Rainy Day, Snowy Summit
Wednesday 23rd was rained off. It rained pretty heavily most of the day so we pottered about on the boat, downloaded GPS tracks, sewed holes in gloves, made bread etc.. Marcel from ‘Iorana’ came over and invited us over for an aperitif a p.m. – we had a “few” aperitifs and a very late diner when we got back to ‘Morgane’. Thursday was another wet and windy day but not enough to stop us going for a hike up to the area where some groups put in a high camp for attempts on Mount Italia. The area is near a minor summit at around 1000m that would normally have a great view of the south face of Mt Frances but we couldn’t see much. The rain turned to snow for the last 300m or so of altitude which was nice as at least it was dry. The route took us along the beach on the north side of the Beagle channel, across a small river, then a change out of rubber boots and into hiking boots, through some very thick bush, then along a guanaco path up an old lateral moraine about 300m high at it’s high point, followed but various levels of scrambling up the remainder of the climb. It’s quite incredible to see these old moraines and imagine the valley below full of ice 300m thick! The climb took us about three and a half hours, but that was in fast and light mode, it would take a lot longer with a pack full of camping and climbing kit. After we returned Steve and I went ashore to take an icy wash in one of the streams. We were near a point that has been used for this for thousands of years as there are some middens and signs of a Yamana indian camp site there. I’m not sure what the Yamana, who wore no clothes, would have thought of two very pale bodied men rushing to wash as quickly as possible and to get back into warm clothes on what they probably considered a pleasant summer evening. Last night was windy, as forecast, with 30+ knots in the channel but tucked in under the trees here we only got hit by a few gusts, nothing that even put tension on the mooring lines stretched from the stern of ‘Morgane’ to some stout canelo trees behind the beach. Today, Friday, was a maintenance day for me on the boat – I cleaned out the anchor chain locker while the anchor is down, yuk!!, among other things. Steve and Marcela went for a hike a picked Chaura and Diddle Dee berries and now ‘Morgane’ is home to a production line of jam and cakes, yum! Tomorrow we’ll probably move to Estero Fouque over in the SW arm of the Beagle ready for some exploring in Isla Hoste.