We woke-up, had breakfast, left our most of our stuff at camp and made our way up the 5 hour round trip hike up Valle del Francés to Mirador (look-out) Británico for some epic views. We were feeling great scrambling up the rocks with nothing but a small day pack. My Osprey usually doubles as our day pack because it’s so light. We threw in a couple of granola bars and our down jackets to enjoy the summit in (it gets chilly when you stop moving) and our rain jackets in case it really starts pouring and started up.
About every ten minutes there is an incredible view we took a ton of selfies and even managed to get photobombed by some of new Chilean friends, who had earlier in the morning shared their Chilean “breakfast of champions” with us – Johnny Walker Red and cookies!
It is so cool to be so close to glaciers. Every 20 minutes or so you’d think you heard thunder, but with there being no lightning in Patagonia, not to mention the clear blue skies, it’s not thunder, it’s a huge chunk of glacier breaking off and tumbling down into to the valley. We saw one huge crack towards the top that we swore was getting bigger before our eye and we were sure it was going to fall at any moment, but despite our stares, it never fell, at least not while we were watching.
Among the many, seeming outrageous, claims Patagonia has made, is the most unbelievable in my book; You Can Drink The Water… from the tap, and right out of the creeks! They say, in the park you don’t need to filter or purify anything, it’s all straight off the glacier and super pure. They say the only place you need to be even a little concerned is at the camps (because not everyone is responsible/respectable). I haven’t googled the validity of that claim but, we didn’t have any issues.
The views from Mirador Británico were amazing! The valley just wraps you up with views of the towers all around.
We hiked back down to camp, packed up our stuff and made the 2.5 hours hike along the windy shores of Lago Nordenskjöld to the most amazing campsite Refugio Los Cuernos.
The Refugio had a wonderful clean and warm kitchen area; Fires are only allowed in very specific, enclosed, areas in the park, and of course, some of them are much better than others. And finally we said goodnight to a glorious sunset.