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Photographer's Note

Here a repost of my previous photo, a view across the Rio Paine of the Cerro Almirante Nieto and Los Torres Del Paine themselves. This time I am posting a horizontal composition instead of the earlier portrait orientation; I am interested to know which of the two you Trekearthers think is the more effective.

Here is what I wrote in my Blog at the time, about my failed attempt to cross the John Gardner pass a couple of days later. If anyone wants to read the whole story, then PM me and I'll send you the link:

"I carried on but the higher I went, the heavier became the snow and the stronger grew the wind. There was no trail to follow now; the route was marked by orange poles and paint marks on the rocks. At first this was simple enough, but as the snow grew heavier and deeper it was taking me longer and longer to spot the next pole that I should be heading for. It was tough to look ahead because the gusts of wind were driving stinging snow into my eyes; more and more often, I found myself having to wait two or three minutes for the wind to die down for a few seconds, then desperately scanning the area ahead for that vital orange pole. If I didn't find it before the wind gusted again, I'd have to wait another couple of minutes for the next chance. While I was on the move I was plenty warm enough, but felt myself getting cold during these enforced breaks while I tried to figure out the route. I contemplated putting some more layers on but that would have meant taking my raincoat off first and that was out of the question. Still the wind grew stronger, gale force, practically picking me up off my feet; I reached a point where after five, maybe ten minutes I still couldn't figure out where the trail led. Still getting colder, I began to worry that I might soon get too cold, and that my brain might start slowing down if hypothermia should start to set in. Being up on this mountain, in this weather, alone, had been getting rapidly less attractive a propostion since my lunch stop, but now it seemed positively dangerous. Another prolonged gust of wind nearly blew me off my feet. I looked back, the way I'd come: I could neither see my own tracks anymore, nor any orange poles or paint marks that might lead me back down. There was no longer any option other than to give up, turn back and try to find my way back down to the Los Perros campsite. I spotted the last orange pole I'd passed and headed towards it; as I made my way down I was amazed to discover that areas that had been bare rock on the way up an hour and a half previously were now almost knee-deep in snow."

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Additional Photos by Phillip Homer (fijiphil) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 450 W: 84 N: 233] (1355)
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