Torres del Paine (W: Los Cuernos), Chile Nov. 28, 2011
Los Cuernos is the nicest refugio to stay after a long day in the French Valley because of this hot tub by the cabanas and a waterfall.
From the hot tub the view over the lake is good too.
Not to mention the mountains behind
Los Cuernos has dorm rooms like the other refugios but we opted for this cabana.
The cabana is secluded but still rustic with no heat and bath down the stairs outside to a separate building.
View from the cabana leaving the next morning
Zoom of Cuerno Este and waterfall above the cabana
Overview of Los Cuernos cabanas from the trail leaving camp
Sunny break last view of Cuerno Este
This was the easiest day, 10AM to 4PM, 9 miles and about 1,500 feet of climbing from Los Cuernos to Refugio Chileno. Topo map included again; click on it and use the magnifying glass to see full resolution.
Mountains to the north as we hike east
The south side of Lago Nordenskjold has smoother hills with curved rock layers
There were quite a few stream crossings. Some were rocky.
Some were muddy as the trail crossed a meadow.
The shortcut trail to Chileno climbs out of the meadow. Soon we overlook Rio Paine flowing into the east end of Lago Nordenskjold.
The shortcut joins the main trail from Hosteria Las Torres.
Within 10 minutes we're at the high point, looking up Rio Ascencio to Refugio Chileno and mountains beyond.
This area had the strongest steady winds of 30+ of our time on the W, but we were only up there 10 minutes or so.
Zoom of the glacial cirque at distance shows a fracture line on the left side.
A group on horses is coming out of Chileno.
Bridge and Refugio Chileno
Hiking boots and bulletin board at Chileno
This is the most remote location I've seen the MRG sticker.
There's a thin waterfall coming down the hillside next to Refugio Chileno.
The tops of the namesake Paine Towers are visible from Chileno. Temporary clearing late in the day.
Chileno has dorm rooms (with sleeping bags as not heated) plus campsites. Chileno and Cuernos are operated by Fantastico Sur http://www.fslodges.com/en.html . We thought their food was better than at Paine Grande, which along with Refugio Grey is operated by Vertice http://www.verticepatagonia.com/ .