I got up early this morning and left at 7 am, in hopes of meeting my friends at their campsite 7 kilometers away, so that I could hike with them the rest of the day. I was the first one to leave the refugio. Purchased breakfasT at the refugio isn't served until 7 am, and most people weren't attempting to go up the notoriously long and steep Valle de Frances pass (the middle part of the W), so this day for them was shorter.
This was the first and last time on the entire trek that I wouldn't see another person on the trail for more than 30 minutes. I thought I'd be nervous, but I really enjoyed the quiet and peace of walking alone, in the early morning's softer light. The wind was so strong that it was blowing water off the lakes, making it look like the water was evaporating. Despite the forceful wind, which I had to lean into in order to stay upright, all felt calm.