To my utter chagrin (and inspiration), I only encounter super fit hikers where ever I go. Why is that? I am the slowest hiker on the trail and never the fittest, so the timings other people quote never applies to me. So here is a very slow and relaxed hikers guide to the W trek in Torres Del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. I also drew a map showing what’s what. It felt great to be able to complete the trek and the next few posts will be about how to accomplish this.
Day 1 – Puerto Natales
- The bus from Puerto Natales picked us up at our hostel in the morning (I think 8 AM) and drove us to the national park entrance, where we paid our entrance fees of 15000 chilean pesos/person. The bus ticket from Austral Glacier cost 12000 chilean pesos/person.
- Continued on the same bus to the Catamaran @ 12000/person to Refugio Paine Grande
- Hiked from 12.30 PM to 6.40 PM
- Arrived at Refugio Gray around 5 PM
- Camped at Las Guardas
- Rained all night!
- Be the last to enter so that you can get to your backpack first.
- Pay catamaran fees on the boat itself.
Day 2 – Las Guardas campsite
- Broke camp very late. Very rainy and wet
- 1 hour walk back to Refugio Gray
- 4.25 hours to Paine Grande
- 2.5 hours to Italiano
- 7.5 to 8 hours of hiking in the entire day
- Wet in the morning, sunny in the afternoon
- No turn-back in Italiano if you arrive late. Free campsite, but clean and pretty.
Day 3 – Valle Del Frances
- Swami hiked up to the 2nd mirador (~5 hours)
- Niru hiked up to 1st mirador (~2.5 hours)
- Left campsite at 4 pm.
- Arrived at Cuernos at 6.45 PM.
- Rainy, sunny, windy!!
Day 4: Cuernos campsite and view of the Cuernos
- Longest day of hiking!
- 10.15 AM – started from Cuernos campsite
- 2 PM – Arrived at shortcut to Chileno refugio (after one large uphill climb and a downhill. Lot of flat walking after the shortcut, followed by steady uphill)
- 5.00 PM – arrived at Chileno campsite
- 6.45 PM – arrived at Torres campsite (mostly uphill)
- Camped @ Torres campsite
Day 5: Torres Campsite
- Woke up 4.40 AM to view sunrise at Las Torres, the parks most popular view point.
- Started walk at 5.45 AM (did a small bit of packing)
- Reached las torres at 6.50 AM
- very cloudy and very uphill; could not see the torres at all; very disappointed
- Returned to campsite, packed and left at 9.15 AM
- Reached Chileno at 10.15 AM
- Arrived at W trail entrance @ 12 PM
- Bus to Puerto Natales at 2.30 PM