After the initiation the day before, I set out to do the trek up to lago torre.. The “easy” 20km hike. Just to see if I still remembered how to hike. It had been a while. I had consulted three weather forecasts for that day, one said it would be rainy, the other said it would be clear skies and the third predicted sun in the morning and rain in the evening. They were all wrong. We didn’t get rain, but we didn’t get clear skies either. I didn’t see cerro torre, the mountain after which lago torre is named at all. I actually found out through pictures later that day, that it was way further to the right than I had anticipated. But that doesn’t matter because a) The lago torre and its glacier are pretty even without the surrounding mountains and b) the hike there is absolutely lovely. The path climbs a steep hill initially and then runs almost flat through the valley before reaching the final climb to the lake.
I had barely been walking for twenty minutes when I ran into a puesto de control, a check point of the national parc. My mind went crazy.. What will they check? How thorough are they?What if they think my boots aren’t adequate? What if they say I don’t have good enough clothing? What if they consider my food or water insufficient? My heart sank a little when I turned the corner and a parc ranger was actually standing there. The moment of truth. Nonchalantly and totally confident I approached the check point. We greet each other and then – the moment of truth: The control. “Did you attend the mandatory presentation at the national park center?”. That was it, the entire check. I won’t give away the answer to that question, of course. But I was allowed to continue on. The first viewpoint of the glacier and the mountains in the distance comes shortly after. Then it goes through small forests, through bushes and the open valley onwards always closer to the mountain and its glacier. Finally you reach the lake with its tiny icebergs. Still the clouds hung low in the mountains and I couldn’t make out which peaks where supposed to be what.
Along the border of the ravine runs a small path up to another viewpoint.. Although I’m not sure where that viewpoint is meant to be. I followed the path and eventually found myself in a field of loose gravel on a steep slope with no more path in sight.. That’s when I decided I’d gone far enough and turned around.. On the way back I noticed a branch on the way, which may have been meant to indicate that one shouldn’t go beyond that point.. But we don’t know for sure.. Noone does.
While walking back I saw heavy clouds approaching rapidly. I could see it raining heavily in the distance and was mentally preparing myself to get soaked. But the clouds rushed in, rushed through and rushed out with not a drop of water coming down. I couldn’t help but notice that they also took with them the low-hanging clouds around Cerro Torre, just half an hour after I’d left.. I’m fairly sure they did that on purpose just to tease me.