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View of Cuernos del Paine; Can you spot Sue's Red Jacket?

On the seventh day, we did not rest, rather we headed out for a ten mile hike to Glacier Frances (French Glacier). The hike quietly began at Lago Pehoe (Pehoe Lake) and then delved into the park's most intense valley. On the left side of the valley stood the massive Cerro Paine Grande, which includes the highest peak in the park at 10,665 feet. On the right side, stood the Cuernos del Paine (Paine Horns). In the middle, down the valley, ran the tumbling Rio del Frances (French River), gushing from its namesake glacier.

The whole hike centered around the combatting moods of the opposing valley walls — the left side tall, aloof, white, cold, snow-swept peaks; the right side arid, warm, forthright and layered horns. There are several panoramas below that attempt to capture the contrast that overwhelmed the valley. 

Panorama of the Fench Valley as we round the corner to enter it. Notice the contrast between the two sides.

Unfortunately, due to waning light, we had to turn around just as we reached Campamento Italiano (the Italian Camp), where the views of the valley began to really open up. The periodic sounds of the glacier crashing and calving lured us forward, but the safety minded Manuel pulled us teeth and nail back to camp. This hike is my number one destination if I ever return to this God's Country of the South.

By the way, the suspension footbridge just south of camp was to die for! 

The Notros were in bloom along Lago Skottsberg (Scottsberg Lake)
Rio del Frances with Glacier Frances in the distant background
Cuernos del Paine and clouds

As I have commented elsewhere, the Patagonian clouds were most spectacular. To the left is another lenticular cloud that threatens to dominate the seemingly indomitable Paine Horns. 

One last valley view from the French River's riverbed.

(c) Geoffrey Peters,, 2002. For more information regarding this web page, please contact
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