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Heels 1973

Treasure Hunting

page 21

Treasure Hunting

Once upon a time two lone cowboys from N.Z. passed time with some big American cowboys at the local Mountain hotel. The talk of treasure in the hills was mentioned, my ears sprung up like dogs balls - the Americans talked long and hard, all about how hard earned their treasure was, but they couldn't get it because they were off home on their 707's. They soon warmed to the idea of us collecting it - better for us than Indians - so a rough map was drawn up. Days passed, we had other work on our hands, but early one Sunday we rode into town, gathered our tucker and strode off into them hills. The sun made it hard work - we encountered problems with the local Indians - the directions we'd been given were leading us to the wrong Quebrada (valley). late that afternoon the wheat field found us camped in it - a brilliant red sunset heralded the long night - what would the morrow bring? was the burning question.

Early the next morning we found our Quebrada - excitement grew as we climbed higher towards the lagoon. Indians: "Where are you going?" - we felt worried - we answered vaguely "subida", higher up. By midday we reached the last Indian outpost at the lagoon - it rose above us, a big icefall tumbling into the lagoon - it was there, we strode around the lake and climbed high up in the moraine. A small cache of gear was left - we absorbed little of the magnificent scenery, we were blinded by the thought of what awaited us - there it was, a small green pile, fever was at a peak. We ripped open the goodies and out tumbled: 50 metre, new, key mantel rope, several pitons, a dead man and large quantities of luxuries, chocolate sweets, tinned fruit, jam, jellies - a worthy find. We gobbled down sweets amongst our bursts of laughter - these were good times.

P.S. The above is based onfact. I was given a map with the location of the above goods ($80) so Geoff and I went hunting - very profitable. The location iB the Cordiltera Blanea - Pem.

Dave Bamford