About sense and absurdity

Cre­ated on Sunday, 15 Janu­ary 2012 Writ­ten by Robert

Today we got the mes­sage that André and Dani missed their con­nec­tion flight in San­ti­ago because of some prob­lems with the lug­gage, which can mean that we have to change our sched­ule a bit. There is still hope that we can leave in a couple of hours (around six’o clock) towards Tierra del Fuego, but we can only be cer­tain about this with the arrival of the strag­glers. Maybe that’s a good moment to think again about the state of mean­ing and pur­pose of the pro­ject “Monte Buck­land”. In our case it’s about the climb­ing in remote, maybe even unex­plored regions and the involved effort.

The lately men­tioned pro­vi­sions of about 50 kg for the base camp and approx. 50 kg of cer­eal bars and instant food for higher camps can be estim­ated based on our energy con­sump­tion and jus­ti­fied for a goal as Monte Buck­land is — after all we want to get back into civil­isa­tion out of our own power, though most likely not well fed. Also the effort regard­ing the per­mits and to secure an even­tual res­cue mis­sion are out of dis­cus­sion. My only con­cerns are with FRED! Yes­ter­day we reluct­antly accep­ted FRED into our team as a new mem­ber. Until now he is still a bit incom­mu­nic­at­ive and cold to us. Unfor­tu­nately this will change within no time, after he man­aged to change his motiv­a­tion. FRED is our generator.

A couple of weeks ago nobody of us would have even thought in his dreams to carry such a mon­ster of 12 kg through the wil­der­ness at the end of the world. Didn’t I just read about the feel­ing of free­dom and nat­ive­ness in a friends book? A feel­ing he has when he is moun­tain­eer­ing far away from civil­isa­tion and high-​tech gad­gets. And now we let FRED into our team…

The asso­ci­ation to Maestri’s gen­er­ator, still to be found in the wall of one of the most impress­ive moun­tains of Patago­nia, is undeni­able. On the con­trary to Maes­tri we are plan­ning the ascent to hap­pen in alpine style, avoid­ing as many of our marks as possible.

But how is it with FRED, for whom we also have an exten­ded ver­sion of his name: F***ing Ridicu­lous Exped­i­tion Device. We need him some­how as an insur­ance. Per­sist­ent bad weather means the loss of solar power but without power we are stuck. Dif­fi­cult to ima­gine, but our decision to doc­u­ment the exped­i­tion and to film the entire pro­ject is draw­ing even big­ger circles. An pos­sible altern­at­ive to the gern­er­ator are car bat­ter­ies but the energy dens­ity of even the best bat­tery is worse than the one of fuel, and rechar­ging without solar power is also impossible. I guess we have to look at FRED as a guest in our team who has his prac­tical test still to come.

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