NOTE: July 2020
I remember having such a fun time in Vilches Alto. Pat took me on some awesome routes and we had a fantastic weekend. These types of running trips are so much fun and a great way to explore new areas. Hopefully we'll be able to run together again one day soon.
Patrick has been trying to convince me to visit him for some epic running in the mountains of the 7th Region ever since I met him. Everyone knows that Talca, where Pat lives, is not the most exciting holiday destination in Chile so the trip and promised epic running hadn't happened. However, this month V and I went on a road trip to the south of Chile, and Talca was to be the perfect first stop on the way.
We picked up Pat in Talca early on a Friday afternoon and immediately headed to Vilches Alto where Pat is a regular runner in the parks and is well-known by everyone there. He managed to get us a place in a refugio that was fully booked, got us into the park for free when we forgot take any cash with us and knew all the best places for a drink or food.
On Saturday morning we headed out for a long run on one of Pat's favorite routes. It started with some huge climbing that took us just under two hours to reach a small pass close to Cerro Peine. The climbing was great, too steep to be runnable, but not so steep that we were scrambling. From the top the views were spectacular and worth every minute of climbing.
|"That's where we're going!"|
|Sun rising over a false peak that hides the summit for the day.|
|We crossed over the ridge in the center of the photo.|
|On the other side of the ridge was a beautiful lagoon.|
From the highest point near Cerro Peine we descended almost all of the way back home. First down to an amazing lagoon, then a small climb out of the lagoon basin, followed by some smooth and fast running along perfect trails to Enladrillado (a supposed UFO landing site). Pat was in his element and it was awesome to watch him flying along the trails that he knows so well.
|Looking back at the lagoon as we climbed out of the lagoon basin.|
|Having a ball on awesome trails with great company.|
|Enladrillado - unfortunately no UFOs on this day.|
|Looking down into the valley from Enladrillado.|
After the UFO landing site we continued descending through a beautiful forest down to the a campsite near the river that runs through the valley of the Reserva Nacional Altos de Lircay. To add on some mileage we ran an out-and-back section to another viewpoint over the river valley.
|Mirador over the valley with some great peaks for climbing in the background.|
We had an amazing day of running and I thoroughly enjoyed the route that we ran. I'd love to run there again and maybe that's in store for April (Pat's thinking of putting on an informal race in Vilches Alto).
|Thanks Pat for a brilliant day!|