Enter the Gringo...

Dawn. Day 3 of snow-induced isolation.

A ventisca of monsterous proportion has ravaged the surrounding Chilean Andes. Its demon winds have yowled. Its snows have driven, and, in their wake, more than a meter of puff has been piled high outside the refugio's flimsy door.

A juice-less wood-slat addition upon Cafeteria La Fransica served as shelter from that storm.  The stubborn canteen clings to the ski field’s leeward face like a fungul growth. And in that wind-riddled shack I wait, minus electricity or running water, for the big blow to pass.

Cut-off, alone, I measure the 3000 meters that segregate aid's arrival. That sharp descent threatens plummeting panic, a sensation only diverted by the solace of what awaits once the weather breaks.