59 cams, a 15’ tall tipi, almost 250 pounds of gear in all. If you imagine what the inside of an outdoor store would look like after a mini-tornado steam rolled through, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what my parents’ living room looked like. We had all wrapped up our stateside projects or at least put them on hold and gathered here in Miami – our jumping off point for Chile.
The week or so we spent here was filled with errands and excitement. Patch the tipi, sort the climbing gear, reach out to contacts down south to let them know about our imminent arrival. We checked the weather down in Cochamo Valley – sunny and in the 70s during the day this week. Quite similar to the current clime in Miami, though that’s where the similarities end. Thoughts of dense sub-tropical rainforest covering vast mountainous terrain with 1000 meter granite domes bursting skyward kept us motivated as we sat in traffic, trying to pick up some last minute items. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) how difficult it is to find climbing chalk in Miami. Not many climbing stores in a city where the highest peak is the city trash-dump. We’re serious. You can fact-check that one.
Years of planning and its at our doorstep. Daniel has packed his bow and arrows and fly fishing pole and is dreaming of fresh meals provided by the rivers and off the and. Jakob can’t wait to roam the countryside and ask every gaucho he sees about horse packing and riding. And me? I’m staring at our new offset cams, shuddering at the thought of leading shallow, flared water cracks.
Excitement and fear, apprehension and anticipation – we’ve all boarded the emotional rollercoaster. Next stop? 41 degrees south. Long days. Foreign land, food and language. Camp fires and creek water. Next update? Cochamo Valley.