Climbing a 3747 meter (12,293 foot) tall volcano, Lanin, was the goal of twelve young people from the Youth Exchange Program (YEP) when they took a trip to Argentina.
The 12 young people were part of a group of 15 from the Youth Exchange Program (YEP) who helped build a new conference center for Brunstad Christian Church in the town of Paso Flores, Argentina. In addition to the conference center, they built a water tank that holds 1.3 million liters (343 thousand gallons) of water, since the town is located a ways out on the Semi-Arid Pampas, a prairie region in Argentina.
Of the 15 young people, eleven were from Norway, one from
Finland, one from Chile, and two from Argentina.
This mountain climb was sort of a celebration that they finished pouring the cement slab between the first and second stories of the conference center.
“An amazing experience,” says Hanne Stene. She is 20 years old, and even though she comes from the mountainous country of Norway, she had never done anything like this in her life. The first few hours the next morning she felt nauseous due to lack of sleep, since the hike began at 4:00 a.m. “I never thought I would be able to manage it, but suddenly, there I stood at the top with an amazing view of both Chile and Argentina!”
“I’m happy that I managed it, but I will never do it again!”
Håkon Kjærnet (18) was another Norwegian on the trip. He had never climbed anything comparable either. He told us the first day was pretty challenging. The climb from 1100 to 2300 meters (3600 to 7550 feet) above sea level took four hours to go only nine kilometers (5.6 miles), and Håkon felt like he was not at his best. But he soon proved himself wrong when the next day he was right behind the first guide all the way to the top. “Easy,” he said about the feat, while smiling slyly. “I’m happy that I managed it, but I will never do it again!”
Ice picks, poles, and helmets were part of the equipment that helped the twelve young people climb the volcano. At the steepest point, the incline was 30 degrees, so it was important to keep a steady hand and not make any missteps. When the last three were cheered to the top, they could all be proud of their efforts. They had endured a test of their courage and endurance!