From Antarctica to Chilean Patagonia, our ambassador Madalina Condrea talks about her adventure and specialist Therm-Ic equipment.
"Sometimes, you just have to follow your dreams even if they seem impossible to reach. That’s what I did and here is my story."
In the Chilean Patagonia, Torres del Paine national park stands out for its beautiful and impressing landscapes. The temperatures vary between 15 and -5°C, while strong, cold Patagonian winds blowing towards you, with ice-cold rainfalls throughout most of the day. The nice refreshing breeze turned into a fierce wind and the nights in the tent are cold, especially after days of icy rain and hours of hiking through mud and in wet clothes. Camping next to a glacier didn’t particularly help you get your body warmth back while warm cooked meals only helped you recover some of the energy you lost. But in the end, there it was: this stunning moment, the reward that makes you forget all the effort, all the suffering you had to endure, the thing that makes it worthwhile: that view from the top!
Antarctica is not just a place, it is another planet and once you get the chance to visit it, you need to submerge in it and take it fully in. All these colours, the glittering of the snow in the sun, the deep blue of the eternal ice, the penguins playing around while the enormous whales come out from depths unknown in order to take a breath of fresh air before they dive back into the darkness, all the seals and the birds calling this place home… Cold? Yes, it was. Although it was during Antarctic summer time, the challenge was still massive for me. The temperatures didn’t reach extreme values, but I have blood circulation problems and that makes the challenge even more complicated for me.
The San Pedro de Atacama desert and its close by volcanoes offer very drastic climate scenery. While we decided to climb the Láscar volcano (5592m), we experienced a temperature range of 40°C in only one day. Starting before the first sunlight in a very early and cold summer morning with temperatures around -12°C we were very happy to feel the first sunrays touching our cheeks and helping us get warmer. The higher we got, the stronger the sun but also the wind. And there it was: the view from the top and the feeling of having made it! Although this was the highlight, you still need to get down. On the way besides the exhaustion overwhelming your body, the temperature – which reaches around 30°C when arriving back to the village of San Pedro de Atacama – gives your whole system a very hard time. Was it worth it? At the latest when you were lying in bed before falling asleep and you were smiling… you knew the answer.
While nature called out for me to see its beauties, my body tried to hold me back. Due to my very poor blood circulation in the limbs, none of these adventures would have been possible without the Therm-IC products. Getting your toes to warm up again after a long, cold hike or avoid losing warmth during the night while camping close to a glacier? With my Therm-IC products I have been able to spend a night in just a sleeping bag (with no tent!) to admire the sky full of stars in Antarctica… All of it was possible by just keeping my feet warm with the powersocks. Getting the blood to circulate again through your toes after a dip in 1°C cold water on the Antarctic continent? Definitely a task for the Therm-IC heat insoles. Fighting the ice cold wind of alpine glacier regions, the below zero temperatures in high altitudes or the extreme weather conditions in Antarctica? Not something superhuman, but much easier to do with the Therm-IC Powerglove mittens.
What a journey I had… and while I was trying not to let anything hold me back, the Therm-IC products just helped me confirm that I was doing the right thing.
Follow your dreams but with the right equipment.
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