Entries from Torres del Paine
We connected the circuit today. Made it full circle around the Torres del Paine Massive! It was fun to see where we started, not fully knowing what was ahead and now how far we’ve come. The group has really hit their stride in terms of packing up in the mornings, falling in their favorite order on the trail, and even taking siestas at lunch time. It’s always fun for me to see a group start wide-eyed and overwhelmed get so comfortable with trail life. This group has definitely done that. Most people on this trip, had not spent nine days out and carried their gear but now they make it look natural.
The scenery did not disappoint today. We spent all morning watching lenticular clouds form and move off in the distance. We walked around Lake Nordensjold all day appreciating the color contrasts around us. Tomorrow some of the group is going to walk up to the towers, others will go halfway and enjoy the views, and others will treat themselves to a massage—very deserving. Then we will head back to town. It always feels bittersweet leaving the trail. Yes, we are looking forward to pizza and home but we will miss the peace and simplicity that Patagonia has shared with us.
Awesome job Christina!! :)
Posted by: Kim Lowe on 2/18/2019 at 8:30 pm
How you go Nini,
Sounds like a great trip. Happy Valentines.
Safe trip back
Posted by: peter von Mertens on 2/14/2019 at 9:43 am
Here in Patagonia, you drink the water right out of the streams. It is sourced in the glaciers that hang off the towering granite above us. We hike all day with an empty water bottle and just fill up at breaks. They say it makes you strong enough to complete the circuit and it’s definitely worked for this group. Tomorrow we will connect the dots and walk back to where we started, covering over 100 miles. It’s hard to describe what we’ve seen because the landscape is awe inspiring around every corner.
Today’s team member shout-out is to a super fun loving couple from Wisconsin that love to laugh. They inspire us all with a passion for adventure and travel.
What a day?! The sun glistened off the blue icebergs and the breeze kept us cool on the trail. This group has really found their stride. Breakfast of eggs and freshly baked bread, walking with lots of photo breaks, lunch time, and more walking. What more could we want? We all support one another by reaching people’s water bottles for them or offering around sunscreen. But the couple from Nashville truly steal the show when it comes to generosity. This couple is the first to share their favorite trail snacks (honey stinger gummies) and even offer to take more weight. They are the kindest badasses around and have many more trails to hike and mountains to climb in their future!
Other than this great group of people, some trail highlights have been watching the condors soar, seeing the granite towers, and being surrounded by turquoise waters. The food is also worth mentioning; grilled salmon, stuffed chicken, pork on chili mashed potatoes…it’s a treat. But I’m sure we’ll all return home looking like svelte explorers. ;) Now I’m off for another amazing dinner with a view.
RMI Guide Christina Dale and team
Sounds like an amazing trip! Glad we are able to keep up with your journey. Love and Hugs!
Posted by: Dad and Cindy on 2/10/2019 at 7:07 pm
Proud of those Nashville badasses for living their dream !
Posted by: Rita Christodoulou on 2/10/2019 at 6:15 pm
We somehow timed our rest day well with the weather. As it rained cats and dogs we drank coffee, lounged on couches, and took naps in the lodge. We did venture out in the weather this afternoon for a boat ride in a zodiac dodging icebergs. After making plenty of Titanic jokes, we nosed the boat into a large nunitac, a rock island in the middle of a glacier, and hopped out. We donned crampons, helmets, and ice axes for exploring Grey Glacier and headed up the ice. It was full of waterways, ice sculptures, and dune-like landscapes. Our expedition left us wet and ready for dinner. Let’s hope either our gloves dry or the weather clears for tomorrow.
RMI Guide Christina Dale and Team
Congratulations to the team for succeeding on such a tough day. We crossed over the John Gardner pass today in the wind, rain, and snow. We started hiking early in the morning to get a start on the long day ahead. The first hour or two we spent dodging mud pits by balancing on wet slippery roots. The next two hours we headed up, and up, and up over scree and through river beds. Once on top of the pass, the fun began and the next six hours of the day we spent walking down steep rocks and slippery mud.
Today’s team member highlight goes to a woman who self proclaimed “this is the hardest thing she’s ever done.” She is a strong and graceful social worker from Wisconsin. We are all lucky to travel through this rugged Patagonia landscape with her.
