We knew that we were somewhere near treeline altitude, so we could finally escape to the high mountains. And so it happened the day after, the forest finally opened up, and with high spirits we climbed up fast towards the mountain pass. We didn’t mind the constant rain as we were amazed by the big amount of terrain covered in such short time. We crossed the pass and spent the night on the downhill towards the Northwest. By that time my old boots were falling apart already.
Yet another big fire to warm our souls and dry our drenched clothes while contemplating our fragile state within the grandeur of la Pachamama. Full of doubts and mixed feelings we slipped into our sleeping bags hoping that what laid ahead would be a more manageable environment.
We were up at dawn. My body felt heavy and tired. Legs and arms were covered in scratches. My tendinitis was definitely getting worse. On each step I could feel my heartbeats as pain-beats down inside the boot. That day, apart from the usual forests, wetlands and hip-high meandering rivers, it was time for "the beaver zone"; massive areas where these once introduced creatures thrived with no predators above them, and turned entire valleys into endless systems of dams. It felt almost like a joke, some sort of impassable final boss stage.
On each hill we reached, we thoroughly observed the distance searching for signs of a road, only to find vast expanses of Patagonian wilderness to navigate through. Exhausted after another full day battle, at dusk we decided to set camp on a little ridge that was ahead. I expired my last breaths reaching to the top of it while Markus was behind. It was dark already but I scanned the distance one last time... Any human sign… I saw something. Down the immense valley towards the North, far away ahead, there was a little clear colored dent on the side of a mountain. I quickly pulled out the binoculars. I blinked strongly to try to see through the tears in my eyes, but I already knew what I was looking at. I howled so loud and cried in joy. I looked back and Markus was running up the hill with the biggest grin on his face.
We had found the road.
There was still a long day ahead before getting to the road, but that night we stared at the fire with different eyes. We were so happy to be alive. The stars shone on the unclimbed icy summits and I felt so grateful for everything in my life.