Expedition Paine Grande - Day 3 Torres Paine

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rise and Shine at Refugio Italiano to continue the trek. During most of the afternoon on Day 2   I had planned to skip the 10 kilometres from Refugio Italiano to Refugio Britanico to make sure I made it to the end, but for some unknown reason, the few hours of sleep and rest in the micro-tent made me wake up extra keen...the full trek was to be made!

I packed some lunch and started my trek up to Refugio Britanico, not knowing what I would find...

It was only after a few minutes walk that I discovered the attraction of this walk - huge snow avalanches were occuring every few minutes and they could be observed safely from the walk. The shound of each of these avalanches was amazing, similar to thunder. I added a video of one of them in Day 5 of this blog. Each avalanche kept me walking for minutes wanting to see the scenery from the top.

Strangely also, the pain had reduced quite a lot (I managed to sort some problems out with the straps of my rucksack) and the blisters were still there, but the Nivea cream was doing wonders in reducing the friction.

After a good 3 hours walk I reached the top of the path (most people stay 1 kilometre below) and without anyone else walking around for a good 30 minutes, I enjoyed one of the best sceneries I have been at in the mountains. A practical 360 surround of high mountains covered in snow, with cascades, forrests and avalanches, and the clouds scraping the top of the cliffs. The pictures will do better justice to the place...

The picture of the my right foot also describes some of the pains at this stage...

The afternoon was simple with a short 2 hour walk to Campamento Paine Grande which would be the third and final base camp in the "W" trek. Luckily I managed to arrive just before the strong winds started, with 70km speeds which made walking tough and dangerous at points...

Little else to add, except that the camp had hot water showers...open 24 hours a day! And believe me I did not stop at the first shower...
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