Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 4

StefanoChile, Hiking, StoriesLeave a Comment

Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 4

Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 4 is part of a 5-posts series. Find Day 5 here

This morning the alarm clock is earlier than usual and at 7.33 I’m already up. Milk powder is in the pot warming up. At 9, Xavi and I begin the trek. After a few hundred meters (just surpassed the forested area) the Glaciar Gray appears again.

This time we can see it progressively closer. The same is true for the icebergs, which now do not seem little at all. And that’s just the surface!

We have to walk through a first suspension bridge: it’s pretty high but it looks stable enough. We take some scenic pictures on the bridge and we walk further, till the second suspension bridge. This one is even higher than the first, in a gorge hollowed by the water flowing into the Grey Lake during over the centuries.

At 12 o’clock we reach the Campamento Paso. Here ends the W. The ranger asks me if I have a backpack and how long I did take to come here – no backpack and three hours. Therefore, he allows me to reach the Paso Jhon Gardner, the highest point of both the W and the O circuit of Torres del Paine. That’s the very last feasible trail because the O circuit is allowed just with counterclockwise direction. I eat a cereal bar, rest a few minutes, and I’m off again.

This is surely the steepest part I have done in the Park: it goes up like crazy. From the Campamento Paso, there are more than 700 m of elevation change. At 12.35 I’m at 827 m, and shortly after I take a break. I’m tired, still determined to reach the top.

I meet another ranger going up. He looks also tired. Who comes from the O must have a lot of problems, I think. In certain points, there are ropes and handrails to help you going up.

Finally, I reach the stony path – I’m above the treeline and I can see to start the Glacier in all of its extension.

Tiny snowflakes are falling down: it’s the first time I saw snow this winter. Nope, wait! Here is summer. So it’s the first summer snow of my life! The Glacier is magnificently grand: I can’t see the end of it.

The glacier from the Paso Jhon Gardner

The glacier from the Paso Jhon Gardner

I can’t spend more than 5 minutes on top: I just have a glance over the other side of the Paso, and I come back, literally jumping from stone to stone, in the forest.

I stop on the same tree where I had my break before, and I continue walking. Going down, I feel a bit of sadness. That has been a great hike, and in a day is going to be over.

I pass through the first suspension bridge, the second one, and at 6.20 pm I’m back to the camping.

It’s time for the last dinner together in this awesomely scenic Park. The wind is very strong this night, and although I put on my earplugs I can still hear the cold breeze blowing.

Sweet dreams!

Snacks: 3 cereal bars – almonds

Dinner x 3: 400 g pasta + 200 g sauce

Kms walked / Hours: 27 km / 8 h

Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 4 is part of a 5-posts series. Find Day 5 here