Fingers sticky with a makeshift desayuno of pan and miel, we lick the remnants of honeybee ambrosia, the sunrise fireworks subdued into a cool morning tint of graphite greens and blues and browns.
Still barely waking hour, we make a day of being uphill and head off to explore Cerro Madsen, Fitz Roy’s across-the-pond neighbor, a sandpile of ginormous boulders. The way up proves less evident, for the scramble is loose and big and, truthfully, scary, the hollows between body-sized pebbles large pockets of potential slide, rocks making the sound of glass marbles as we negotiate our way up the ridge.
Cerro Madsen is literally a pile of shards, a contradiction of strength and fragility as tensile presses strong laterally but crumbles like sheets of paper, stacks of flagstone waiting to contour my childhood pool.
An overview ridge to the lake below signals halfway and our vertigo, acutely aware that there is a reason this is the path least followed, for in reality, it feels far from worth it, rockslide capable at any second, which, here, translates to sledding down to our demise in icy aquamarine.
I must still be dozing, for my brain only begins to comprehend what the pit of my stomach feels closer to the top, and out of nowhere, I am almost paralyzed with the recognition that this is fucking nuts, especially as I watch my boyfriend attempt to defy his primal instinct and hug the rocks as if proximity brings safety, center of gravity closer to center of mountain, as he commands his hands and feet for mandatory manhood, a glimpse over the top.
I think to follow suit, certain my fear distorts my vision, but, alas, it is pointless for my feet decide to stay put, head high on the alert for a rogue boulder or tumbling boyfriend.
Goodness gracious, my Spider-Man love reveals his fright in his decent down to me, and together, we sound the hollows again, this collection of billiard boulders slippery sharp, us nimble in our urge to get down to safety and take a sip of that magnificent blue pool, feet firm on non-skiable scree.