3 Dec 2001 - Patagonia, Chile

Day 1 of our trek and after leaving civilisation behind in Puerto Natales we got a bus into the Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine. Upon registering with the rangers at the administration centre we were free to follow the circuit.

We got dropped off at Hosteria Las Torres on a windy but sometimes sunny morning. From here we started our walk and began the ascent up the mountain to just below the summit and then followed a path around the side of it. To our right ran a river, swollen with the melted snow running down the mountain sides in small trickles.

After reaching the snow line we encountered light snow and then began the yo yo descent into the valley where the Chileno hostel awaited us. This provided us with warmth and plenty of tea and coffee. After warming ourselves we erected our tent and then started on the walk to see the Torres del Paine. The weather was pleasant and the path took us on a gentle walk that followed the river. Eventually our path changed and we followed the sometimes badly signed boulder strewn path to the Torres.

As we progressed the going get tough and we had to continually watch our step. Even with sturdy shoes this is sprained ankle country particularly once fatigue sets in and the legs get lazy. The pleasant weather at the bottom soon gave way to wind and snow so the coat that I thought might be a burden became an essential piece of gear. After seeing the top we returned to the hostel, washed, cooked some pasta on our stove that we brought and had an early night with the wind howling around us. After this day of marching our uninitiated legs certainly needed the rest.
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Chile - Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Chile - Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Day 1 - (A) Hosteria Las Torres to (B) Campamento Chileno 2.5hrs.
(B) > (C) Torres del Paine and back to (B) 4hrs.

Day 2 - (B) to (D) Campamento Italiano 8hrs.

Day 3 - (D) to (E) Campamento Grey 8hrs.
Chile - Patagonia, trek to Torres Del Paine

Chile - Patagonia, trek to Torres Del Paine

After leaving Hosteria Las Torres and the sunny lowlands behind we had a steady climb up the side of the torres, follow it around and then descend into a valley to Camp Chileno. This photo was taken shortly after starting our climb.
Chile - Patagonia, beginning the ascent

Chile - Patagonia, beginning the ascent

In the lowlands after been dropped off the walk was very easy going on the flat but it wasn't long before the steep climb began. This is when our legs got their first shock.
Chile - Patagonia, on the way to Refugio Chileno

Chile - Patagonia, on the way to Refugio Chileno

The contrast in weather is amazing as you ascend from the lowerlands up through the snowline and into the moutains and valley sides.
Chile - Patagonia, descent to the Refugio Chileno

Chile - Patagonia, descent to the Refugio Chileno

After the long climb up through the snowline, the first distination, the refugio Chileno ended the descent along the side of the valley. Chileno can be seen in the distance. For an idea of scale, the red spec on the left side of the valley trail is another hiker.
Chile - From Chileno to the Torres del Paine

Chile - From Chileno to the Torres del Paine

On the way to the Torres Del Paine I thought I would take this photo of one of the pretty mountain streams that cross the path.
Chile - At the Torres del Paine

Chile - At the Torres del Paine

After the steep climb over boulder strewn terrain we are posing in front of the Torres. Up here it was very cold and the change in temperature was remarkable. The four towers are rising up behind us.
Chile - The Torres del Paine I

Chile - The Torres del Paine I

The first objective of our trek in Patagonia - the Torres del Paine. It was now time to return to the camp, fill our bellies and settle in for the night.
Chile - The Torres del Paine II

Chile - The Torres del Paine II

The spectacular view toward the opposite direction.

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