Valle del Frances walk

Trip Start Feb 17, 2010
Trip End Apr 15, 2010

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Where I stayed
Refugio Paine Grande

Flag of Chile  , Patagonia,
Monday, March 22, 2010

I saw some of our Dragoman group at breakfast.  Mick gave me his Torres del Paine map so now I would have some idea of where I was going.  I unfortunately left mine at the first campground.

I went

on a second hike from the refugio for the second part of the "V."   This time I also took a lot of

photos and took longer than the estimated time.  First I headed for the Italian campsite sometime after 9 am.  I met Mick on the trail at 12:30 and still hadn't reached the Italian campsite area.  After finally getting there, I headed to Valle del Frances to the lookout that Mick had mentioned.  There was a nice view of the glacier coming down the mountain and of the valley below- not nearly so big as the Grey Glacier that I didn't get anywhere close to.   I tried to get to the next lookout over the valley that the British Columbian couple had told me about, but I kept losing the trail on the rocks.  I decided to turn back.  It was extremely windy at this lookout location today.  A few times when I stopped to take photos, i was nearly blown over.  I guess the wind doens't necessarily blow hard every day.  The Canadian couple had said that their first days were sunny with no wind. 

I came back to the refugio at 5:45 for a 9 hr day.  It was 9 km to the campground and I had gone farther than that, probably at least another km to the outlook and maybe another .5 km beyond that so it was at least a 20 km day.  It was quite a day!  Today's trail was wetter, muddier and rockier with not so many interesting plants.  But it had lots of fantastic views of the mountain peaks all along the way.  The river added its interest and there were the brilliant blue glacial lakes as well.  There was cloud cover most of the time though. 

i stayed over at the

refugio a second night.  A new young couple from England were now my roommates and they were very nice too.  The woman was extremely outgoing and talkative so we had a pleasant chat.  I hadn't brought a book and there was no free reading material lying around at the refugio, so I went to bed at 8:30 pm.  I didn't think I would fall asleep right away, but I did.

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