Day 2: W Paine Trek - Glaciar Grey

Trip Start May 12, 2013
1
13
76
Trip End Jul 30, 2013


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Flag of Chile  , Patagonia,
Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 2:
Had a rough night in the tent. We pitched the tent next to Refugio Paine Grande in the open space, but our ground had an incline to it and I kept slipping downhill through the night. Not to mention the freezing temperatures and hard ground made it a little unbearable at times. Strong gusts of wind made the outer layer of the tent flutter, and at times it sounded like someone was outside the tent.

It was around 5:30am and I couldn't sleep further. It got too cold. Went into the Refugio to seek some warmth, but the fireplace was already out. The lights were all out too. Soon we found our way into the kitchen with our head torches, and lit up the stove for some much needed warmth. Boiled water and had some instant cereal with milo for breakfast.

Around 8.30, as the day broke, we grabbed our daypacks and set off for glacier gray, which was a 11km hike of 3.5 hours each way. It was largely uphill most of the time, with lots of pebbles and gravels in the way. We eventually arrived at a mirador looking out to the faraway glacier at around 11am. Took a photo break and continued on, and the path got more treacherous after. Steep ascents and descents made my knees and ankles wobbly. And it was around 1215 that we find out we won't make it back in time before the sun sets (5.30pm) if we don't hurry. We picked up pace and reached the close lookout of glacier grey at around 1.15pm. The view was magnificent. I could touch the fallen pieces of glacier with bare hands, and decent weather made it a good photo point.

We made our way back after, and thankfully arrived just as day ended at 5.30pm. Made dinner (cup noodles and instant pasta - made the wrong way and gave me a bad sore throat after), and sat by the fireplace to chat with fellow hikers. Moved into the outdoor 'pantry' building to sleep for the night (the light stayed on whole night, but at least we were protected from the strong gusts).

Great day which really was a reality check for us non-hikers on the roughness of the terrain. The Glaciar views did not disappoint - you can't see the end of the ice field (which apparently extends all the way to Perito Moreno Glaciar in El Calafate)

Backdated for 23 May 2013
Torres Del Paine, Chile
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