In El Chalten we had a quick start. Thanks to Rüdiger, who just told us the morning after arriving there, that he wanted to start hiking right away. Which was great, because it turned out to be a very sunny day. Wohoo!
In quite a rush I packed my (big) backpack for the hike. Then we had a very relaxed and good breakfast in a nice cafe, before(!) we bought the food for the hike. Quite stupid, ’cause thus we had only a few minutes before the supermarket closed for a long siesta. Well, we got the basics, added a bit of chocolate and cereal bars from a small kiosk and off we went to the Laguna Torre. We had beautiful views of Cerro Torre, the glacier, and it’s lake. And fantastic weather. Just look at the pics.
After a cold night (I was more than happy, that Rüdiger brought my warm sleeping bag, thanks again Rüdiger!) we got up very early to watch the sunrise over Cerro Torre (hm, too many clouds) and went through some beautiful forests, meadows, and along a few lakes to the next campsite . The third day was one of the best: After a short visit to the Laguna Los Tres (very cold and windy) we hiked along the beautiful river valley of Rio Blanco. The trek was much more challenging than the days before, not a hiking highway anymore. Which I liked a lot! Luckily, we took an unintended detour to the Laguna Piedras. A wonderful lake with an amazing glacier hanging above it. Well, hiking up all the way over big stones with our backpacks on was not too clever (sorry Claudia!). But we just realized at the top that it was a detour and the main path continued down along the river. Lesson to learn: Don’t trust men ;-) The day ended with passing through a fairy tale forest and a hot shower at the Refugio Los Troncos. Yeah!
On the last day we went up in the direction of the Paso del Cuadrado. We got a nice glimpse of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, “the second largest contiguous extrapolar extent of ice in the world”. The way up went along a green slope with a lot of rivulets and flowers. Up near the pass it was very windy and cold. But we were lucky again: The clouds were blown away from time to time so we got a nice view of Fitz Roy. The way down and back to civilization was easy and we got a ride on a pickup back to El Chalten after a few minutes. Friendly people!
Fairy tale greetings