Virtuoso Life - September/October 2017 - 160
so spectacular. After a final, steep push, we
reached a high plateau. The bowl of a glacier
shimmered overhead and, above that, towering peaks frosted with slabs of snow and
ice loomed. It was awesome - and there were
only four other people there.
Glaciers this scale make you realize we
live largely subject to forces beyond our control. But there is this, too: You can decide to
put yourself on a trail at the end of the earth,
where you happen to turn around for no apparent reason and look over your shoulder.
You might hear ice rumble, or catch an avalanche, or see, as I did, a thin white river falling through the air. It looked like a waterfall.
But it wasn't water.
"Is that snow?" I said to my husband, who
had stopped and turned around also.
"It is," he replied.
It was just an instant. And then it was gone.
There's something so purifying about
walking through a wilderness, you're almost sorry to reach the end of the trail. But
after the long hike back down, you board a
boat, the boatmen pass out chilled cervezas,
and the beer tastes cool and clean in the sun.
You speed back across a lake, limp up the
same stairs you stumbled down that morning, and know in your bones the instant they
hit the hot tub: We are all travelers in the
wilderness of this world, and sometimes it
exceeds our wildest dreams.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
Clockwise from left: Hiking
Torres del Paine's Paso de
Agostini, cruising for views on
Lago Grey, and Grey Glacier.