New Southern huemul hotspot in Torres del Paine
As some of you who have been trawling through the Chile trip reports will know, there used to be a habituated huemul at one of Torres del Paine’s hotels. Sadly, per Rob Jansen’s report, it would appear that this individual died in 2020, making this species quite a bit more difficult to see in Torres del Paine. So when I heard from a traveller that he had seen three of the park’s 30 or so individuals while hiking, my ears pricked up to say the least. Refugio Grey was where it happened, so although there wasn’t any mention online of huemul at this site, I made my way there myself to see what I could find.
When I asked the refugio’s staff about huemul, at both the main house and the smaller camping reception, they all said roughly the same thing: there’s a family of four that come along most days (emphasis on most, since I wasn’t lucky enough to spot any on the day I was there) and feed around the camping ground.
For anyone who wants to visit, you should know that Refugio Grey is part of the popular W trek and therefore often gets booked out months in advance – in fact, I’d recommend booking your accommodation here before your flights if you want to travel during the Austral summer. Since there’s a lot to be said about trekking the W and booking with the company that owns Refugio Grey (Vertice), I’ve written quite a bit about it in this blog post. Any other questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below!