Saturday, January 2, 2010

Torres del Paine - Day Six

I was having apprehensions about continuing. Everyone was leaving. Rob and Blanche had left the day before. Antti and Laura were leaving today. All with the promise of hot food and warm beds.

The forcast for us was the same as the five days prior. Uncertainty. We had heard from some climbers at Campamento Torres that the weather report for the next four days was stellar, that three days out the weather reports tended to be accurate. I played the skeptic though, falling into the horror stories we had heard about the tempermental nature of the Paine Pass.

Not to mention, Kaitlin's cough had flared up and I didn't want to turn our backs on the quickest exit incase things really got bad. We made a deal. If she slept through the night, we'd continue on..

I stirred in the daylight. Could have been six or nine in the morning. I stirred - Kaitlin stirred. I sat up and she coughed a liquid loose cough, but she had made it through the night..and that was the deal.

So we ate our last meal with Antti and Laura and accompanied them from Chileno to Hosteria Torres. We marveled at the truly clean toilets inside and twiddled our thumbs a bit before exchanging hugs and leaving them with the promise that if we didn't meet up with them in Peru - we'd see them in either Berkeley or Tampere.

Once we got away from the park entrance at Hosteria Torres - everything changed.

The people were gone and even the mountains were gone. For the first time since we had arrived we couldn't see the mountains for more than an hour. The land turned from Jurassic Park to Montana and we enjoyed the easy introduction into the backside of the park.

It was still a six hour trek and nearly all flat on the last half. Though our packs were lighter, shear distance wears at your bones. Muscles rebuild, bones just get sore. But we had left camp early and so we arrived at the immaculate Campamento Seron early. The sun was out and the wind was finally dead. We could take off our shoes and lay in the sun!

Bliss, just like pain, is only temporary in Torres del Paine. We would have soaked in the sun till midnight if we could, but the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up and we hid in our tent for most of the evening rubbing eachothers sore spots.

Around 9pm we emerged from our shell to prepare dinner - just one problem...

I had left the stove pump at Chileno. For five minutes we stood there staring at each other - trying to read what the other was thinking. We couldn't go back for it. It would waste a day, it wouldn't even be there, we'd lose two days of food and forfeit the backside of the park. No Glacier Grey.

Screw it.

We had been so fortunate thus far, we were hot, the odds of someone having our same stove were quite good - but we couldn't be sure because everyone had gone to bed. The attendent was nice enough to provide us with some hot water that made our soup warm enough to put our minds at ease and sleep away our worries.

A problem for tomorrow!

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