Day 140 (March 5, 2013)
Campamento Italiano, Mirador de Las Torres, and Valle
Day's Hike: 13.75 Miles
what was supposed to be our last day, we woke up at 5:30 AM, packed a few things
in our bags, and started hiking for the base of the Torres in order to catch the
sunset. We made it to the Mirador about an hour before sunrise and unpacked our
stove to cook breakfast while we waited for the sun to top the
When the sun finally broke, the view was fantastic.
spent an hour just watching the sun paint the towers. Eventually we turned
around and hiked back down to the campground. At this point we had a decision to
make: stay an extra day and hike up to the valley of silence or pack up and head
back to Puerto Notales.
Dylan's knee had been hurting him since day
three and after we had descended from the Mirador, he decided to pack it up and
head back. I decided to stick around for another hour or so and see how the
weather turned out before committing to an extra day.
sat around and cooked some of my newly donated food and waited for the weather
to make up it's mind. Eventually things started looking good and my new Ranger
friend Leo and the two girls I had met, Crystal and Christen, decided they were
ready to go. We started hiking north up a valley that was closed to hiking
without a climbing permit or a ranger escort towards a campsite known as
this area was closed to hiking, we had it all to ourselves. This was what I had
been wanting ever since I got into the park: a beautiful alpine valley with no
Leo the Ranger took us up to a little cave that climbers used
as a base camp when climbing the torres and we got inside and cooked a little
continued up a high glacial carved valley above the tree line, following the
path that climbers take to reach the base of the Torres.
drank water straight from the hanging glaciers that lined the path.
eventually reached the head of the valley and began scrambling up the talus
towards the base of the towers.
the talus gave way to steeply inclined granite slabs. With some slight
misgivings, I began climbing. Unfortunately, the wind started picking up and
blowing rocks down on us. This combined with the fact that a small slip would
send you sliding down the slabs for a couple hundred feet convinced us that we
had gone far enough.
the way down we found some snow fields and I went for a little standing
turns of the season for me; man, I can't wait to get a little skiing in when I
get back. Check out these sick lines ....
down the valley we passed by glaciers that were buried underneath dirt and
we were hiking back down, some small squalls moved in and we started getting
around 7:00 PM we made it back to camp and cooked up a huge communal feast with
our remaining food. We had found a few cloves of garlic lying on the trail on
our way back down, and we cut it up and added it to our soups, pastas, toasted
bread, and mashed potatoes. It was epic. There's something about hiking that
makes me dream about food and savor every calorie.