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timothydhalleine contributor

Hiking the Torres del Paine "O" Trek 5/9

Day 5: Grey Lake (14 km / 8 mi)

As a landscape photographer, I could not ask for a better spot for sunrise pictures. Grey Refuge is only 20 minutes away from a wonderful viewpoint of the glacier. The contrast of the pinkness of the clouds and the blueness of the ice made for a fabulous postcard.

We left the refuge at 10am. The morning was fresh and windy, not surprising considering our distance from the ice fields, but I had never experienced such strong winds and I was happy that the winds were at our back. The hike seemed easy after the John Gardner Pass, and the trails were definitely more crowded. It did not impact the beauty of the landscape though, and it did not take me long to understand the origin of the name for both the glacier and the lake as we hiked along grey waters filled with sediment.

Grey Glacier viewpoint is perfect to observe some giant icebergs Grey Glacier viewpoint is perfect to observe some giant icebergs

We lost sight of the ice fields as we started hiking down through a rocky valley, and the magnificent turquoise blue waters of the Pehoe Lake appeared in the distance. We reached the Paine Grande campsite at the shore of the lake and gathered for dinner in the spacious refuge that is known for being the most crowded spot of the W Trek. The campsite is infamous for its constant wind too, and the tent never stopped shaking that night.

Paine Grande campsite may be busy yet it is always majestic Paine Grande campsite may be busy yet it is always majestic