Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Torres Del Paine Day 1

Hitting the park early from the south entrance first off was to Grey Lake for breakfast then on north around inside the park to come along to our next wow.

The wind was beating us around badly from all angles and the rain wofting in and out as we cruzed.

IMG_6827 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

On getting to Lake Nordenskjold the wind was unbelievable and making riding extremely difficult.

IMG_6831 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Taking some photos was testing my ability to hold Maya up as I was getting smacked from all sides from the wind changing its mind in direction every second.

Stopping at a lay-by we watched in awe at the abrupt rock faces looking down on us and the incredible wind ripping water from the lake making massive mobile sheets ….to say the conditions were ruff was an understatement, although 20 degrees still and sunny would be nice this was simply awesome with the aggressiveness and the anxiousness of knowing mum nature can throw us off the bike at any second.

IMG_6854 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Vulnerable, excited, scared and wowed, what a feeling of knowing you are in the thick of it and you have to make it work or suffer, scary but cool.

The new bridge to Las Torres, the spires hidden in the background

IMG_6865 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Making it to Hotel Las Torres we felt like we had cheated death, I have to admit in the heaviest of wind I was a little concerned.

We had made great time getting there, so we decided to get to the camp so we could view the three spires.

Talking with the hotel guys we could store gear at $2.00 per bag for the night …. we said to the dude well we have a heap of gear, jackets, boots, helmets etc so he gave us a massive plastic bag and said use this … it was huge and no way we could put all the stuff in and lift it or it would tear the arse out of it.

He let us fill it up in the store room so it did not burst … he was good to us so I gave him a coffee toffee lollie …dude was stoked and made his day.

After strapping Maya down literally so she would not blow away (there was a small moto laying on its side) we headed for the hills, the weather partly playing with us, spits of rain, wind, sun, wind , still, wind, blowing and wind…could not make its mind up.

Stringwork 101 "How to stop your moto blowing away", add two straps and one cable and tie to timber work

IMG_6869 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Undeterred we hiked up to the cafe and Chileano camp site, our free camp was another hour up the valley, the weather caved in temporarily so we took shelter in the cafe where you can have a coffee for $7 if your pockets were too heavy, it then cleared so we headed up to camp.

IMG_6871 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

From the cafe, the weather was playing with us

IMG_6874 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The spires visible for a while

IMG_6875 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Torres the free camp turned out to be much better, more sheltered and right at the bottom of the base summit assault.

IMG_6890 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Turns out we were probably twice everyone elses age there which was kinda funny, we set the camp then headed to the top for the view of the spires.

The climb up was ok but ominous weather pushed us around a bit with the top part being extremely exposed.

IMG_6895 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The rock in the middle of the photo is the size of a house

IMG_6892 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Cresting the ridge at the base of the spires at the lake was breath taking, it was a quick set of show pony “we were here” photos before mum nature pulled the curtain over the display, we decided to sit it out and wait for the spires to reappear but todays show was over and aggressively over.

IMG_6897 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_6901 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_6903 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

After this it was game over

IMG_6906 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Mum nature was erratically throwing rain in all directions propelled by winds that were swerving more than a drunk driver and despite us sheltering under an overhanging rock we all started very getting wet.

Coupled with a wind chill factor that was ugly enough to bring on hypothermia to the unprepared many others huddled knees to knees with us hoping it would clear, one by one everyone peeled off heading back down at a brisk pace.

My final face, I even used my brow wiping clothe to stop the wind chilling my forehead down....time to go

IMG_6910 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

We waited for a break in the weather, we didn’t get it, another large rock looked appealing but the appeal was short lived, the weather was setting in for keeps and the rain laden air starting to carry snow cloud, the temperature dropped like a stone so we had no choice but to bail and get down.

The driving rain and big winds soaked us and all we could do was battle it back to camp, the unfortunate thing is we are NOT allowed a camp fire thanks to an Israeli guy who tried to burn his shitpaper and set the whole fucking park into flames, now NO fires end of story.

The fine for a fire is $16000 USD and 5 years in prison, they are serious about it, however we were soaked and cold so free accommodation in jail seemed like a nice warm option

As we had started at 5 am we had a big day so were in bed by 6 pm cos it was pissing down and cold, we did however meet another Kiwi dude and chatted for a while which was well cool.

We had travelled lite up to the camp so made the most of our gear we had which was not much, although enough to get by it was not enough to be comfortable not having a spare set of dry clothes to change into, given the supposed forecast we should have been ok but the forecast here is a bad joke and you simply can not rely on it.

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