“We’re going up Aguille du Midi with Douds. You should come!” Douds (pronounced- dudes), a.k.a. Jonathan Charlet, is a former world champion and professional mountain guide in Chamonix. The infamous L’Aguille du Midi holds the world record for highest vertical ascent cablecar. The twostage tram ride takes passengers from town at about 1,000 meters to the jagged peak at 3,842 meters. The only way to really put it into perspective is to imagine a two-stage tramcar stretching from the valley floor to the top of the Grand Teton.
For the third time in my life, I boarded a plane with a final destination of Bariloche, Argentina. As a veteran to the area, if that’s what you wanna call it, the laidback airport security and gypsy luggage thieves, who wait for you to walk away for a moment so they can steal your luggage, seemed normal to me. Everything went smooth as sand. I had to run around all of the luggage carousels for nearly an hour to find my duffel bag, and the 45-minute immigration lines were mere child’s play, compared to the 10-hour flight from San Francisco.