Winter on the Carretera Austral. Part IV. Cochrane to Villa O’Higgins

Villa O’Higgins, the end of the Carretera Austral and the start of our planned escape route out of Chile: a ‘wade’ across the multiple freezing water channels of Paso Rio Mayer (next post).
The last few posts are all centred around Patagonia’s favourite subject: the weather. But down here in Winter it really is the primary consideration for any day’s activity and it’s a topic that’s hard to avoid. … Several ‘rest’ days holed up in Hospedaje Ana Luz gave us time to contemplate how bloody cold it might get. Dropping to -10C and lower at night with undeniable consistency.

Snow on the Carretera Austral. Part III. June. Puerto Rio Tranquilo to Cochrane. Patagonia.

“Even in March, people were arriving from Ushuaia telling us how we’re ‘gonna die down there’. But it turns out it’s all hype. It was colder in Bariloche than it was in Ushuaia! It’ll be fine. I mean, really, I’m not sure what the big deal is.”   The words of travellers in Villa Cerro Castillo. A few days later we were camping in -11C and 3 foot of snow.

Snowy Volcano Villarica – PucĂłn

Previously, the idea of climbing with so many people may have bothered me but after climbing mountains, camping in nature and being outdoors for a few years, I have found myself far more accepting of crowds. The craving to get away from society has noticeably diminished and seeking pure solitude has dropped down my list of priorities. Before…