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Torres Del Paine Pt. 1

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I’ve been looking forward to hiking in world-famous Torres Del Paine National Park since the beginning of this adventure, and I’m excited to arrive in the little town of Puerto Natales where I attend a backpackers’ information session and stock up on hiking food & supplies.

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Torres Del Paine

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Arriving at Torres Del Paine National Park

Early the next morning I drive into the park and leave the Jeep at Hotel Las Torres before setting out counter-clockwise, taking enough supplies to complete the full circuit in eight days / seven nights.
A beautiful sunny morning through green forest sees me arrive at Camping Setón at about lunch time, and I decide to push on to Refugio Dickson, a stretch where I encounter some extremely strong winds and amazing sunshine while skirting around the mountains.
I arrive at Dickson a little footsore around 7pm after a long 28km on the trail for day one and am pleasantly surprised by the hot shower in the pay-only campsite. The plague of thirsty mosquitos is not so nice.

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Setting out to hike the full circuit

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On the backside

I lazily amble out of camp at 10am on day two, hiking through beautiful dense forest for the 9km around to Campamento Los Perros (another pay site), near a little glacier of the same name. I really have no idea what to expect on the “back side” and have been a little surprised by the remoteness and lack of people – I had been warned of many hundreds per day, and have only seen a handful on the trails, and about 30 tents at night in the campgrounds.

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The campground at Refugio Dickson

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The forests of the backside

In the morning I’m moving early with some friends from the previous night and we make good time up and over Paso John Gardner, the high point and hardest section of the trail. At the summit I’m dumbfounded by the unimaginably immense Grey Glacier, extending the width and length of the entire valley, looking more like an enormous lake than a glacier. Hiking alongside Grey for the remainder of the afternoon provides some stunning views and great rest-stops.

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At the summit of Paso John Gardner

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Immense Grey Glacier

I cook hot noodles at Campamento Paso before pushing on to the beautiful (and free) Campamento Los Guardas for a total of 18km for day three. Sitting above the glacier at the lookout is surreal, and although we hear plenty of activity, we don’t see a sizable chunk break off.

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Nice spot for lunch...

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Valley of giants

There’s a lot more to come on this one…

-Dan

4 Responses

  1. scott says:

    No need to post this on your blog, but this is what I’ve been waiting for…..like the pics. Or you could post something by me saying that I wish you luck and say ‘keep it up’?

  2. Colin says:

    A new adventure!! Looks like an unbelievable hike is in progress.
    BTW a huge congratulations on your epic feat Dan, and such totally enjoyable reading for us couch potatoes!
    A donation is in order!

    Cheers.

    • Dan says:

      Hey Colin – wow man, thanks for the donation, it really helps about now :)
      If you’re enjoying the hiking trip reports, stick around for a little longer, there are a lot more to come in the mountains of Southern Chile & Argentina!
      Thanks again, all the best
      -Dan

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