I needed work. Emilia was eight months in at the time, and finding anything near reliable out here in the Atacama is a hard bet. I should've listened to Sebastian when he warned me about the whole thing, but I had no choice. So one week later, after finally calling that number I saw pinned to the community board at the feria downtown, I found myself sitting in a large tent with five other men, each one more forlorn, shifty, or handicapped than the last, us all listening to our group leader Arturo sloppily describe the basics of mountaineering while inhaling shots of Murtado. "Our job here is simple," he said. "We move groups of out-of-shape, well-to-do white people to the top of the highest active volcano in the world. And hopefully back." At 6891 meters, Ojos del Salado sits at the border between Chile and Argentina, 800 miles north of Santiago. The middle of the middle of nowhere. According to Arturo, our first order of business was getting our official "Expert Level Expedition Specialist" certifications. That I was able to earn this title in just 6 hours time is alarming enough, but that my fellow recruits Juan and Tomas now both hold this designation is particularly unnerving, even more particularly so if you just happen to be an out-of-shape, well-to-do white person that's recently hired Chilean Outdoor Expeditions to lead your party up the largest active volcano in the world. But I needed work. For Emilia.