When: 11-Apr-2019

Summary

  • Section: Camp Paine Grande – Mirador Británico – Camp Los Cuernos
  • Distance: 25km
  • Duration: 10h, including breaks at the Británico lookout and at Italiano ranger station after hike up to lookout
  • Steady up and down between Camp Paine Grande and Camp Los Cuernos.
  • From Camp Paine Grande to Camp Italiano it's 7.5km.
  • Round trip to mirador Británico from Camp Italiano has an elevation gain of 550m within 5.5km in one direction.
  • From Italiano to Los Cuernos it’s another 5km.
  • This section is well-marked and crowded.
  • Camp Los Cuernos is fully equipped with hot showers, bathrooms, indoor kitchen, restaurant, little shop.

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): 3.2 / 10
This is made up of the following categories:

Category A: General - 6 / 10

Distance: 25km
Duration: 10h
Elevation gain/loss: Steady up and down between camps Paine Grande and Los Cuernos. To the Británico lookout there’s a gain of 550m within 5.5km.

Category B: Terrain - 5 / 10

Forest ground between camps Paine Grande and Los Cuernos. To the Británico lookout there are rocky bits. A few boulders on the way for some fun.

Category C: Weather - 2 / 10

Cold but sunny all day. Started raining when we arrive at camp.

Category D: Special Conditions - 2 / 10

Backpacks getting lighter by the day. The hike up to the lookout with just a small bag felt like a walk in the park.

Category E: Individual Condition - 1 / 10

I'm back, all fit and well.

My Experience

Today is the day we do the most walking. We take a little detour to the Británico lookout. It's definitely worth it. Awesome views up and down the Francés valley.

All day we walk along Sköttsberg Lake and Nordernskjöld Lake. For the walk to the lookout, we leave our big backpacks in the Italiano camp which seems to be common. We put some locks on our backpacks, tie them together and hang them on a tree. To make extra sure it is safe from crazy mice and other curious creatures.

It’s the first day in over a week when I am walking with only a tiny backpack. I feel like I am flying. The whole distance seems like a walk in the park. Sometime around this time, I must’ve started developing my heavy-backpack-training idea.

All the way up to the Británico lookout we follow a river. There are several smaller springs flowing into this river. Drinking from springs throughout the park is safe. Patagonia is said to have very clean water. When you drink from one, make sure you choose a spring away and uphill from walking tracks.

Found some nice boulders to play around with a little bit along the track. Happy Saphi.

 

 

When we reach Camp Francés, it’s time to say our goodbyes to Darryn.

That was the plan, at least. But only for a day as the three of us already decided to have a little after track gathering together in Puerto Natales.

At the reception Christian and I explain our situation regarding being behind with the reservations. Opposite to all the other campgrounds they want us to repay the stay for this night. Which is fine. This is why we spontaneously decide to walk a bit further and join Darryn at his camp. Don’t break up the hiking crew.

It makes the day a bit longer but it also saves us a few k’s on the next day.

It's already dark when we arrive at the Los Cuernos camp. Without any further issues we pay and sign in for camping.

Finding a nice spot for our tent is another story. The camp is crowded with primarily wooden tent platforms left. These are awesome for self supporting tents. Guess whose tent is not self supporting.

Again, I'm missing the remoteness of the first few days of our soon to be ending multi day adventure.

Tomorrow we will be heading for Camp Central. Where it all began.

 

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