Patagonia travelogue 2009: hiking fitz roy 2

Day 5, in which trekking resumes.

In the morning, I find out Mel’s tent leaks water (sierra designs telox 1-person, you are on notice) and she, surrounded by growing puddles, was running a fever all night, the fever only breaking a few hours ago. A pattern of my co-adventurers falling ill is developing. My bedside manner is to throw them a bottle of aspirin and tell them not to die on me. So far, I have a 100% survival rate thru the night.

Sunshine. Clear skies. The rest of the camp emerges from their nylon capsules. Paul is a big bear man with a northwest American accent. His brothers run a hostel in the torres del Paine area, and Paul barkeeps next door at the Erratic Rock. They are all transplants from Oregon. That state is diaspora central. Like seeds in the wind. We commisserate about the rain, swap gear tips, and wish each other good trails.

Breakfast: instant oatmeal. I inhale mine, and curiously look over at Mel who is poking away at hers carefully. My god, is she a picky eater?? I advise her, “We’re low on calories and need every bit of energy. It’s good for you. Eat it.” I dig further. Turns out she won’t eat clif bars, has a mild wheat intolerance, and dislikes nuts (“there’s nuts in trail mix? I thought it was all, yknow, dried bananas and apricots and berries.) I interpret this exchange as a green light to eat as much of our food as I want.

Side trip to mirador maestri at the Laguna Torre to see the glacier up close. The viewpoint is not well marked; we stop walking when it says “Stop! No go ahead. Soil unstable. ”

Resume trek. Late start at 2pm but we trek without incident north around the lagunas madre y hija, arriving 4 hours later at Campamento Poincenot, near the base of the great Mount Fitz Roy. We set up camp in twilight and cook and eat by headlamp.

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