Hike to Los Cuernos and Refugio Frances:
This was a 13 km walk under partly sunny conditions shifting to cloudy with light rain showers. Temperature was 5-10C with gusty winds up to 80 km/hr.
I had been apprehensive about hiking in the rain for a week. However, the wind gusts were so strong that you quickly dry off after light, intermittent rain showers. This was the first hiking day for our group of 12. We learned our relative hiking speed and ability. Our main guide, Dani, calibrated our group pace to one that was sustainable to us all.


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Early in the walk with partly cloudy skies looking toward
Lago Norenskjold
As conditions turned cloudy with light rain, Los
Cuernos appeared through the mist.

Yellow orchid, Gavilea kingii
I lost count of the number of orchid species
that Dani pointed out on our trip.

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Patagonia pea, Lathyrus nervosa. These flowers
were distributed throughout the terrain. Our guide, Dani,
was a wealth of information on flora, fauna, geology
and anthropology of the area that greatly enhanced
our appreciation of the unique Patagonian ecosystem.
The view along Lago Norenskjold
The best view of Los Cuernos we had during our
hike on Tuesday.
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Stream originating from Los Cuernos
and the waterfall above. This photo was taken as
the stream entered Lago Norenskjold
Refugio Frances where we stayed
Tuesday night. This is a relatively new refugio
that met our needs for a bunk, shelter,
warm shower, a basic beef and potato -
based meal and access to
a decent supply of Chilean red wine. They
supplied us with an outstanding roast beef
sandwich for our hike the next day.

Lago Norenskjold at sunrise from
Refugio Frances. The white streaks in
the photo are snowflakes.