Torres Del Paine W trek
Monday, December 28th 2015
I decided to spend the morning in town before starting my trek in Torres del Paine. I picked up a pair of gloves since I lost my other pair during the ride. After lunch, I loaded my 25L Arcteryx backpack with 4 days worth of supplies, stored my bike in the stairwell of the hostel, and headed to the bus station.
I met Kevin on the bus, he was a Chinese guy living in Brazil, we decided to partner up for the hike. The bus dropped us off at the entrance to the national park, we paid a fee and boarded another bus to the trailhead near Hostería Las Torres.
We arrived at Refugio Chileno with plenty of daylight to spare. We pitched our tents along the river and walked down to the store. I bought a box of wine and cooked dinner in the communal kitchen. We shared a table with several Israeli people, all of them just finished their military service and were traveling on their gap year.
Tuesday, December 29th 2015
We woke up in the early hours of the morning and started our hike towards the base of Las Torres, the iconic triple spires. My Petzl headlamps performed very well in the dark, I was impressed with the auto-adjusting light beam. We arrived at the base before sunrise, us early birds nestled in the rock piles facing the spires, much like a natural amphitheater. Even at dusk under low light, the spires were magestic, the shifting clouds between the spires added mystic. The morning sun lit up the spires as it rose from the valley behind us, the view was well worth the effort.
We hiked back to camp and took a nap. It was close to noon when we left Chileno, we hiked along Lago Nordenskjold for most of the day. Campamento Los
Cuernos was crowded by the time we arrived, I had to pitch my tent on a slope. I said good bye to Kevin after dinner, as I’ll be accelerating my pace the next day. I don’t advise doing this trek on a time crunch, give yourself at least 4–5 full days.
Wednesday, December 30th 2016
I wished I hadn’t pitched my tent on a slope, it made for a very uncomfortable night. I hiked a small distance to Campamento Italiano, the Valle Francés trail began here. I left my backpack outside the ranger station, carrying with me only a camera, a mug and trekking poles. I was able to complete the out and back trail at a very brisk pace. Southern Patagonia has some of the purest unpolluted freshwater in the world, you can drink out of any mountain streams without a filter, and the water tasted so damn good.
The wind picked up as I turned the corner along Lago Skottsberg, it was an out of this world experience hiking along the trail with Paine Grande and Curenos del Paine in the backdrop. I arrived at Refugio Paine Grande shortly before sunset. Since this is one of the more accessible refugios, I was camping out in tent city.
Thursday, December 31st 2016
I started my hike to Glacier Grey before dawn, I had to be back in time to catch the 10a ferry. As i hiked along Lago Grey, I could see the glacier in the distance for some time. Unfortunately, I had to turn back about a mile before Refugio Grey in order to make it back to the ferry in time. I returned to Puerto Natales that afternoon.