals of heavy wind.

After considerable struggle, we finally reached the glacier only to be separated by water and another cliff face - completely impassible. We took a few pictures and headed back to camp.

While we had hoped to get on the glacier today, this is exploration. There is no marked route, no certainty. None of this is easy, but all of it is amazing.

Image: A windy and wet selfie of Ryan and I.
No Links Added Yet