Day 37: From Paine Grande to the Grey Glacier and back (Torres del Paine, Chile)

Thursday, February 1st 2018

Todays itinerary from Fantastico sur:

Day 5: Trekking to Grey Glacier (8-9 hours; 22 km; medium) & Return to Puerto Natales (B/L)

You may choose to leave your big backpack in the storage room at Refugio Paine Grande as you will be passing by here again today. We recommend you to start off at 09:00 am latest, following the trail that goes through the western side of the Paine Massif, with spectacular views of the mountains and the famous Grey Glacier in the distance. After one hour and a half of walking, you will reach the first lookout point, and after another 2 hours you will get to the main lookout right in front of the glacier. You will return to Refugio Paine Grande along the same path. Be ready at 18:00 pm to take the Catamaran that crosses Pehoe Lake until the Pudeto sector, where your bus will be waiting for you to take you back to Puerto Natales (arrival time at Puerto Natales bus station around 22:00 pm).

IMPORTANT: Be sure to arrive on time for the Catamaran departure as delays will require you to stay one extra night at Refugio Paine Grande at your own cost. The departure is at 18:30 pm from Pehoe pier (next to Refugio Grande>. Please be present at the pier by 18:00 pm.

We empty our tent and return the sleeping bags, pack our backbags, put them in a free locker (of course first they try to charge you 5 eur, but if you insist …). Then we have a breakfast with a view.

Sonscha, so called by the enrapt campguy, who immediately got very friendly when she registered yesterday, wants to go for the suspension bridge close to Grey Glacier today. So we try to start earlier than recommended and speed up as it will be 20 km+. We walk with light luggage. It rains and is very windy (forecast, which is always wrong here, said up to 85 kmh blasts). At the same time sun is out. Behind us sky is blue, in front of us more and more black.

For the first 6 km (according to the signs) we already walked 8 (according to GPS). Somebody lies …

The grey glacier is in shadow, but the closer we come …

And finally the suspension bridge …

Lots of ice around:

We look for a rainy lunch break place and sit there. As it is to windy and cold we head to grey camp and sit there.

Todays hike:

We wait for the catamaran to bring us to our bus and back to puerto natales. Bye bye torres del paine.

The bus ride is super hot (broken air condition) and chaotic. The bus is overbooked, so they split the people to other busses but keeping the luggage in the origin one. Anyway, all worries have been for nothing, in the end it all works out fine, we take a 3 eur taxi from the airport to Hotel Noi Indigo Patagonia.

Unfortunately the restaurant is already closed. So we just get our stored luggage from the locker room, go to our room with a real bed and hot shower, repack to fly, do an online check in for tomorrows El Calafate – Buenos Aires flight and go to sleep.

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