Manana to Osorno!
Mañana I’m going to leave Puerto Varas and try to climb Volcan Osorno. I have no partners and no guide, but there is a refugio at the base of the glacier where guided groups meet up every morning and attempt the summit. The weather is supposed to be perfect too, so this seems like a perfect time to go for it.
The plan is to get a bus to the far end of the lake to the town of Ensenada. From here, I’ll try to hitch hike to the old ski area at the end of the road that leads up the peak. There is a trail here that continues on to the Refugio Telski. If I can get here by nightfall, then I can set up a bivy, cook up a meal and hopefully meet some independent climbers with a rope with whom I can climb. I have everything that I need, but a rope and partner.
If I can’t get a partner and the Chilean park officials- they are known for stopping people-don’t let me through, I might try to get on a guided team or just walk around the mountain as high as I can go and get some pictures and have a nice outing in a new place.
After talking with folks at gear shops here in town, this peak seems like a money maker for local businesses. Everyone wants to sell a few hundred dollar package to me. When I tell them my experience and what gear I have, they begin to soften and say that there is a possibility of getting on a team and paying far less. Once a guy even gave me some names of people to search out at the refugio. Hmm. It seems like I should be able to find some kind of team?
No matter what happens, just by leaving town and setting off alone I have an adventure and three amazing days doing something new. At worst I’ll have to pay to get on a rope team or putz around down low taking pictures. Not bad either way.
By Saturday night, I should be back in town and ready for the next step: taking a ferry to Chaiten to visit Conservacion Patagonica’s earlier project: Parque Pumalin.