Torres Del Paine Trek Day 4

January 19, 2006
Day 113

Picture of a river.

A river rushing down from a glacier.

We slept late today. It was good to get a lot of sleep for once. Until now, we had to go to bed late, get up early, and walk all day, which made me achy and grumpy. But now, I was finally rather cheerful.

We didn't seen much of Glacier Los Perros yesterday, so we went back for another look this morning. The weather was a lot more calm, so I was able to relax and take it all in. My pictures turned out much better this time around, too.

This was the day of the pass. A guy we met at the campsite last night who was going the other direction warned us that it would be a 45 degree angle for us on the way down and that there would be mud up to our knees going up. Considering that I didn't have hiking boots or gaiters, I wasn't looking forward to more mud.

The first part of the ascent was pretty miserable. There was mud everywhere, which made it impossible to get anywhere. It wasn't up to my knees, but it did go over my shoes a few times. On the plus side, the trail was usually visible, so at least we were able to get through the bad parts quickly.

Eventually, we got above the tree line and there was no more mud. Of course, without the protection of the trees, it suddenly got cold, windy, and rainy. As we got higher, the rain turned into snow. We reached the top of the pass without much trouble, but the weather was so bad that we didn't have much time to look at Glacier Grey, which had dramatically become visible from the top. Tony and I snapped some quick, cold photos and started running down the hill before the hypothermia set in.

Once we got back to the tree line, the trail became very steep. Indeed, the slopes at times did hit 45 degrees. When it got really steep, ropes were installed between the trees for our assistance. We walked down the thick forest for about two hours until we finally reached the bottom. A few minutes later, we were Camp Paso, where we stopped for the day.

Instead of having soup again, Tony cooked us spaghetti for supper. He threw in some spices and tomato sauce to make it more interesting. It was still pretty bland, but I was happy because it got me good and full. However, I would later find out that John doesn't appreciate eating non-spicy food.

The most difficult part of the trek is now over. Other than the bad weather, the pass wasn't too difficult. I had planned for it to be a lot worse than it was, which I think made it easier to tackle. Now we only have four days left, and none of them should be as difficult any of the last three. We finally had some more time to relax after a long day of hiking, and I think we are done with the muddy parts of the trail. Life is good.

The photo album for this entry is here.

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