24th August 1834

Two days before I left there was a heavy fall of snow in the mountains, which prevented me from taking some interesting excursions. I attempted to reach a lake, which the inhabitants for some unaccountable reason believe to be an arm of the sea. During a very dry season, it was proposed to attempt cutting a channel for the sake of the water, but the Padre after consultation declared it was too dangerous as all Chili would be inundated, if as generally supposed, the lake really was connected with the Pacific. We ascended to a great height, but becoming involved in the snow drifts, failed in reaching this wonderful lake & had some difficulty in returning. I thought we should have lost the horses; for there was no means of guessing how deep the drifts were & the animals when led could only move by jumping. The black sky showed that a fresh snow storm was gathering, & we therefore were not a little glad when we escaped. By the time we reached the base, the storm commenced; & it was lucky for us that this did not happen three hours earlier in the day.

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