Now we celebrate our strenuous day though very challenging weather, at the Grey hut where we’ll be for two nights. The hut is full of people huddling around the fireplace to dry out layers. After the past three nights of quiet huts or camping it is nice to have the luxuries of this lodge but it seems a little louder than we’re used to. The team is all happy to have a rest day tomorrow with a chance to explore the Grey Glacier.
We spent the day walking along the Perro’s River from Dickson to Perro’s Camp. It is named Perros, Spanish for dog, because legend has it that when ranchers used to live here and cross the rivers on horseback, some dogs would get swept away in the river. The story goes that the dogs formed a pack of wild dogs that still roams this land and if you listen closely you can hear barking at night. The river flows through the oldest forests in the park that have large trees because when the glacier move through this valley it churned up the soil leaving it loose and easier for deep root systems to form.
It was enjoyable to hike under their lush green canopy as sun was filtered through. Also, great to have a day with no wind. It gave our sun and wind chapped cheeks a rest. But our cheeks are rosy now after some wine and cheese snacks and sitting around laughing at our wildlife biologist’s stories of botflys. This group has so much fun learning each other’s backgrounds and sharing tales. We even had to come up with a system to determine the exaggeration level. But that’s for another blog. Now we are settling in preparing for John Gardner pass tomorrow. A little intimidating with its steep ascent and decent and many miles but I’m sure this group will do well and come out smiling.
RMI Guide Christina Dale
We all felt like this was a long approach to the trail head, what with the flying for two days and a bus ride the next, but well worth it. We finally hit the trail at noon today and were instantly swept into the beauty of the Patagonian landscape. Happily walking and talking we passed through forests of lenga trees, in the beach family, and through the golden grass lands. All the lakes and streams here are a different shade of turquoise based on which glaciers feed them.
After pulling into Seron Camp we had wine and cheese for appetizers, a stroll by the river, and an amazing dinner of salmon. All a little travel weary, we’ll get good sleep tonight and be ready for more tomorrow. Everyone is doing really well and send their best to those following!
Great Photos - lovely camp site- Keep trekking
Posted by: peter von Mertens on 2/7/2019 at 1:47 pm
I’m so glad to be able to
read about your adventure. Love seeing the photos !
Posted by: Rita Christodoulou on 2/6/2019 at 5:27 am
Day 9 and our feet are broken in, our layers are perfect, and our backs strong. We finished the circumnavigation of the Paine Massif today by walking 22 kilometers up to the base of the famous granite towers. A long and windy day on the trail but everyone did great. It was so windy at times that it was hard to walk against but we figured one or two windy days out of nine was pretty good. As this amazing trip comes to an end we all want to thank Chile for keeping the national park well preserved and thank our partners here in Patagonia for helping this trip run so smoothly. Congratulations to this RMI team from your guides; Chuma, Mauricio and Christina!
Today we hiked back to where we started this adventure: younger and wiser, of course. The beautiful land we have traveled across for the past eight days has touched us all. From the beach tree forests to the smooth stone beaches of Nordernskjold Lake, we have all learned to appreciate the air and water around us. What a perfect trip for great weather and remote places. One of the biggest realizations is the food here is so good and we could have left some luxury items behind. We still have one more day tomorrow to finish the W and take in more outstanding views but now we celebrate hiking the circuit! Other than a few blisters, everyone is doing well!
We wake up to French pressed coffee, warm toast and scrambled eggs. After packing up we throw packs on and head down the trail. Stopping to take pictures or refill water bottles in streams or snack on some nuts and chocolate. Lunch is usually by a river with stunning views around. Then we walk a few more hours chitchatting and enjoying our time on the trail. Evenings are showers, delicious dinners, and bed early most nights. The next day we do it again. Tomorrow will be day 8 for this pattern and we are all starting to find our rythem. Today was a day hike into the French Valley where our high point was above a vivid rainbow and below towering granite peaks. We would stop along the trail to watch dramatic ice falls from the hanging glaciers above. Another spectacular day. Tomorrow we complete the circuit around the Torres del Paine massif which is a huge accomplishments everyone should be proud of.