200m elevation change
No sleeping in this morning. We will need to hike progressively longer, farther, and cover more elevation gain over the next few days. I am not looking forward to Day 4 when we have our longest hike and largest elevation gain.
The nice thing about leaving late yesterday was that we were not crowded with the rest of the hikers. The park requires everyone to hike “O” route counterclockwise. The campsite is strategically spaced out with reasonable hiking times, so most likely you are staying with the same group of people each night. The hike was nice until I rounded the mountain at Paine Lake and was caught in the wind and rain . I rarely wore my rain pants because they are kind of a PITA to get on and off, but they did their job today. By the time we got to Coiron ranger station about an hour later, the sun was out and I was back in t shirt.
The ranger will check that you have reservations for the remainder of the “O” route before letting you resume. Im not sure why they do it there instead of earlier at Seron. It would suck if you hiked 7 hours from the welcome center and then was told to turn around and go back. We had a hot lunch, filled up our bottles, and made friends with Laura who was solo backpacking from Canada.
During the second half of the trip, I saw my first glacier. I was hiking toward it for a good hour and it provided some motivation toward the end of the hike. As I dragged myself closer to it, I could see campamento Dickson nestled in a picture perfect peninsula, which provided new motivate to continue moving.
Chatting with some of the other hikers, It sounded like we were the only ones who had to leave at 6am to complete the crazy long hike to campamento Paso tomorrow. We made a slight hiccup and the reservation for a more expensive preassembled tent rather than a tent spot. On the plus side the interior was huge (enough for 3 people) and would be more convenient when leaving in the dark tomorrow.
This campsite was run by Vertice, the second private campsite company. There was a refugio with a luxury restaurant (by camping standards). Once again we were able to enjoy modern amenities minus wifi (this is my world right now, I rather stay ignorant of the real world. I like this site because they sold eggs (3 for 1000 CLP), which went well with the chicken and rice. What did not go well was my attempt to pouch the eggs in the jet boil.
The skies were pretty moody this afternoon, but during dinner the sun broke out for a while and lit up the entire camp and splashed a rainbow across the sky. We were up until 9pm chatting with other campers. It was easy to get carried away because sunset wasn’t until 8pm.
I bought the last 3 eggs for breakfast tomorrow (planning to hard boil from now on)