20.02.2011 28 °C
I blindly groped around for my gear and clothes. Florien, a German guy that I met yesterday was also up and getting ready for our hike to the torres to catch the sunrise. It was good to have a buddy accompany me on this hike as it would be dangerous to go alone in the dark through the forest and up the mountain.
I finally got to use my headlamp which Justin had bought for me. It proved to be very useful in navigating through the darkness and keeping us on the trail. The hike would take about 2 and a half hours uphill. We could not see any of our surroundings only for the spot of light in front of me. We crossed a few bridges followed the winding trail through the forest up the mountain. There were many other hikers going up that morning as well to catch the sunrise. We were pretty fast as we realized we passed most of the groups going up. We wanted to be the first at the lookout.
Almost to the top of the mountain, we realized that we had gone off the trail. We were climbing up what seemed to be the mountain but I was questioning the difficulty of climbing up because there was no actual trail on it and it was mostly fine sand and rock. It was difficult to even get up the mountain because of the sand. Every step forward and you would slide down 3 steps backward. We finally realized we were on the wrong side when we saw the lights of the other groups going up another hill. We traversed the side of the hill, and through a small patch of woods till we finally saw a marker. What a relief! However because of that, we were not able to be the first ones at the lookout as we planned.
The end of the trail stopped at the bottom of the torres next to a lake. It was still pitch dark when we arrived. We decided to climb abit higher to get a better view of the sunrise. We clambered on a big boulder that faced the torres and could see the sunrise through the valley. It was a truly a magical sight, seeing the sun illuminate the 3 peaks with a red glow. The moon was still visible in the morning sky as the rays slowly extended down the side of the peaks. We all just stood there admiring the magic and the beauty, taking pictures and just soaking in the beginning of the brand new day. This was what I came here to see.
After the climb back down the mountain, I bid Florian farewell as he had a long day ahead of him and wanted to start off immediately when we arrived at camp. I packed my stuff and was ready to head back down to Laguna Armaga for my bus back to El Calafate. It felt like I have been in the wilderness for a long time even though it only has been 3 nights. I took my time to reflect on my hike through the mountains and the people I have met on the lonely hike back. The day was even hotter than yesterday and the walk on the dusty road was like walking on an oven. My feet were sore and blistered after only 4 days of walking. I was thinking to myself, if I were to do this for a week, would I last? After arriving at Laguna Armaga and put down my backpack, I think I could and would do this for a week. The adventure is only as fun as the people you meet. The people I have met and talked to during the hike have been interesting and helpful, offering me food and company that I wouldn’t have lasted without them. After a final chat with a few people waiting for the bus there, my bus arrived and I departed for El Calafate with an invigorated spirit. It was good to see Justin back at the hostel when I arrived.