Day 3 started with me looking out the window from my room at Refugio Paine Grande to the tents that some slept in. It is incredibly hard to believe anyone could sleep in those with the high winds experienced. But, some did!
It was a nice start to the day though it would not remain so for the entire hike that day.
Headed to the Campamento Italiano and the French Glacier
We left camp around 9:15 AM. Our next meal would happen about 3 hours later…
The main attraction for the day would be to see the valley of the Glaciar Francés (French Glacier). To get there, we would detour from the main route taking us from Refugio Paine Grande to our destination for the night: Refugio Los Cuernos. It would imply a very long day of hiking to the Campamento Británico (British Camp) and back out requiring a steep climb. I was not sure I would have the energy for the very long day that would result from the hike (a total of 15 miles in about 10 hrs) but was not going to miss it if the group went (always a good motivator!). But the weather made the decision for us. Visibility was going to be too low for the trek to the valley to be worth it. However, our leads suggested that we hit the “mirador” spot from which one could, at least, see the glacier. After a lunch stop at the Campamento Italiano (Italian Camp), we left for the mirador, despite slight rain, and it was a nice compromise worth the trouble (about an hour roundtrip – not bad!). We also saw the Paine Grande Glacier above the French Glacier.
On to Refugio Los Cuernos
The remainder of the hike went smoothly though the weather was not spectacular. It was very muddy at spots and there were a few places were boards had been placed to walk on since it got too muddy. On one of those, I lost my balance as the planks were not quite horizontal and I fell off. Luckily for me, I nailed the landing (2 ft down). Wish there were a video of it! Still we enjoyed the closer views of the torres as we headed to our resting place for the night (and a hot meal!).
And finally… at the Refugio Los Cuernos!
Towards the last part of the hike, we hit Lake Nordenskjold and by 4 PM, we made it to the refugio.
We enjoyed white fish for dinner, wine and games. I was out like a light before 10:30 PM!
We were one happy bunch, and not forgetting why we were doing this: for the kids!
——– Read more about the trek ———
Day 1 at Torres del Paine
Day 2 at Torres del Paine
On to day 4 at Torres del Paine!