Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 3

StefanoChile, Hiking, Stories Comments

Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 3\

Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 3 is part of a 5-posts series. Find Day 4 here

My knees hurt a lot. I take the Voltaren gel and I spread it thoroughly on my poor articulations to ease the pain. Even though we pay a lot for that, a enjoy very much the breakfast at the Los Cuernos Lodge with scrambled eggs, cheese, cereals, tea and orange juice.

At 9.30 we are ready to live. This will be another long day, as we have to reach the camping Grey – the whole path carrying our big and heavy backpacks.

We reach the free camping site Campamento Italiano at 11.45. During the trek from Los Cuernos to here, we enjoy the great view and a small walk on the gravelly beach of the Nordernskjöld Lake. After a little break with some cereal bars and a mango, we proceed to Paine Grande.

The Sköttsberg Lake is stunning as the previous one. This part of the trek is where a fire was allegedly provoked by an Israeli guy, Rotem Singer. An area of more than 17600 hectares was completely burnt. The trees have now silver shades instead of the cortex, and they still keep their beauty.

It’s very windy and I pull the zip of my jacket up. After one last sprint, we arrive, tired but extremely happy, at Paine Grande. It’s 1.45 pm.

Paine Grande has a lodge, managed by Vertice Sur, and a well-equipped, sheltered kitchen area with ample tables and power sockets. We are definitely hungry: after the sandwich included in the packed lunch from Los Cuernos, I cook a pasta with tomato sauce. Just to recharge the batteries!

At 3.45 pm we leave the camping and we start walking to the Camping Grey – our final destination for today. The wind blows stronger than before. I can here the light rain ticking on my plastic backpack cover.

Finally, we glimpse the Glaciar Grey: it’s magnificent. I climb on the top of a short cliff to better admire it: the wind almost blows me down, but I stand up long enough to take a photo. It’s like the sun’s trying to break the clouds, generating an indescribable effect – a sort of graceful, transparent curtain made of raindrops.

Rain curtain over the glacier

Rain curtain over the glacier

We surpass the Laguna Los Patos, drink some water and keep walking: after 4 hours we are at the camping Grey. My legs are completely destroyed but I feel that kind of energy which would allow me to walk for additional 10 km without feeling more pain. I still have the force to stretch a bit, then I go to cook the last rice we have. The kitchen area is definitely too small for the number of people who wish to use it.

I carve out a little angle where to cook my rice, then Vicente and Xavi join me. Here we meet Pablo, that with his sister is cooking pasta with mushrooms, cream, and sausage. That’s high-style camping cuisine. They also saved a bottle of wine for the last night, raising a collective ‘what the actual fuck?’ – I really feel every gram I carry, and they have been walking 4 days with a bottle of red wine.

After dinner, I have some difficulty to come back to the tent. Vicente decides he will stay at the camping tomorrow, and Xavi will just come to the first Grey lookout. I’m instead committed to reach the Paso Jhon Gardner, the highest point of both O and W circuit at 1200 m.

Snacks: 2 cereal bars – mango

Dinner: 170 g rice + 200 g tomato sauce + soup

Kms walked / Hours: 27 km / 7 h 45 min

Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 3 is part of a 5-posts series. Find Day 4 here