I have commented a few times on the various Andes that are in view from Santiago.  Close by is Cerro Provincia, really just next door.  I could, in theory, walk to the top of it from my apartment.  By “I”, of course, I mean someone, a fit someone.  Should have put Mary on that while she was here.

Farther off is Cerro Plomo.  Even Mary would find this one difficult.  The distance would be fine but the altitude would get her.  I’ve seen her at 15,000 feet.  She’s silly.  And there are two of her.  Cerro Plomo rises over 20,000 feet.  But, beyond that, there are numerous ridges, valleys, boulder fields, glaciers, etc. in the 60 or so miles between peak and apartment.

Both Plomo and Provincia appear about the same height from Santiago.  How do I know that Plomo is higher and farther away?  Well, I have the google.  But last night, in the cab on the way back from the airport, the solar system arranged a little display to illustrate the fact that Plomo is far higher and more distant than Provincia.  I was traveling just after sunset.  When I got in the cab, the very top of Provincia was bright orange and Plomo and the slopes surrounding it were brilliantly lit against a very dark sky.  As I watched, Provincia entered shadow as the sun set as viewed from its peak.  But Plomo stayed bright, slowly turning orange.  Plomo is 40 to 50 miles farther east than Provinica.  If they were the same altitude, the sun would set on Plomo well before it does on Provincia.  But they’re not the same altitude.  Plomo is more than twice as far above sea level as Provincia.  The result is it stays sunlit a good bit longer.

About 10 minutes as it appeared from the backseat.

I’m sorry I don’t have photos.  The couple I took ended up with glare from the guy behind us whose headlights reflected in the rearview.  But, take my word for it, Plomo is clearly higher than Provinica.


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