Mental Stages of Snowshoeing in the Andes

Sunny day, blue sky, snow-covered mountains. A perfect day for our EcoChile snowshoeing excursion! But what was it really like to spend the day on one of the world’s most iconic mountain ranges?

TRAVEL LOG: HOUR 1

We stop at La Cafetería del Cajón, an adorable cafe in one of the small towns near our destination, El Cajon del Maipo. I am pretty much obsessed with hot chocolate, and this was one of the best I’ve ever had!

At this point, the group is also realizing it is WAY colder than we thought it would be and that we all probably did not bring the proper gear. Luckily, we had a lovely fire and delicious hot chocolate to warm us up before our snowshoeing adventure.

Unfortunately, as all of the ladies would later find out, drinking liquids before a three hour hike in the snow with no bathrooms before, during or after is not the most comfortable predicament.

TRAVEL LOG: HOUR 2

I usually get pretty car sick after about 15-30 minutes. So, after almost two hours going through winding, rough roads, saying I wasn’t feeling at my best would be a massive understatement.

I take a good look at my breathtaking surroundings, and I think to myself, if I’m going to die, at least it’s in an epic location.

TRAVEL LOG: HOUR 3

My Southernness (and general lack of preparation, experience and qualification) is quite apparent.

I basically look like a drunk baby penguin wobbling across snow, stopping every five seconds to breathe because my lungs developed in New Orleans which is below sea level, and this beast of a mountain range is thousands of feet above sea level.

Meanwhile, my Chileans guide is blissfully making snow angels.

TRAVEL LOG: HOUR 4

We stop for lunch and my lovely wife decides to walk around without snowshoes as I rest my tailbone (I forgot to mention I also had a bruised tailbone. Yeah, this was not my best decision, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity!).

She rocked the excursion, but needless to say, this particular move turned out to be a bad, albeit very comical, idea.

TRAVEL LOG: HOUR 5

I made it! The nausea finally began to wear off on our way back down the mountain after lunch. By the end, I feel like Wonder Woman for having actually completed the excursion.

The Andes are truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. There’s a crispness and freshness in the air I have never felt before. The blue sky enhanced the blindingly bright snow-covered landscape in a way that made you feel like you were walking through a painting.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • I really need to invest in anti-nausea medicine.
  • Snowshoeing looks way easier than it is. I’d recommend training at least a little bit before doing this.
  • The Andes in the winter (which in South America is June-August, FYI) are undeniably spectacular.
  • Walking after taking off snowshoes feels like what I imagine Usain Bolt feels like when he runs.
  • I would absolutely recommend booking excursion with EcoChile tours. Their customer service was exceptional, and their guides were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Our guide, Martín, was absolutely wonderful and really made the excursion extra special. (This is not a sponsored post. We just genuinely had a great experience and want to pass along the info in case any of you are planning a trip to Chile.)  ecochile.travel / Tripadvisor

 

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2 responses to “Mental Stages of Snowshoeing in the Andes

  1. Looks like a lot of fun! BTW, my husband used to get motion sickness when traveling and he swears by Bonine. You should be able to find it at just about any drug store in the US.

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