Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park

Posted by  Daniël Cronk   in  ,      7 years ago     2955 Views     Comments Off on Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park  

I have been thinking a lot about doing a hiking trip into Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, and have finally come to the conclusion that yes, this is something that I should do.

Now I will spend the next few months planning out this part of the trip. A list of supplies will need to be generated and purchased as well as answers to a lot of questions that I will have. I will be hiking in the end of December to early January, this is a busy time of the year so it is likely that I could end up hiking with other travelers, or I could end up hiking alone. Either way it will be an adventure that I am most certainly looking forward to.

I will be updating this page often as items come to mind that need answering as well as a list of supplies that I need to buy and those that have been bought.

For now I will leave you with a beautiful picture of the Grey Glacier, located within the Torres del Paine National Park. Enjoy.

Torres del Paine National Park: TdP NP is a national park located in the Magallanes Region of Southern Chile, in what is referred to as Patagonia. The National Park encompasses lakes, rivers, waterfalls, glaciers, forests, and incredible wildlife. The park is located just 112 km (70 miles) north of the Chilean town of Puerto Natales and effectively 312 km (194 miles) north of the city of Punta Arenas. In 1978 the park was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. The center point of the park are the Cuernos del Paine (photo above). The park is internationally recognized as one of the most beautiful, unique and uncontaminated places on the planet.

Grey Glacier: The Grey glacier is a glacier located within the southern Patagonian Ice Field which flows out of the Andes Mountains and into the lake of the same name, It is one of just a few unique glaciers in the world that is actually advancing rather than receding due to climate change.


Read a little about my journey:

Days 1, 2, & 3
Days 4 & 5

View the route I took through Chile/Easter Island/Argentina


Los Cuernos - Torres del Paine

2011 Torres del Paine Map

The Route I Hiked: What I affectionatly refer to as the W+

Geo Coordinates:      47° 2' 24.6552" S, 73° 49' 41.25" W
    Distance
Day 1 Hike Administracion Conaf to Refugio Paine Grande 5 hours
17,5 km / 10,9 mi
Day 2 Hike Refugio Paine Grande to Campamento Lago Grey 4,5 hours
11 km / 6,8 mi
Day 3 Hike Campamento Lago Grey to Campamento Italiano
[Continue on day to Camp. Britanico & back to Camp. Italiano]

Note: Christmas Day
9,2 hours
33,6 km / 20,9 mi
Day 4 Hike Campamento Italiano to Refugio Chileno

7 hours
20,5 km / 12,7 mi
Day 5 Hike Campamento Chileno to Mirador de Las Torres to Refugio Las Torres

Note: Elevation Gain: approximately 600 m / 1,969 feet to Mirador de Las Torres
4,5 hours
15,3 km / 10 mi
  Total Distance: 97,9 km (60,8 miles)

Overall the weather was unusually beautiful. Very little wind. No rain. The heat made it difficult at times to hike. Lost 7 toenails due to walking on such non-flat terrain. Left park the same day that the fire started up at Lago Grey, thus closing the park for a couple of weeks.

* My hardest day was day 4. It was very hot, very hilly and it seemed to go on forever.

** My favorite day was day 1. I was the only person on the trail for the entire 5 hours.

** My most memorable day: Day 5, reaching the top of Las Torres. It was just myself and 4 others at the time, as the early morning hikers from Campamento Las Torres were heading down as I was heading up, still at about 6:30 with rain and wind. After 20 minutes of sitting, looking at the Torres, reflecting on my experience, the clouds parted and the sun came out. I almost wanted to cry.

** My recommendation is to do it from West to East. I remember hiking downhill from the peak just to the south of Refugio Chileno to Refugio Las Torres thinking, I would never have made it to the top had I gone this route. It's about 2 hours up, up, up; carrying your heavy pack. Yeah, I don't think so!

** I would do it again, only next time the full circuit.


Patagonia in Photos


List of Supplies Needed: [complete list by REI]
Sleeping Pad [rented from Guesthouse in Puerto Natales]
Map: Torres del Paine National Park [used free map]


List of Supplies Purchased/Already have:
Tent (Marmot Grid Plus)
Sleeping Bag
Pillow
Backpack (Osprey Aether 85)
Hiking Boots
Weather appropriate clothing
Trekking Poles
Guidebook: Trekking in Patagonia

Questions Needing Answers (as of 12/2011):
What are the current Park Admission Fees?        C$ 15,000 (US$ 28.77)
Bus Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales:        C$ 4.000 (US$7,85)
What are the current transportation fees from either Puerto Natales, Chile or El Calafate, Argentina:
          
Departures: 7:30 & 14:30
C$ 15.000 (US$28,77)
Shuttle to/from Laguna Amarga & Refugio Las Torres:
          Departures: 14:00 & 19:30
C$2.500 (US$ 4.79)
Catamaran to Refugio Paine Grande
          Departures: 9:30, 12:00 & 18:00
C$ 16.850 (US$33,00)
What are the current fees for camping at the refugios/campamentos?
Refugio Gray Campsite C$ 4.500 (US$8,63)
Refugio Paine Grande Campsite C$ 5.000 (US$9,59)
Campamento Italiano Free
Refugio Chileno C$ 6.500 (US$12,47)
Campamento Torres Free

Useful Information:
Spanish word for can opener: abrelatas
Can buy food at several super markets in Puerto Natales.
Water safe to drink from the fast flowing streams. Glacial, pure, cold!
Although I brought food that did not require cooking, you can rent stoves from Erratic Rock. They also have used cans of fuel that you can get. You can also return used cans for someone else to use.

Resources:
http://timecheck00.blogspot.com (This Makes No Sense At All)
http://www.rei.com
http://www.southernconetravel.com/
http://www.marmot.com
http://www.erraticrock.com - a local company in Puerto Natales offering informational seminars on everything you need to know about hiking in Torres del Paine National Park. These informational sessions are held daily, at the Erratic Rock Base Camp, at 3:00 pm.


About  

I am very passionate about traveling. My goal is to visit as many places and experience as many things as I can during my short journey on this earth.