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Maipo Valley, Chile

No Alto Maipo: Water, Dynamite and Couloirs in Chile

Words: Blaine Gallivan.


The explosions cut through the August fog filling the couloir, echoing off the steep walls and startling us from our bootpacking trance. The visibility is near nothing, and our first guess is an avalanche—one we quickly disregard, knowing the stability of the snowpack. As we stop to discuss the succession of blasts, we realize it is dynamite, ringing from the valley floor. Our thoughts immediately turn to Tino and Lorenzo, our friends and hosts, who are waiting below and who have potentially been illegally filming the blasts. We quicken our pace, and take our final steps to the top…


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