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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine
October 15th 2009
Published: October 18th 2009
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Approaching The TorresApproaching The TorresApproaching The Torres

The first view from the bus took our breath away.
Just back from 5 days hiking the W Trail in the Torres del Paine. My words and pictures can't tell or show how fantastic this place is, its a real wonderland.
We were lucky enough to experience the whole range of Patagonian weather - it started sunny, then we had gale force winds (strong enough to blow you off your feet !!!) and a blizzard, then overcast, then 15cm of snow, then complete calm with blue sunny skies and finally clear blue skies and more gale force winds. At times we were in T shirts at others we were in thermals, fleeces and waterproof trousers and jackets. This was just what we wanted, it wouldn have been as good had the weather been good the whole time.
The first three nights we stayed in refugios which were way better (and a lot more expensive) than we expected. They were far from the basic huts we thought wed be sleeping in, more like hotels really. As the weather was good we camped on the fourth night, was great until the wind started blowing about 1h30 am !!!
On the second night I had a small world experience. We were staying in the
Mirador Las TorresMirador Las TorresMirador Las Torres

Dramatic scenery. Blowing a gale, snowing, cold. It was another world up here.
most remote refugio. The other people staying were a mix of nationalities 2 Germans, 1 American, 1 Spaniard, 1 Japanese (Atsuko), 1 Australian and 2 other English. When got talking about football it turned out the other English guy was a Forest fan !!!!!!!! good lad !!!!!!!! even more wow was that he was from Basingstoke !!!!!!!! putain it really is a small world.
Day three was one of the highlights for us. We hiked up the Valle Frances in 15cm of fresh snow, it was beautiful but meant the going was slow so we couldn get as far up as we wanted but it worked out OK as when we were looking at the galcier a chunk broke off and caused an avalanche in the valley below us, how cool is that !!!
By this morning when we took the catamaran across Lago Pehoe wed hiked about 75km through some of the most stunning scenery anywhere in the world. This place and our way of seeing it has been one of the highlights of our trip.


Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


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Sendero Mirador de Las TorresSendero Mirador de Las Torres
Sendero Mirador de Las Torres

After a good hike up the valley on the first day of the "W".
Dramatic WeatherDramatic Weather
Dramatic Weather

View of Los Cuernos in mountain weather.
StreamStream
Stream

A stream flowing down the Valle Frances after fresh snowfall the night before.
Valle FrancesValle Frances
Valle Frances

An unbelievable cloud, almost perfectly round, like nothing we've ever seen before.
Camp Italiano to Refugio Grande Paine Camp Italiano to Refugio Grande Paine
Camp Italiano to Refugio Grande Paine

View of Los Cuernos and the bridge just after leaving Camp Italiano.
Punta BarilochePunta Bariloche
Punta Bariloche

View from Refugio Paine Grande
Cerro Paine Grande RangeCerro Paine Grande Range
Cerro Paine Grande Range

View from Sendero Grey on a beautiful clear morning.
Lago GreyLago Grey
Lago Grey

Icebergs that have broken off Glacier Grey and floated down the lake.
Glacier GreyGlacier Grey
Glacier Grey

View from Sendero Grey on the hike to Refugio Grey from Refugio Grande Paine.
IcebergIceberg
Iceberg

In a small bay near Refugio Grey.
Glacier Grey Glacier Grey
Glacier Grey

The edge of the glacier scrapes away the land.
RocksRocks
Rocks

Near Refugio Grey.


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