After some shopping and preparation we left for the famous “W” at the Tores del Paine national park. We have heard that this trek is supposed to be quite demanding with usually very changing weather, going from sun to rain snow and of course a lot of wind.
However, to our surprise we started with 30°C, bright sun and no wind at all… So bright that we had to protect ourselves not to burn from the very strong UV. We finally made a break in the shadow waiting for the early evening before going further and the crowed to pass. Somehow after the very remote hikes in Ushuaia, it was very stressfull to enconter so many people on the trail.
Arriving at the first camping (Chileno) we undertood why the rush and almost gave up, seeing the amount of hikers, the bad attitude of the staff and the people in general. Also the very bad conditions for camping: either at an angle of 20′ or almost with your feets in the river. Luckily this motivated us for an early start (5 am, let me tell you how much Christine loved it) to reach the famous Tores del Paine peak. Due to bad planning we missed the sunrise on the peak for about 30 min, but it was still very amazing!
We learned from our mistake of the previous day and therefore booked our next camping managed by the national park. On the advice of the park ranger we booked it for the same night, as it was supposed to be “only” about 7h hike from Chileno. Let me tell you, this was 7h with no bags! After about 12h hiking on that day we capitulated at 8 pm and stoped at a previous camping. Luckily this time we found a golden camping spot, forgotten by the other 100s of hikers.
After a great night of sleep in our sleeping bags made for -20°C when it was + 15, we made it to the Italian camping, luckily got the spot booked the day before thanks to a very convincing smile of Christine and could continue to the amazing french and english valley before returning late evening to the camping.
The night was soo windy that we both thought we would get killed by a falling tree. But probability saved us and we could continue our adventure to the next valley for seeing the supposingly amazing Grey glacier.
However after a short stop at a cooking area, our friendly host decided to make us a favor by reducing our luggage weight. However they did not think that continuing the treck without a rain and windproof jacket would not be very practicle… Furthermore they probabely also forgot to remove Christine’s phone from the jacket before borrowing it…
That is how our W finished into a N with a small visit at the police…
All in all a great trek, but very hectic and definitely too popular! Also we would have loved to finish it… also with all our belongings…Our beloved Gortex jacket and iPhone, rest in peace!