|Glacier Torre, the first of several glaciers on our trip.|
One of the best parts about hiking in El Chalten is that you can do a lot of the best hikes with only a daypack. So on our last morning, we loaded up light packs and headed to the Mirador Maestri, above the Laguna Torre and Glacier Torre and supposedly boasting grandstand views of Cerro Torre, the second-biggest peak in the park.
We hiked along the moraine wall of the glacier, and for the first of many times on this trip, I wish I remembered more from my eighth-grade geology class. I definitely used to know what a moraine wall is, and my topographical map-reading skills have declined significantly since I was 14.
|Me on the moraine wall|
After making it most of the way to the mirador (lookout), we turned back at the preset time (it was drilled into me that you should always have a turnback time in mind, so you don’t get stuck out too late), but I gathered that not everyone followed this principle. Also, Cerro Torre appeared ensconced behind a permanent cloud, which appeared solid like an ice peak. So we figured we didn’t need to rush to the top just to see a cloud.
We packed up camp and headed the 9.5 kilometers back to El Chalten. The trek was long, and at this point, our packs were very painful. I ended up ditching mine for the next section of the hike, it hurt my back so much, which meant that for now, Ben had most of the weight. Luckily the terrain was beautiful, with the mountains behind us, a river ravine off to our right, and Cerro Torre still lurking behind the cloud (we finally glimpsed it for about five seconds, before it disappeared again).
And that was it for El Chalten. The next day it was off to El Calafate and the Perito Moreno glacier.