The Waiting Game

At this point we loathe one another.  We have shared our mouldering paperbacks, played cards until the outcome of every game is disputed, glugged gallons of Chilean wine, gorged ourselves on lamb stew, and suffered stomach maladies side by side.   He sneers at me.  I sneer back.  We are entombed in our fetid, nylon shelter.  Two hateful twins in an ungodly womb.  Outside the wind picks up, the rain spatters harder, sideways again.  I take an Ambien out of sheer boredom.  My Capilene stinks.  It is 2:00 on a Thursday.  We have been like this for the past ten days; waiting for a window of opportunity. For a weather system to change just briefly.  Waiting to take the leap….

If anything, time spent in the mountains has taught me the value of patience.  To become adept at the waiting game for the pay off at the end.  Like many that throw themselves into the maw of natures forces I have become a weather junky.  Constantly checking for the latest updates on shifts in the jet stream, of weather systems pushing change on the other side of the world, of micro climates around a particular mountain range.   In another life I’ll probably be a meteorologist or a financial wizard.  Able to link a storm in the Bering Sea to a shortage of a particular orange thread in the Americas.  Connecting the dots to view the bigger picture.  Ive become an adept at the waiting game.

Still, all the weather websites in the world are useless when the wind comes roaring across the southern Patagonian ice cap. The Torres Del Paine tease us with sneaked glances through swirling clouds.  Cerro Torre looking especially ghastly and menacing in the filtered light.  Its walls plastered with rime ice.  The winds are unrelenting, forecasts virtually unusable,  one must wait and wait and wait some more.  All in hopes of a reprieve that allows you the tiniest of chances to do what you came to do.  To fulfill your dream.

Rolando tunneling up high under uncharacteristically blue skies

Sometimes life feels a series of connected, storm lashed bivys.  I feel as if we have been waiting forever to take orders for our next run of Imperial Black shirts. We have, but as usual we are trying to do things a bit differently.  Perhaps even get our act together.  We have a four week period where, unbelievably, everyone is around.  Its odd to have tea and coffee with the other gents. Bobbed off words over a crackling line or missing each other via email due to time differences is our norm.  I’m not sure what the opposite of “empty nesters” is but we are it.  Everyone back and not sure what to do with our nervous energy.  We have a million ideas that we are reigning into a few.  A small selection of good things that we will be proud to share with you and for you to treasure for many, many years.

Cerro Torre
Cerro Torre

I know one can press a button and a pair of running shoes shows up the next morning.  I’m still shocked when this happens far quicker than anticipated.  As if time itself has been cheated.  I hear this model brought up over and over when I fall into a discussion about our shirts with “industry gurus”.  I’m not convinced good customer service relies solely on quick shipping and free returns.  I understand for many that’s all that matters.  The convenience factor of having a mass produced product show up at your doorstep.  We aren’t interested in a business run on convenience.  We are inconvenient and not entirely a business.

Its hard to find a real, honest to goodness experience these days.  We want to give you that, if only in a shirt. We can’t make you tent bound on a Patagonian glacier but we promise with time we will give you something well worth the wait.  Something that feels earned and with value.


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