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October 10, 2015

W TREK – TORRES DEL PAINE (5D/4N) (WNAT) (1314)

Written By Admin

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This is a great option to hike the complete W trek, staying every night in comfortable mountain huts, and visiting the three main valley of the park: the lookout point of the towers at the Ascencio valley, hanging glaciers at the French Valley and the Grey Valley, sailing in front of the impressive glacier at the end.

Day 1    Starting from Puerto Natales at 12 PM or from Cerro Castillo at 1PM, we drive all the way to Torres del Paine National Park. We will drive through open pampas and huge ranches (estancias), and chances are we will be able to observe one of the most typical animals in this area, the ñandu, (rare South American ostrich).  We will follow an unpaved road heading to Refugio Las Torres to spend our first night. Upon entering the park we will have excellent photographic and birding opportunities as we drive alongside lagoons frequented by Chilean flamencos and black-necked swans.  Today’s hike is on a gentle trail following the border of the park and offers opportunities to see guanacos (Llama family) and the Andean Condor.

(2 hours by private transfer, 2 hours soft hike) (D) (Night at Refugio Las Torres)

Day 2  We will start our first day trekking to the base of the Towers, following the Ascencio River to enter the Ascencio Valley. Our walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests (Nothofagus family), glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll continue through the valley for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (900 M), excellent for picture taking. At this point we will be surrounded by three giant granite towers (2850 M) and a lagoon with slurry waters due to erosion produced by glaciers. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment. After being awed by the towers we’ll start our descent, following the same path back to the hut.

(7-8 hours round-trip, 18 KM) (B-BL-D) (Night at Refugio Las Torres)

Day 3  We will start early morning to enjoy, weather permitting, a magnificent dawn filled with orange-pink colors. As we leave the campground we will arrive at Inge lagoon. Chances are, on this path, we may see the flight of an Andean condor or eagles hunting hares or small rodents. We follow a well mark trail ascending around (200 M) from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750 M), crossing the Bader River to arrive at Refugio Los Cuernos where we will stay overnight.

(500 M difference of level, 6 hours, 17 KMS) (B-BL-D) (Night at Refugio Los Cuernos)

(You can update to private cabins with two beds and sharing bathrooms in between the cabins only and a free Hot tub access for USD $ 80 per single occupancy or USD $ 40 per double occupancy)

Day 4   We will start our day with a 2-hour walk going to an undulating path until reaching the French River for our first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Then we will ascend (300 M) for one hour through a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests, to reach the French valley viewpoint gifting us with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes. We will lunch here with good possibilities of seeing avalanches from the hanging glacier or simply observe the west side of the Cuernos (2600 M), Espada (2400 M) and Fortaleza (2800 M). Our way back will be the same until we reach the entrance of the valley where we will continue on a different path around the South-West side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the Park, through native forests of Chilean fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the shore of the Pehoe Lake.

(6 hours hiking, 18 KM) (B-BL-D) (Night at Refugio Paine Grande)

Day 5 We will begin early morning with our hike to the Grey Glacier. Initially ascending 200mts up a winding narrow path leading us to Laguna Negra, a place where we will observe the first glimpses of the South Patagonia Ice Field with its many unclimbed mountains. We will advance through forests and rivers, with possible sightings of spectacle and flying steamer ducks, up to the glacier viewpoint. We will have lunch at this place to see, if we are lucky enough, ice calving from the huge glacier wall. Right after lunch we start an exciting adventure by boat. We will navigate for a while in front of the glacier in the hope of seeing icebergs calve. Our return journey offers views of Paine Grande with its impressive ice mushrooms and we sail through icebergs of different tones of blue. Then we will take a transfer back to Puerto Natales.

(4 hours walking, 12 KM, 2 hours by boat on Grey Lake, 2 hours by transfer) (B-BL)

Additional Info
Country: Chile
Region: Patagonia
City: Torres del Paine
Address: Eberhard # 230 - Natales
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Top Travel Voucher: -10%
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Adventure Travel , Backpacking , South America


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