Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trekking Navarino's Teeth

They call it the most southerly trek on earth, this five-day loop through the wilderness on Isla Navarino, Chile, south of Tierra del Fuego. I suppose you could tromp across the Antarctic snows, but for us el Circuito de los Dientes de Navarino was enough of a challenge--and one of the best things either of us has ever done.

Hi Mom! Just setting out on the trail. (Patricio Cano)

And here's Patricio, guide, cook, photographer, with some of the Dientes in the background. Later we'd learn he also does a kick-ass Michael Jackson imitation around the campfire (KK).

Camp One, on the shores of Laguna del Salto (KK).

Patricio with his brother and business partner (www.extremewilliams.com). John hiked all the way up to Laguna del Salto to bring us some salt (KK).

A young condor (KK).

Rie and Patricio at Paso Australia, one in a series of windy passes (KK).

Honestly, these patches of last year's snow were only 20 or 30 yards wide . . .  (KK)

. . . but they make a dramatic photo, don't they? (MK)

Looking south over Laguna del Paso. Way off on the horizon are the islands around Cape Horn (KK).

A closer look at some of the Dientes (KK).

"El Árbol Cansado." By this point, we were a little tired ourselves (KK).

The hill above our second campsite. During the night, a boulder came tumbling down, scaring me silly but landing far from our tents (KK).

Near Camp Two. For a second, the Newfoundlander in me almost believed I was there. (KK)

Rie gets our tent in order while I wander around taking photos (KK).

Day Three--nearing the exceedingly well-named Paso Ventarrón. It was WINDY!
Laguna Hermosa with Cerro Clem in back, the peak named for Clem Lindenmayer, who marked this wonderful trail (KK).

And here are the Montes Lindenmayer, the backdrop for much of the third day's hike (KK).

Sunset at camp three (KK).

Day Four. Climb every mountain, ford every stream--I think we ran through every song we know, good and bad, on this trek (MK).

Day Four was all about rocks, though at break time there was a lovely mossy stream (MK).
Kath and Patricio climbing towards Paso Virginia (MK).
And climbing (KK).
From Paso Virginia, looking north over Laguna los Guanacos and the Beagle Channel (MK).
Kath at Paso Virginia, right before up up up up up became down down down down down (MK).
Here's where it got a little scary for a while, the steep descent to Laguna los Guanacos (MK).
Thank heavens for Patricio (KK).
The view from the scree (KK).
Then we got rained on, but only for a little while. Given how bad the weather can get in these parts, we were incredibly lucky. Still, Camp Four was known as Camp Damp (KK).
Many layers were required (KK).

Day Five. Patricio made coffee to fortify us. Much of the hard work was done, but still ahead was . . . (KK)
. . . el calafate. Lots and lots of calafate to push our way through. Looks yummy, doesn't it? It is, but oh, those thorns! (MK)
Rie tried pan indio . . .  (KK)

. . . an edible fungus--well, as long as edible means "if you're truly desperate" (KK).
Before we were really ready for the trek to be over, we came out of the woods to a stellar view of the Beagle Channel (KK).

And before we knew it, we were back at Patty Pusaki's B&B, ready for hot showers, chocolate cake and a long, long sleep.

1 comment:

Marie said...

Absolutely stunning! Thank you so much for sharing these... I was also imagining the Labrador landscape in some of those shots. I was also thinking of those early Antarctic explorers for whom this desolate place was a kind of heaven. :-)