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Lucille's Adventures in Peru Av. Fatima 820, #703, Trujillo, Peru --- www.perumission.org --- "Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Hiking the W -- Day Three

CHILE | Thursday, 18 January 2007 | Views [1115] | Comments [1]

First glimpse of Grey Glacier.  The world's 3rd largest glacier.

First glimpse of Grey Glacier. The world's 3rd largest glacier.

Breakfast was at 09:00.  It was good.  Same as everywhere else.  Toast, scrambled eggs, ham, cheese.  Maicha and I left at 09:30 to go to the glacier and do some ice hiking!!  The trail today was 11 km.  Average time is 4 hours and the map said 3.5 hours.  Since it was just me and Maicha we hiked as fast as we wanted.  The trail left the lake and wound over a small hill that gave us some good uphill time (not my favorite--i am SLOW uphill).  And then it wound through the forest and patagonian flat trail to the Glacier.  There was a beautiful field of yellow flowers at one point on the trail.  And after you left the forest, you came up and could look out over Grey Lake and would start seeing the icebergs.  Then you saw the glacier.  It is huge!  Grey Glacier is the 3rd largest glacier in the world behind Antartica and Greenland.

We made excellent time and got to the Grey Glacier in 3 hours.  So, we checked in with the ice hiking and got bad news.  they won´t take just one person on the ice (Maicha the guide didn´t count) and so i had to wait and try to join a group.  There was supposed to be a group coming in on the boat at 15:00 that might go hiking.  So, we waited.  We had lunch, we visited with David, who was extremely nice and helpful in the ice hiking hut.  We went over to the refugio.  We went back to the ice hiking hut.  David had made soup that i tried.  pretty tasty.  Finally we find out the group is not going to go today.  We tried again to see if his friend might take us anyway. . . no such luck.  I was soooo disappointed, but what can you do?  We decided to hike some more.  We went up a trail towards the glacier (away from where we came) and hiked about 2 km up to a lookout over the glacier.  another 2 km was another lookout even closer, but by this time, it was cold and i was getting tired from sitting all day and the trail was ALL uphill so we just turned around and went back to wait for the rest of our group. 

At the refugio, i ran into 2 girls that were on a trip with GAP.  They had been on my plane to Punta Arenas.  small world.  We visited while we waited on the rest of our group that finally arrived!  then we all got on a boat and rode out to the glacier and right up to it.  They served pisco sours over glacier ice as we crusied the lake looking at the glacier.  Maicha and I had been talking about seeing it calve, but she said it was no big deal to them. . . they see it all the time, but tourists love it.  I tried to explain to her that it was something we never see and how cool it is to see a big chunk just fall off into the water.  Sure enough while we were crusing by, a big chunk fell off and into the water.  It is so loud.  Really a neat sight.  I caught it coming back up out of the water on film -- i think.  The glacier was just beautiful.  So many shades of blue and white.   i hated that i didn´t get to hike and climb on it, but next time I will.

The boat ride didn´t start until 20:00.  We got to the other end of Grey Lake and a van was there to pick us up and take us back to Eco Camp.  We had hiked from one end of the park to the other so the ride back was an hour and a half.  As we neared the Eco Camp, the River Paine had flooded and the road was completely covered.  The headlights were going in and out of the water.  Yet another interesting river crossing.  It was dark (around 23:30) when we did this so you didn´t really see how bad it was.

The Eco Camp was ready for us and we had dinner at 23:30.  Pizza was an appetizer and it was good, but you could tell it would have been better hot.  We also had lasagna that was great and chicken and some other side dishes.  Desert was strawberry mouse or something.  it was similar to ice cream, but had real strawberries in it and had a graham cracker crust.  Very yummy.  So, at 00:30 we go to bed and are told breakfast at 07:00 (which means like maybe 6 hours of sleep) and leave at 08:00 for the Towers.  The most technically difficult and hardest day yet!

Tags: The Great Outdoors



I really have enjoyed reading your posts here. We are planning a trip this December and are thinking of doing it on our own. What do you think? It sounds like the refugio on the first night was not so nice. Do you think its feasible to hike to the Italian Camp the first night, to make the second day a little shorter, and to avoid the refugio that isnt so nice? Would love some further advice.

Did you do any trekking in FitzRoy?

  viviane Jul 18, 2008 4:15 AM

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