The 2018 Perlan Team got to El Calafte in good order. However a blizzard closed the high passes of the Andes. So our container had a delay at the busy Chilean port of San Antonio. For the past few years the team has really wanted to travel only 4 hours south from El Calafate to the crown jewel of Chilean national parks – Torres del Paine. It was selected by Trip Advisor fans as the 8th wonder of the world.
So with a few extra days, Sandra arranged a fabulous trip to Torres del Paine for 15 of us. We traveled in style in a 4×4 tour bus aptly named SouthRoad over frozen gravel roads. We began before sunrise and saw the Torre massif as the sun came up. The vistas, wildlife, waterfalls, even an avalanche were once in a lifetime events. Paine means blue in the native language, and from a distance they do look blue. The torres (towers) are iconic granite spires into the Patagonia skies. The Paine massif has unusual rock layers with black shale on top of gray granite. The lakes are less than 100 meters elevation and the massif is just over 3,000 meters. The towers are 2400-2700 m tall.
Although it was chilly, the wind on the ground was very light. However we could see indications of high altitude winds build throughout the day. By sunset there were stacked lennies between us and El Calafate. We view this as a good omen of things to come in 2018. Thanks to the entire team for contributing photos. Perlan Soars!