Published: November 29th 2011November 28th 2011
Yes, we survived it! During seven days and six nights, we were wondering if the meaning of "Paine" is "pain"! We found out, that there is no signification for that word, but for us, "Torres del Paine" still means "Towers of pain"! Let me explain you shortly our incredible adventure! We first arrived at laguna amarga (see the map of the circuit) on a sunny day by bus and paid or entrance fee to the park. As we decided to hike the whole circuit, which was supposed to be much better and wilder as the touristic part of the circuit (which forms a "W"), we directly began to hike, with ours backpacks with rented sleeping bags, pad and tents and the food for the seven days we planed. After 15 kilometers and about 5 hours walk, we arrived at Campamento Seron, where we stayed the first night. We all had so much pain in the back, that we first thought, we couldn't make it further! For chance, there was a balance at the Campamento Seron and we could estimate the weight of our backpacks... And the winner is..... Steffen with 23kg, Kate, our english friend we met on the Patchamama Road
Trip, with 22klg and Clemence with "only" 17.5 kg!!! We decided we couldn't carry on further with that much weight, so we had a real festin that night, especially with the vegetables and tunna Kate brought! The first night was one of the coldest ones (it snowed). We all woke up in the middle of the night an couldn't feel our feet anymore! On the second day, we continued our hike heading towards Refugio Dickson. It was a 19km hike, which took us 6 hours. This was probably the best Campamento and one of the best outlooks of the circuit: during 2 hours, we thought: "we are almost there, it's behind the next hill" and then... you arrive on the top of the last hill and see a gigantic lake, with an amazing colour "glacier milk", surounded by snowed mountains and a glacier... and in the middle of it, like if it where on an island, the camping site. And nobody to see or to hear... so beautiful! We spent the night here and had a nice hot shower, in a f****** cold windy "bathroom"... also our last one! Day 3 was a lazy day: To Campamento Los Perros, 9km,
4.5hours, during which we saw another glacier and beautiful landscapes. The fourth day was probably the most difficult for our knees: we went over a pass and then went straight downhill for about 4 hours. The whole hike to Campamento Los Guardas was 18km and took us about 9 hours. What a feeling when we came on the pass after having hiked in some snow (without specific equipment!)... an ice lake...the biggest glacier (Glacier Grey) we've ever seen: we neither saw the beginning nor the end of it! On this day, we also thought we would die... not because of my knees, but because of a canyon and a broken ladder. It had previously been shredded by a rock avalanche, thus we couldn't get up the other side of the canyon anymore ... as I tried climbing up, the rocks were so instable, that they broke down under my feet towards Steffen and Kate. It was so dangereous and I was so freaked out another rock avalanche could be released because of us... Luckily, some other guys found a rope which was still hanging on the ladder and used it to get out of the canyon. So we did the
same after that and were surprised not to see them at the top... the could simply have wait to see if we were okay (Arschloch!)... Shortly after that, we arrived in Los Guardas under the rain and with sore knees! On the fifth day, we came back to civilization on the more touristic part of the circuit. It was a 22.6km day, which we walked in 7 hours. We saw tons of lakes and the Cuernos del Paine, two giant mountains and probably a paradise for climbers. On day 6, we first went uphill into the Valle de Frances, with the hope to see maybe the famous "Torres", but the weather was to bad and we had to come back to Campamento Italiano, take our bags and hike further towards Campamento Chileno. It was again an about 25km day, which we walked in about 11 hours.. and we were faster than the bad weather, who came only at night, once we had set up our tents! Finally, on day 7, we wanted to try again to see the "Torres"...when we woke up, it was snowing and it was so cold and so windy that we stayed another hour in the
tent waiting for the weather to clear up.... which didn't occur... so we decided to pack all our stuff and to catch the earlier bus to get home and have a hot, very hot shower and eat a real meal instead of these dried noodles and rice that we had during one week!! In conclusion, we can say that we were 7 days in Torres del Paine, without seeing the Torres, except on the first day, from the outside! But we really learned a lot about what we really need for camping and what not (nutella glas for example) and most important, the landscapes we saw exept for the last raining day were unforgettable!
There are more photos below