Trip Start Jan 24, 2006
32Trip End Ongoing
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Wake still feeling rough. From this part of the park there are a couple of routes up to high passes with spectacular views . Trouble is there is a fair bit of fresh snow. They're going to be hard to get to and I'm past my best having been out camping for five days now. Might get up to the snow and find that I need crampons to continue. Decide to leave an incentive to return and head back to town for cake, shower and steak and chips (in that order).
Stay in a nice friendly homely hostel with the slight disadvantage of no shower head - but at least its hot - no mirror for shaving - but manage using the taps - and no heating in dorm -use sleeping bag.
Wake up still feeling rough. Well no use being all girly so decide to ignore it
Head off to park admin . I want to head off the main trails and try to get to Paso de Viento. from there I should be able to gaze out over the southern ice-field. Sorry. the ice field is the big white bit on Google Earth nr. the bottom of SA. Some of the maps say you need a guide to go up there. State my intentions to the park admin. Tell them I know what I'm doing and have all the gear. No problem. Just fill in a form and tell them when you get back that you're safe. Carlos from the park gives me some more info about the route, river crossings and stuff. Says it might be too windy but you never can tell. Even the weather forecast may or may not be right. Mountains and icecap mean weather is hard to predict accurately. The registration and 'only with guide' business is required to keep the waterproofless denim-clad muppets from dying. Talk about volunteer work. The park will take volunteers as long as you can commit for a month. You work on trails , advising tourists etc. You get free accomadation and two days off a week. Would be a fantastic way to learn Spanish and get to know the park. Problem is there is still a lot I need to see and I am running out of time. A job opportunity means that I have to be back in the UK for the end of May
Plans laid I head for home. Can't resist a short walk up to Mirador los Condores, a view point fifteen mins walk from park admin. The view is fantastic allowing you to see Fitz Roy and in theory Cerro Torre, the more spectacular mountain whose main face is nearly 2km of vertical rock. This means that I have to get up early and get up there for sunrise. Should be good though and not as cold as last time and won't require much effort to get there.
Head back to the hostel and bump into the Finish lads from Bariloche - see short shotz, donīt let the cat out. Laze about chatting, drinking coffee and eating cake. Well this is an official rest day.Finns bus arrives and they depart. Head up to pack my bag but someone's sleeping in dorm so write this.
Go back to room and get my shit together. Head back down to cook steak and chips and spot another familiar face . Its Ben a William Hill escapee. Met him at the hostel in Iguazu. Spend a couple of hours drinking, chatting both of us basking in the sound of Yorkshire. Have late tea.
Wake up before alarm due to excessively heated room. Wind sounds ferocious but it's clear out. Chasing another dawn I have a quick breakfast.
It was worth it - see photos.