When: 07-Apr-2019

Summary

  • Section: Camp Dickson – Camp Los Perros
  • Distance: 12km
  • Duration: 5h, including a snack break by the river and a short break at miradors (viewpoints) Valle de Los Perros and Glaciar Los Perros
  • There’s an elevation gain of about 360m.
  • As we are eventually heading for the highest point of this multi day track, Paso John Gardner, it's mainly uphill from Camp Dickson.
  • Two river crossings across wooden bridges.
  • Los Perros river leads all the way up to the glacial lake which is located just before the camp.
  • This track section is well-marked.
  • Camp Los Perros is equipped with showers, bathrooms, an indoor kitchen. Bathrooms were closed when we camped there. There were backup toilets and showers. Not as luxurious but more than enough given the remoteness.

Difficulty Rating

Below is my personal grading of the track including some key points. Check out the intro page to the SB scale here if you want to know how I do the rating.
The overall difficulty rating for this track is (with 10 being the hardest): 2.4 / 10
This is made up of the following categories:

Category A: General - 3 / 10

Distance: 12km
Duration: 5h
Elevation gain/loss: 360m

Category B: Terrain - 3 / 10

The path starts out going uphill through forest. Towards the end it gets rocky with accompanying streams.
There are two river crossings over bridges.

Category C: Weather - 2 / 10

Mostly sunny. Wind just becomes the new normal.
Generally, weather usually gets worse in the afternoon.
It's the same today. It started getting windier and raining just when we arrived in camp.

Category D: Special Conditions - 2 / 10

Guess what? Yes, the packs are still heavy.

Category E: Individual Condition - 2 / 10

A warm dinner and hot shower the day before, a good night’s sleep and nice weather fill us up with energy.
Our bodies are adjusting to the weight on our backs and walking all day.

My Experience

Today marks the day my hiking routine is enriched. By having a maté.

Darryn, our new hiking buddy, invites us to share a few cups with him in the morning before he heads off. The three of us relax for a bit and enjoy the start of a new day.

Today also marks the day when I will have a close look at a glacier for the first time. Just before Camp Los Perros lies the glacier which gave the camp its name. But there are a few kilometers ahead of us before we reach this site.

From here it is mainly uphill all the way to the highest point of the entire hike, Paso John Gardner. We will reach this pass the next day. The elevation gain is steady but stretches over distance. The sun is shining again.

But heads up: The Patagonian weather is not going to let us get used to this.

All in all this day's hike feels relaxing to me. We were able to get some rest and warm food the day before. Our bodies begin to adjust to carrying a heavy backpack and walking some distances each day.

 

 

We walk along the Los Perros river all the way to the glacier and its lake. It doesn’t take long after leaving camp to reach the day’s first mirador (Spanish for lookout). Valle de Los Perros unfolds right in front of us. We can even see parts of the Dickson glacier and its lake. When we arrive at the mirador, we catch up with Darryn who is analysing a probable puma footprint with a ranger.

We walk through bush and forest for most of the track. A few kilometers before camp Los Perros the trek gets a bit rockier. The more we walk each day, it seems, the more remote we get.

And then, there it is: el glaciar Los Perros. My first close up sight of a glacier. The area around the glacier is windy. This doesn’t stop us from gazing at the sight for a while.

The two hikers who arrived after us at Dickson the day before are spending an extra night there. This makes Darryn, Christian and I the only ones camping at Los Perros this night.

 

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