Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Dientes de Navarino 3: Brian 0
Wellp, Patagonian weather and the Dientes de Navarino chewed us up and spat us out once again. We got started nice and early, but to cold and rain. As we made our way above tree line, snow from the previous night covered the ground and heavy winds came up. The rest of the "trail" to Laguna del Salto is above tree line and is very exposed. The wind picked up as we made our way and it started snowing some more....almost blizzard conditions. We decided to try to bypass a section of trail by traversing a scree slope but it soon became apparent that it wasn’t working. We decided to descend the scree slope down to Laguna del Salto.
As we started down the slope rocks and boulders started tumbling below us. Andres was ahead of me and I looked down to see him stumbling down the hill at a running pace. He quickly loosed his footing and tumbled into some rocks. I yelled out, "Are you OK?" He quickly answered "yeah" so I took his word for it. After a minute I noticed he wasn’t moving so I booked it down to his position. It was clear that he wasn’t very OK. He took a pretty hard fall and really rammed his shins on the rocks.
After I made sure he hadn’t broken anything or had any very serious injuries, we made our way down the rest of the scree field. When we got to the bottom, we took another look at this leg, and we were surprised to see a large, very deep cut on his shin. I patched the cut up with some butterfly bandages, gauze, and duct-tape. Luckily it wasn’t bleeding much and he was able to walk without too much trouble. The storm was still raging as we turned down the valley back to Puerto Williams with about 5 miles ahead of us. Luckily I had walked the trail a few times and knew the route given the conditions. I booked it on ahead and made it back to the hotel before Randy and Andres, and met them at the trailhead with the truck. The doctors at the hospital were impressed by my butterfly bandage work and they stitched him up. (Note to self, buy more butterfly bandages). So now we are back in the hotel enjoying the warmth, but feeling a little bummed Patagonia triumphed again.