Two contrasting days at Laguna de los Tres

Trip Start May 20, 2010
1
108
195
Trip End Sep 05, 2011


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Where I stayed
Pioneros del Valle Hostel

Flag of Argentina  , Santa Cruz,
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DOMINIQUE HERE:


Day : 255
Temperature : yesterday at Laguna de los Tres = below 0 deg C ;
                      today at Laguna de los Tres = 10 deg C
Weather : yesterday  = snow, wind and rain
                today = beautiful blue skies and dazzling sunshine

I have merged two days worth of blogging into one because I am so utterly exhausted that I can barely keep my eyes open.

Yesterday was Christian and Sylvia's last day in El Chalten. We did 9 hours of walking / hiking / hobbling. When we started out on our trek the weather was absolutely beautiful and we had fantastic views of Fitz Roy….for the first time in a week! We started down the Rio Blanco, passing Lago Piedras Blancas and the most beautiful glacier ever. By the time we crossed the river and reached the Poincenot base camp the clouds were descending. Not to be deterred we continued on. The final climb up to Laguna de los Tres is painful. I have to be honest. I also have to admit that we are not hard core trekkers, so some of you pros out there may find it a piece of cake….but for us, it was tough work. It’s pretty much a scramble up an enormously steep hill, over loose wet boulders, mud and small rocks for about an hour. By the time we were half way up the wind was howling. It was also snowing….sideways! By the time we reached the top it was bloody freezing and we had every single item of clothing on our bodies. The blood vessels in my hands had decided to shut down and my fingers were completely white and totally numb. In other words…it was flipping cold.

The scenery was still amazing. Two lakes at different altitudes…the most beautiful blue colours. There were glaciers and snow and a waterfall cascading down into the bottom lake.  We stayed for about 20 minutes or so. It was just too cold to stay any longer. And so when we were numb from head to toe we headed back down the "trail" that we’d climbed up. Unfortunately Sylvia’s poor feet were now covered in blisters and so she had a painful few hours back to El Chalten.

When we’d been walking for some time we sat down in a wooded area to take a break. A park ranger walked by, and so in my best Spanish I asked how may minutes it would be until we would be back in El Chalten. A bemused smile crossed his face, and he replied, in Spanish, “minutes..no, hours…about two”.  Oh gawd..two more hours. I felt I had nothing to lose at this point by asking if there was a horse that we could borrow, but my question seemed to provide even more amusement for the park ranger. No, there was not a horse available, not even a llama! We slowly made our way back, stopping every so often for poor Sylvia who was now hobbling so badly. We eventually made it back to El Chalten, all a little stiff and sore about two and a half hours later.

We treated ourselves to a great, but expensive, dinner in a little Bistro…Fuegia Bistro is the name I think. This was certainly the best food we’d had in Argentina….and from my veggie perspective, the best salad I’d had in months! Definitely worth a visit.

All in all, another great day. But, we’d heard on the grapevine that tomorrow’s weather was going to be even better…NO cloud all day. Even the climbers were preparing to set off in their attempts to summit Fitz Roy…this must surely be a good sign. If there were no clouds, then this would be a first since we had arrived in El Chalten. It was also our last day. How could we miss the opportunity to go to Laguna de los Tres if there were no clouds in the sky??! The only thing is….could our weary bodies take any more?!

The following morning we woke to absolutely PERFECT weather. Not a single fluffy cloud in the sky. It was looking good. We said our goodbyes to Sylvia and Christian, and with our day bags filled with food, we set off to Laguna de los Tres once again, taking the route that we’d walked back the previous day.

We reached the Mirador in just under an hour, and boy, were we met with a sight. Reaching to the heavens was Fitz Roy and all the other peaks, clear as day, backed by the most brilliant blue sky, and with the moon setting in the background…..and not a SINGLE cloud anywhere! Incredible scenery.

We continued on to the Poincenot campground where we arrived just before midday. Still there were no clouds, and although our legs were fatigued, and our joints achy we decided there and then that it would be criminal not to climb to the top.

Well, what can I say. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Stunning, stunning, stunning!!! What a contrast to the previous day. We sat and had a picnic by the lake, and remained there for maybe an hour and a half enjoying the natural beauty that was all around us. So beautiful.

We finally turned around and headed back downhill. By the time we arrived back at the hostel we were both even more exhausted. My legs felt like I’d ran a marathon and the soles of my feet were so sore that I could barely stand on them. Neither of us had any blisters, it was just three full on days of pounding….not much really compared to what a lot of people do, but a lot for us!!

We didn’t care about our achy bodies…..we’d seen Fitz Roy, we’d been to Laguna de los Tres, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky…and it was awesome!
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Comments

Holly on

Looks great, if very cold!! That much walking is way too keen for me so very well done. x

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