Torres del Paine...pain being the word!
Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
101Trip End Mar 19, 2007
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We stayed in the Erratic rock hostel, run by two American guys, both of whom were pretty experienced climbers. Had to plan our whole trek that evening, which involved a practise run at putting up our tent...with plenty of help we finally got the hang of it!
Met this american guy Andy who was looking after the hostel in return for free board. He was an adventure racer basically crazy, he must have done every sport known to man from Kyaking to running. He was planning on running the circuit of Torres in 16 hours non stop.
We were given a little talk at the hostel of the whats and what nots
Had to pack everything that night, all our nutritous dried food...basicaly every variation of soup/noodles and Pasta we could get, our cooking gear, mini stove, pot bowls, cups, gas, tent mats, change of clothes, tent, sleeping bags....by the time we were done our bags weighed a healthy few kilos.
We got the bus to the park the following day (sunny Thank God), then the ferry to our starting point. The weather was beautful and we debated which direction to do the trek...ie. everyone else was starting with the famous Torres mountains since the weather was so nice (3 huge stone peaks, high in the mountains...mainly what everyone comes to see)..but we had been told by the guy in the hostel to do that on the last day, i.e. tougher climb, lighter bag and climax of the trek etc. We stuck with our plan adn took off to the Glacier grey campsite, where we were to spend our first night. The wind was so strong along the way that we nearly got blown over a couple of times, although it was a really hard trek and we werenŽt too high upmost of the time
It was a pretty cold night and the cheap mats we had didnŽt do much to soften the ground but luckily we got no visits from teh mice. We were told however that they had visited a god few tents and even chewed a tube of tooth paste!
Took off on our next hike that morning.
Got to our next camp just before dark again that night and just before the rain came bucketing down. It was a paid campsite this time so we had the luxury of cooking our chicken noodles inside the refugio (hostel) while we watched some people having a 3-course meal and sipping vino. Not us though, we are backpackers and canŽt afford such luxuries! We were so tired we could not even talk to each other. Stayed as long as we could in the heat before we went out to the misery of our cold and now very wet tent (it pays to check the zips before you rent!).
Luckily next day dawned beautiful again. ThereŽs no way weŽd have finished it if we got weather like most of the stories weŽd heard. Set off for our final campsite at the base of the Torres
our last climb was short, only about an hour and we finaly reached the piece de resistance, the Torres at sunrise. Luckily for us it was pretty clear and we got a lovely view for abotu half an hour before it clouded over again
Got a couple of good snaps and then made our way back down to camp. Now that we were on the homeward stretch we were happier.
We were so thankful for the good weather, and of course just as we headed out the gate of the park the skies opened up.
We were both absolutly knackered. When we got back to Puerto Natales we ended up staying with a family whcih was way cheaper. That evening we went for dinner with an american couple Doug and Jen and a Dutch couple. It was a local restaurent that served absolutly massive burgers. By right you should share one between 2 but we were like savages and demolished 2. After 4 days of eating shite we deserved it.
For the next couple of days we just lounged around, the 2 old women in the hostel were great, even gave me excercises for my knees.
Anyway it was good bye to Puerto Natales and onwards to Puerto Mont we thought....