Posted by: Talie Morrison | January 18, 2010

Torres Del Paine

What a beautiful 8 day backpacking trip!   

Start of the Track

   There are lots of options on how  to see Torres Del Paine park –   a lot of people do what is   called “The W”, which follows a route that shows you the beautiful valleys and the amazing rock formations (this can take about 4 or 5 days) – or there is the “full curcuit”, which circles the major mountains and you see them from all sides (this can take about 8 or more days).  And then you need to decide wheather you want to go clockwise or counter-clockwise.  Needless to say, I chose the longer option and decided to go counter-clockwise.  

On the Navimag, I had met some others who were interested in doing the full circuit.   So we became a group of 5:   Jess and Aaron (who are originally from North Carolina and Colorado), and Annabelle and Dan (who are from Bath, England) and myself (who was, needless to say, twice their age!).    The first day was pretty tame – lots of beautiful fields of daisies with mountains in the background. 

Fields of Daisies!

  We camped at “Camping Seron” and there was a beautiful sunrise the next morning!    The second day we got to Alberge Dikson early enough that we decided to go on to Los Perros  (that would give us good weather to cross the pass the following day).   It was a great idea, but by the end of the day, after doing almost 30 kilometers, we were “tuckered” to say the least!     It did turn out to be   beautiful the next day to go over Paso John Garner.   Up the pass was not too bad – just crossing a few snow fields and up scree slopes – but at one point everyone was “stopped in their tracks” while a gust of wind came through – just about blew us off the mountain!  

On top of the Paso!

  At the top you are greated with a view of Glacier Gray – which is huge – fillling the whole valley!  After a rather steep decent, the track follows the glacier down valley.   Some great views – with smaller glaciers, ice bergs, and lots of great vistas – finally arriving at Campamento Paso. 

Finally, the next day, it was a bit of an easier day (even though we had a couple of ladders to climb getting down and up some ravines!)  ending at Alberge Gray – which had a hot shower waiting for us at the campground!   Jess, Aaron and I even signed up for a meal at the Alberge  – it was great not to be eating pasta for the night (instead it was turkey and mashed potatoes! Yum!)   But the hot shower was definitely the winner!!!!

From Gray, we were now on the “W” route (which is less days and pretty popular) and there were lots more people on the trails.   The weather had deteriorated to off and on showers – but it wasn’t too bad.   We came around and camped at Campamento Italiano.   And the next morning, we did a day hike up to the top of Valle Del Frances.   Beautiful in amongst the clouds.   We came down and pressed on to finish the day at Los Cuernos (where I had another hot shower and a lamb and mashed potato dinner!).   

From there we had another long day up to Campamento Torres, which is the camp below the towers.   After setting up camp, we hiked the extra 1.5 kilometers up to the view of the towers.  

Beautiful place to be!

   And then, of course, at 4:30 am the next morning, I hiked back up to see if the sunrise would hit the towers.   Unfortunately, it never cleared off enough for the sun to hit the towers, and after freezing for about 2 hours, I came back down to have breakfast.   The last day, we hiked out from Valle Ascencio and ended with a 7 kilometer walk on a dirt road to get to the bus.  

Still smiling after 8 days on the trail!

 But it was great to be back in Puerto Natales, sleeping in a real bed, and another beautiful lamb dinner!   Baa-a-a-a!

Sunrise at Campmento Seratin

    ¿¿¿What am I doing on ladders again with a full pack?????

  Icebergs off of Glacier Gray

Interesting Yellow, red and white Orchids

Lakes and Mountains - gotta love it!



  1. Nice write-up and pics. The ladders are new (well, since Dec. 2002 anyway!)

  2. oh my gosh talie!
    what an amazing adventure! just seeing your photos made me take a deep breathe!
    thank you so much for sharing!

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