Glorious Grey Glacier

Torres Del Paine Travel Blog

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Glorious Glacier Grey with the beautiful Firebush (Notro) in the foreground

After a good breakfast at Refugio Paine Grande, we collected our lunchbox consisting of a tuna and cheese sandwich, a candy bar, a cereal bar, a package of biscuits, a package of raisins and nut and a huge orange. We ate the orange immediately to avoid the mess of eating along the way and having to carry the waste to the destination.

We finally started on our trek to Refugio Grey at about 9.30am. A big change from the previous day, it was partially cloudy and there was hardly any wind. The path ascends for an hour through the valley before finally coming out of it at the small Laguna Los Patos where the water was so still that there were clear reflections. Proceeding further and descending along the eastern side of the Lago Grey, we finally had some great views of the snow-capped mountains and icebergs “beached” at the side of the lake.

The "beached" icebergs in Lago Grey

We took a long break to enjoy the scenery and while watching other trekkers rushing by. It always amazed us how people could rush through the trails without much time to enjoy thoroughly the magnificent sceneries.

We continued on the trail and could see the glorious Grey Glacier in a distance. We reached the Mirador at about 1pm and the view from here with the lake, glacier, snow-capped mountains and weird clouds high up in the sky formed by the high speed winds was just magnificent! The end of Grey Glacier is split into two by a nunatak, La Isla. This Mirador is a popular place and there were quite a number of other trekkers. We found a great spot away from the trail for lunch.   

Thereafter, the trail continues alongside Lago Grey with the usual ups and downs through the Lenga (beech) forest.

Lago Grey, Grey Glacier and the snow-capped mountains in the background
There were a lot of beautiful and vivid red Firebush plants (Notro) on the way just after the Mirador. It was still a good two hours walk before reaching Refugio Grey but the incentive was seeing the beautiful glacier right in front of us as we trekked towards it.

Before arriving at Refugio Grey, we walked by the new Lago Grey Mountain Lodge that looks pretty good. It was interesting to see on the signboard how they apologized for the delay in operating the new lodge.

Refugio Grey is a rather small and rustic lodge. It is able to accommodate only up to a maximum of 32 people in the four dormitories, each with four double deckle beds. That day happened to be full house too, so after having chosen our beds, we quickly unpacked and went to queue for the shower.

Finding a nice spot for lunch ...
There are only two showers and two toilets each for the ladies and gents. Hence it was a bit of a queue for the shower at the ladies bathroom as we wanted to be fresh for dinner. Hot water for showering was available, however that worked only when one shower was turned on due to the water pressure not being strong enough for both showers. Hence, one had to wait or to take a very cold shower. This was explained to us by some volunteers who were there to help build a suspension bridge and had been staying there for a week already.

Although Refugio Grey is rather old, its location is superb with the mountains to the back, the lake with floating icebergs to the front and the glacier to the side. The campsite next to the Refugio is probably one of the best in terms of view as one could watch the sun set over the lake.

Dinner was very tasty and the menu for the evening consisted of fresh breads, soup, rice with beef and mushroom sauce and dessert of jelly with fruits. Wine and beer were sold and we had a Chilean red wine, Casillero del Diablo, that tasted really good.

Despite the chatting and music from the common area downstairs and the mattress being a bit worn out, I was able to fall asleep quickly after getting into bed at about 9.30pm.

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skippyed says:
Sounds like you can buy the meals when you get there?
Posted on: Feb 10, 2012
mountaingirl says:
We were on full board with Vertice Patagonia i.e. accommodation at the refugio + 3 meals. It was around US$75/day. But you can also bring your own food and take only part of the meals there. The dinners are usually good and varied.
Posted on: Feb 10, 2012
skippyed says:
Is the food expensive? I guess you buy it when your there?
Posted on: Feb 10, 2012
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Glorious Glacier Grey with the bea…
Glorious Glacier Grey with the be…
The beached icebergs in Lago Grey
The "beached" icebergs in Lago Grey
Lago Grey, Grey Glacier and the sn…
Lago Grey, Grey Glacier and the s…
Finding a nice spot for lunch ...
Finding a nice spot for lunch ...
The reflection on Lago Pehoe early…
The reflection on Lago Pehoe earl…
Walking through the valley towards…
Walking through the valley toward…
Coming out of the valley and reach…
Coming out of the valley and reac…
The reflections on Laguna Los Patos
The reflections on Laguna Los Patos
Reflections
Reflections
Trekking along Lago Grey towards R…
Trekking along Lago Grey towards …
Walking towards the majestic views!
Walking towards the majestic views!
That was the comfortable lunch spo…
That was the comfortable lunch sp…
Continuing towards Refugio Grey ..…
Continuing towards Refugio Grey .…
The beautiful Firebush plant (Notr…
The beautiful Firebush plant (Not…
The trail goes up and down and thr…
The trail goes up and down and th…
Grey Glacier with the nunatak (Las…
Grey Glacier with the nunatak (La…
More floating icebergs in Lago Grey
More floating icebergs in Lago Grey
Love the way they apologised for t…
Love the way they apologised for …
Finally reaching Refugio Grey and …
Finally reaching Refugio Grey and…
Refugio Grey in grand setting with…
Refugio Grey in grand setting wit…
View from the Grey campsite
View from the Grey campsite
The best campsite along the trail …
The best campsite along the trail…
Evening view at about 9.30pm from …
Evening view at about 9.30pm from…
Contributing my compliments to the…
Contributing my compliments to th…
The calm Lago Grey early the next …
The calm Lago Grey early the next…
Torres Del Paine
photo by: Vlindeke