Saturday, January 2, 2010

Torres del Paine - Day Four

Day four was easily the hardest day thus far - perhaps why only one picture exists.

Every time we set out, we knew next to nothing about what we would encounter. Our map only gave elevation lines every 250meters. We left camp knowing we had over six hours on our plate - that it would be a rough one. But weather had been nearly perfect up to this point, so spirits were still high.

On the trail, I became a machine. After getting over the fatigue of the first two days - I was more or less fit. A hill meant nothing - just the left foot and then the right. Only processing where the best footing would be. Designate. Act.

So I was leaving everyone behind. Pushing the pace. After about an hour of steady incline, the angle growing increasingly intense - I was getting angry. I crept further into my head, pounding my trekking poles into the soil. The steady drizzle only served as a further annoyance. After beating one hill, I would make the mistake of looking up and curse the next hill. They kept coming and I kept cursing and kept pounding my poles.

Finally, from somewhere below, "Jack! A break! Please!" - Antti had rescued us from me.

From this point, I hopped in the back of the train. The trail was more or less a slugfest till we reached Refugio Chileno. We rested for a while here and I observed the day hikers and platinum hikers with disdain. This was our hardest day of trekking, so I could now afford to be jaded.

We finished off our weary bodies with another hour and a half to Campamento Torres. We knew as we climbed up and up and drizzle turned into snow, it would be a cold night. We arrived and everyone set up camp, ate, and got into their sacks as soon as possible. In a few hours we would attempt to make the forty-five minute hike to hopefully see the Torres made into three bright red pillars by the sunrise.

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