We hung out well into the evening with our new friends Diego and Jacky and talked about where we’d been and where we were going. They are just a few weeks into their “world trip” and like the mountains as much (if not more than us). They’ve got their mountaineering boots and big plans for the taller peaks up north. Hopefully we’ll be joining them down the road.
After a wonderful and warm nights sleep we awoke to clear blue skies, more views of the lake and a lot less wind. We planed to make it up to the Mirador Base de las Torres, and it’s classic views of torres.
The trail spends most of its time today on a private estancia (ranch), which also contains the high-fuletin’, Hotel Las Torres. As we make our way up a hill we hear something rumbling on the other side, Liz instinctually, says, “It’s horses and they are running… towards us!” We see a couple of ears quickly appear and then a whole herd at a full gallop right towards us. We parked ourselves next to a big boulder assuming they wouldn’t want to run into it (or us).
That’ll get you’re heart going!
Shortly after, we come to a fork in the path where you continue up to the Campamento Torres or down to Hotel Las Torres. We make our way up towards the campamento and quickly find ourselves in a place know for “Rolling Stones.”
We cross a stream and we’re at camp just in time for lunch… mmmm lentils. We quickly set-up camp and decided we’ll make the hour hike up to the mirador as the weather is prime and we’re feeling great. On the way up we passed some friends from Erratic Rock who had gone up early to film sunrise and were on their way down, they said sunrise was a “must see!”
The views from the top were nothing short of amazing; Blue sky, turquoise water and granite peaks poking out of the snow and glacier. We attempted our trademark “airplane” but we’re discovering getting a proper photographer to capture the moment is proving more and more difficult; that and my back really doesn’t like laying on rocks.
We set our alarm for before the crack of dawn with big plans of a glorious sunrise. They say they weather at a camp doesn’t always equal the weather and to try to go up for sunrise even if they weather is crap at camp. The weather was crap at camp. We figured we didn’t need to hurry since we didn’t expect much of a sunrise in the rain so we brewed some coffee in our water bottle made some oatmeal to eat at the top in the dark threw our sleeping bags in my pack and started moving up.
We quickly made it to the top, it was completely overcast and we felt bad for all our friends that had gotten up and hour earlier than us to sit in the cold and dark dreaming of beautiful sunrise… that beautiful sunrise never happened that morning. We made the best of it eating our raspberry flavored oatmeal bundled up in our sleeping bags under a rock hiding from the wind and rain. We’ve discovered you can make oatmeal taste like just about anything with the right flavoring. Our raspberry drink powder (think Tang) made it taste like Fruit-loops and looks like something neon designed to convince kindergartners to eat it.
Maybe less drink powder next time.
Well, it’s all down hill (for the most part) to the next camp Serón so we pack-up camp and start down. The weather is misty at best, which generally means we hike faster, I can hear Liz saying to herself, “Get me out of this!” She is bound and determined to be a “fair weather hiker” but the weather is not cooperating with her. After a little discussion, we come to the realization that it’s Valentines Day at the half-way point of our trek, just as the rain starts to pick up, and we see Hotel Las Torres. Maybe they have a restaurant?
We figured a celebratory meal was in order. As we polished off our gourmet lamb sandwiches and champagne lunch we saw the clouds part and blue sky. My fair weather hiking buddy might just be in luck. We headed out across the estancia and into the pampas.
Hotel Las Torres is the end of the W for most people so the crowd thinned out a bit as we made it to Campamento Serón, which is basically camping in someone’s backyard. We enjoyed dinner with all our friends that were continuing on the Q, Brad, Diego and Jacky, and also made a new friend, Jose from New York. His blog Jose’s Worn Out Boots chronicles his treks round the world. He’s a gear junky at heart, so we instantly bonded over the finer points of camp stoves, wool base layers, and hydrophobic down feathers. Liz meanwhile turned a fuel canister into a make-shift foam roller, and showed our new friends how to work out the soreness in their IT bands.
Past the 77km mark!