The day after we got back from Antarctica, we headed towards Puerto Natales, Chile to get ready for our next adventure – hiking the W trail in Torres del Paine National Park. It took us a full day of busing to get to Puerto Natales and then we spent a day renting gear and buying food before setting off.
The W in Torres del Paine is supposed to be one of the most beautiful hikes in the world and it is definitely the best that we’ve done to date. It is about 75 kilometers and most people hike it in 4 to 5 days and you can start on either side – we decided to do it in 4 days and go west to east. The first day we spent the morning getting to the park and then took a catamaran to the bottom of the western arm. We set up camp and dropped our gear before hiking up to Grey Glacier, at the top of the arm. The hike started out super windy – 60 KM per hour – but luckily it died down as the afternoon went on.
Day two we got up and hiked 2 hours to the camp that we would spend the night. We set up our tent and dropped our gear and then headed up the middle section of the W into the Valle Frances (French Valley). This was our favorite day – the views were great and we spent a while just sitting and watching little avalanches happen on the mountain across the valley.
Day three was a long one – and the first day that we had to carry our packs all day. We hiked from the middle of the W all the way to the eastern tip. The weather was perfect though and the landscape was diverse.
The last day we got up at 4:30am to hike up to the Torres (towers) to see them at sunrise. Then we packed up camp and hiked back down the east arm of the W to catch the bus back to Puerto Natales.
The hike was amazing except for one minor issue – my boots fell apart! The right one developed a hole in the sole on day 2 and the bottom of the left completely cracked open on day 3!