Into Valle Frances

Day 2 – Refuigo Grande to Refugio Cuernos.

Los Cuernos

I forgot how bad camping is for your sleep. The grounds uneven, the rocks poking into your back and lets not forget the early morning wake ups that are so prominent. But the things you do when backpacking. I have slept in much worse places. And well, the wake up vista isn’t too bad either.

The sketchy bridge to Campamento Italiano.

Things go awry at the get go. I go to boil some water for breakfast. It goes bad when I actually try to locate my stove. And its no where to be found. Fuck. No coffee. I guess theres worse things in life.

The steep climb up to the Mirador.

We’re doing a shortish day today. But its broken up into three parts. A short trek to Campamento Italiano to drop off our big packs, then a 2 hour hike into Valle Frances, and then another 2 hour hike to Refugio Cuernos.

The Cuernos from Valle Frances.

We set off to Campamento Italiano before most people. It’s not a huge walk. Its actually graded the easiest of all the trails in the park. But you are welcome with some great views of the Cuernos and Valley.

Valle Frances.

We get to Campamento Italiano, in about 2 hours. And decide to just sit and eat some quick snacks. We’ve got a big hike coming up. 3 hours or so.

Hiking up to the Mirador is pretty tough work. Its a solid walk. And barely any flat spots whats so ever. All up hill. But the Mirador will blow your mind. Its quite incredible. Not a soul but us there. Mindblowingly awesome.

The Cuernos.

Back down at Campamento Italiano, my trusty hiking poles have gone missing. And the rest of the group set of with myself still frantically looking for them. It took about another 20 minutes before a Guard came by who had my poles in their guard house. Weird.

The campsite view.

The next part of the hike consisted of small brutal up hill climbs, with steep down hill climbs. For about an hour. But with plenty of stops to take in the scenery it wasn’t too bad. Chloe and I catch up to the others on a small beach – where they are all having a dip. I cannot imagine how cold it is in a glacier lake. And I don’t intend to find out – well not past the knees anyway.

Sunset over the lake.

Its then we pull into Refugio Cuernos with its central position on the lake. The downside to this ideal location, the camp grounds are limited. And all the good grass sites are out. We are left to the shore line sites, those that have rocks. It looks like we won’t be having a comfortable nights sleep.

Cuernos at Night time. Insanely impressive.

Dinner is had, over a pretty great sunset. And I manage to snap off some good photos of the Cuernos with my tripod. And some awesome long exposures of the river.

Late night exposures.

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This entry was published on December 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm. It’s filed under Chile, Torres del Paine, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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