Words cannot begin to express the joy, gratitude, and refreshment experienced during this journey to Argentina. After 26 hours of travel we arrived to a generous welcome in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina (“Bariloche” for short). A team of eleven students and staff from Biola University partnered with a group of seven from Summit Adventure to support the ministry of one of Summit’s former employees. Our first few days in Bariloche were packed with an orientation of the ministry, Argentinian culture, and spectacular scenery.
A third-year student at Biola University and resident of the San Jose Bay Area, Jocelyn Horsager’s winter outdoor experience was limited to shredding slopes and kicking back in a cabin. But despite her anxieties regarding the winter camping course, she found herself pleasantly surprised by each day’s experiences. And when we weren’t calling her back from leaning over the edge of a cliff to snap some killer GoPro fisheye panoramas, she was being followed by a Yosemite-native coyote with a peculiar taste for her foam sleeping pad.
We arrived at Badger Pass after dark, a team of 12–seven members of the Biola University community with five representatives of Summit Adventure. Two days previous, I had just barely moved in to base as the fledgling intern–and now I was stepping out of a van full of backpacks crammed with bear cans and sleeping bags, into a freezing night sky speckled with winter constellations. Though camping and backpacking wasn’t uncharted territory for me, I had never experienced either in the snow–at least, not purposefully (let’s just say I’ve dealt with a few freak snowstorms in my life).