Torres del Paine

Consistent with the plan formulated yesterday, guided by our headlamps through a cold light rain, we left the warmth of our refugio at 3:30AM destined for the 3000 foot high Mirador Torres which requires a fairly steep ascent after passing the Campamento Torres. Our party of four arrived at the top by 5AM, fifteen minutes ahead of sunrise. Alas, the sun would be blocked by clouds on this morning which would prevent me from making the image I had hoped for featuring the peaks bathed in golden light with the small tarn and boulders in the foreground. Kyle, having glimpsed through the clouds at the grandeur we came to see, wisely elected to return to the refugio after about 30 minutes on top and before losing all feeling in his fingers. I remained for another two hours hoping to photograph all three peaks unmasked by the clouds. I had two such opportunities which lasted for less than a minute each. The light was not good but I was grateful for those brief windows of relative clarity. With a 9AM breakfast deadline looming, I completed the 12 Km round trip back to the refugio descending at break-neck speed to ensure I would have a meal in my belly before facing the dreaded 3 Km, all downhill leg (most punishing on my knees) of our trek. Kyle had waited to have breakfast with me and it was nice sharing our last meal in the park together. Before taking the shuttle to the park entrance and transferring to the afternoon bus back to Puerto Natales we had an opportunity to dry our tent and sweat soaked clothing in the sun and do a bit of sun bathing ourselves.