Wednesday, April 27, 2011


April 1, Friday
I have a lot of pictures to post for this, the most important and exciting day of our trek so I plan to take us only through the noon hour in this post, and then finish telling the story of the day tomorrow.

We got up around 7 a.m., hiked up the hill to nature's biffy. I discovered that clean snow makes a good substitute for toilet paper, and is not as uncomfortable as you'd imagine.

We left about 7:30, skipping breakfast for now. More dire: skipping that first cup of

Soon the sun came up and was shining brilliantly on the hills above us.

An hour and half of uphill hiking brought us to the Torres Campground where we found a three sided shelter, just right for cooking some breakfast.

When I asked that the first boiling water be used to make coffee, D.S. chided me, "That's
really being addicted." But he did make the coffee first. Thanks!

The second batch of boiling water was used to make a warming pot of oatmeal, which we dug into with our little plastic spoons.
Tasted great! A quick clean up and we were on the trail again.

You can see from this picture that the weather was quite nice. We had a lot of sunshine on the way up, so much so that I've taken off my Goretext shell and tied the arms around my waist. Since we left our tent, sleeping bags and backpacks at the campground, I'm carrying only a small black bag with my camera and a water bottle.

The orange post beside the trail marks the trail for times when it's snow covered. There were areas like this one where the drop off was quite steep. If I had stepped off the trail I would have gone all the way down the hill.

For most of the way the trail wound through treed
areas, and that provided some protection from
the greatest amounts of snowfall. It's not too deep around the trail here.

The farther up the trail we went, the deeper the snow got. At one point a young couple passed us on their way down. They had turned around before reaching the top. From that point on D.S. was breaking trail through the snow cover.

Then we came to this area. Leaving the forest we came to a large, snow covered
boulder field. Because there was no protection from the weather, the snow here was waist deep. We couldn't see where the trail was as the orange posts were quite far apart, but we sensed the the end of the trail and the lookout for the Torres was just over the crest of that hill.

This was where the going got really hard. D.S. went ahead of me, gouging deep holes in the snow with every step. I followed as best I could. At one point I got stuck, with my left leg bent up behind from the knee, and the right leg down in a deep hole. D.S. later said that I kind of "wallowed" out of that.

At one point I told him just to go ahead with the camera, and I'd wait there for him. But he encouraged me to keep going. He got so excited when we neared the top that he went running ahead (well, as much as running in waist deep snow is possible) like a little kid who's going to the beach and has to run the last 100 yards. I so enjoyed his excitement!

He reached the top, and them came back and pulled me forward in his excitement. I struggled up the last few yards, and THERE WE WERE!!! at the end of the trail. The sign reads: Mirador Las Torres Fin de Sendero/End of Trail. A mirador is a lookout or viewpoint. The famous Torres (towers) the park is named for are behind us. Nearest us is the North Torre, in the mist behind the two is us is the Central Torre, and behind the sign, in even more mist is the South Torre.

We did it! Broke trail all the way to the top. A quiet young man had been following us, and reached the top a few minutes later. And soon a fellow in his mid-forties from Australia arrived. He was kind enough to take a picture with our camera of this high point (in all senses) for us.

It was noon when we got there, so we had a few bites to eat of some snack food. Although the scene behind us is very misty, the sky was clear in the other direction, and the sun was warm and bright. Altogether, a great day for our big adventure!

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