Friday, January 8, 2016

Day Six: A not too difficult climb...

to Perros Camp and the halfway point to John Gardner Pass (3,937').

Don't let that slightly higher than the lowest point in Colorado elevation fool you. At these closer to the South Pole than the Equator latitudes, there's glaciers practically licking at your trail runners. Tree line in Patagonia is approximately 2,000'. On Christmas Day, a half a meter of White Death fell on the pass prompting the authorities to close it. The Powers to Be will also detain hikers on high wind days as well. The CONAF Rangers consider sustained gusts over 60 MPH to warrant this radical action. It was apparent to me that getting our asses over this pass was the difference in making all our precise travel connections or not. So I kept crossing my fingers,  touching wood and looking up at the sky. 

The divide was named after Mr. Gardner who pioneered the route around the Torres Massif in 1978. (The trail we were now on). He was accompanied by two Chilean guides. History does not mention if he was planning on placing Refugios or campsites along the way. 

Upon arriving in camp, we set up and went into energy conservation mode once again. 

Stories abounded about the pass: boot-sucking mud holes, the potential for a blast of glacier inspired winds and a steep (almost vertical according to the elevation profile on the map), descent on the other side. It sounded crazier than any Colorado pass I ever hiked. 

With all these thoughts in mind, it was an early night for us and our fellow campers. 

Buenas Noches from Camp Perros, that goes for you too Jenny.

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