My Victorious "I" Climb

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

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Where I stayed
Camping Pehoe

Flag of Chile  , Patagonia,
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I got up at 6:50 am to do the "I" - the Torres del Paine trail.  I wasn't sure that I would make it to the end but I decided to go for at least

the first or second stopping point.  I hooked up with Sarah and Hilary...who

are very determined women...and they encouraged me so I ended up hiking to the

mirador or lookout toward the unbelievable torres towers.

We took some dawn photos on the drive to the Torres Refugio and hotel.  Anki, Gemma,Sarah, Hilary and I started.  It was up hill for quite awhile.  We saw Ben, then Mitch and then the rest of the group doing the "W" (the four-day backpacking trek) close to the campground and they encouraged us.  We headed for the top.  There was a tough area that was pretty scary:  I crept along one of those slopes with a tiny trail leading through it before getting to the closed refugio.  Then the last 45 minutes was difficult - rutty path, lots of rocks and hard packed dirt with loose stones, big boulders - until the "fin."  It seemed as if it would take forever and then, there we were!  I made it - the first of our small group of Hilary, Sarah and me.  (Anki and Gemma had stormed ahead long before and we met them coming down.)   It was then around 3 pm when we got to the mirador.  We hurried as fast as we could - the downhill was scary and Hilary's blisters were so painful you could see her wincing.  Yet, it wasn't as bad as I would have expected.   Even the scary parts were better.  Hilary is a great leader - she keeps a good pace and distracts you.

We made it back to the nice hotel, then had to walk another km or more on a gravelly road to the refugio where everyone else was waiting - some over 4 hours.  It was a difficult trek- over 20 km with quite a bit of elevation, but the views were thrilling and well worth it.  I felt a sense of accomplishment.  Waiting for dinner, however, was hard.  It was cold and rainy.  At night the tent was wet and sloped.  I kept rolling down and waking up so I wouldn't roll into the wet area.  Not the best night's sleep after my strenuous, but glorious, day.


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