Friday, 16 December 2011

Torres del Paine

We have just come back to Puerto Natales after an 8-day hike around the Torres del Paine national park. Beautiful nature and mostly very warm and sunny weather (too warm even). Here are some initial impressions of the trek. Tonight we are moving on to El Calafate in Argentina.

We walked the circuit around Torres del Paine and started with the back of the circuit. The first 2 days from Laguna Amarga to Camp Seron, and on to Camp Dickson were fairly easy hiking but the weather was hot, which we were not used to. From Camp Dickson to Camp Perros we walked in sleet and snow, and from Perros over the pass to Rifugio Grey we had mostly clear weather with very strong winds on the pass but excellent views of the glacier. These first 4 days were nice and quiet with only about 30 people on the trail. From Rifugio Grey you get on the front part of the circuit, which can be walked by itself as a 4-5 day hike and this is extremely popular. So here there were hundreds of people on the trail, and the campsites were very full and dirty (some had no toilets and with a hundred or so inexperienced campers, this can get rather messy). So, although this is the more spectacular part of the trail, I found the back part of the circuit was much more pleasant hiking.

Map of Punta Arenas-Torres del Paine part of our trip.

Start of the walk, view towards de Torres from Laguna Amarga

Guanacos in front of the Torres

At the back of the circuit, Laguna Paine

The one day with rain and sleet

View of glacier Grey from a very windy pass John Gardner

Sunrise on the Torres

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