Hiking Trails – Torres Del Paine

hiking trails, torres del paine, patagonia, adventure travel writer, jack moscrop
Jack Moscrop
Written by Jack Moscrop

“Dream On” Published In Trail. The hiking trails in Torres Del Paine highlight Patagonia Chile. Especially the Circuit, the Valle Ascencio and the Valle Del Francés.

The Torres Del Paine Crux Move

Circuit DAY 6 – Refugio Dickson

Heavy rain whipped us into the day and we spent the morning waiting in an old red shepherds hut in the valley. Ahead of us, at 1350m, rose Paso John Garber, the circuit’s highest point and crux move. Rain down here meant snow up there — lots of it.

When the rain finally abated at midday, we set off for the pass base camp. Clambering over dead trees in the dark woods depressed our already low morale. We hadn’t been eating enough and felt physically weak. It was a day in limbo, filled by fear of failing the pass. The dismal campsite had a soulless atmosphere; maybe because people only stopped there to prepare for the trip over the pass. It started to snow and alone in the woods we felt vulnerable without crampons or ropes.

DAY 7 – Camp Los Perros

Late the previous night a British couple arrived, Jenny and Russell, and we decided to join forces. Lots of bog-trotting experience in Scotland helped us through 2km of mud. At 800m the snow and rock started. The weather was still clear enough to see a marker ahead. We leapfrogged from marker to marker cutting fresh tracks through drifts up to our waists and clattering across crumbly rocks. Then the markers ran out and the wind picked up, suggesting another front was approaching. Thankfully the pass appeared to lay a short distance ahead. Impending success upped our tempo and we arrived at a false summit.

Two potential routes confronted us. We chose to zig-zag along a small rock spine, just visible above the snow and spotted a wind-buckled marker stick. We reached the tip, able to look back and agree that it had been much easier than it felt.

The Hiking Trails

We carried our own tent and supplies and the Torres Del Paine circuit took us 11 days. Many of the hiking trails, however, have refugios along them where you can find food and shelter. Also you can do one day hikes to see the massive glaciers like Glacier Grey, or Glacier Francés. Likewise the mountains like the Cerro Paine Grande and the Cuernos.

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