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Entries from Torres del Paine

Torres Del Paine: King and Team Complete the O Circuit

We had hoped that the clouds would lift if we woke up early and headed for the Torres. A little rain last night and another warm morning had us walking by 4:30 am. We gained a 1500’ and walked into the clouds just before getting to the Chileno Refugio about halfway through. We waited at the Refugio to watch the clouds and see if they had any movement in them. There was no wind present to encourage the clouds to lift so with the rain increasing we made the difficult decision to head back to Central. The terrain above Chileno is rocky and filled with roots in steeper terrain. Avoiding injury in this terrain when wet and with the clouds covering the Torres seemed like the right call. 

It has been a great trek down here, lots of laughs and scenic views with a fun group. We head back Puerto Natales this morning for flights tomorrow.

Thanks for following along,

RMI Guide Mike King & Team

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Great job Mike!  Bummer that you didn’t make it to to the towers, but I’m sure there was plenty of great scenery along the rest of the trek to make up for it.  I hope the group had as much fun as we did last year!

Posted by: Mark Nelson on 2/15/2024 at 3:32 pm

Torres del Paine: King & Team Enjoy Trek into French Valley

After the long day up the French Valley, we had a really warm and windy day into the Central area. There was a close sighting of a Condor which was the highlight. We had to just duck our heads and push forward and get over the humidity as much of the day was out of the trees and the sun was intense. We are hanging out watching clouds roll over the Torres, catching a few naps and cleaned up for dinner. Tomorrow, we’ll get up early for an attempt to see the Torres, the forecast is for rain and wind so fingers crossed. 

RMI Guide Mike King

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This is So Awesome Mike!!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/14/2024 at 4:21 am

Torres del Paine: King & Team Hike into the French Valley

After a shorter day the team headed from Paine Grande into the French Valley. Clouds and wind set the tone for what would be a partially sunny day where the clouds stayed high above. The glaciated Paine Grande massif dominates the valley to the left. Then as you get up higher, the largest of the alpine cirque comes into view with granite towers and walls everywhere you look. The remaining trail to Refugio Los Cuernos goes along a massive turquoise lake and is situated under the Cuernos (Horns) rock formation. Tomorrow we’ll be back in the Central area for the night and a hike to the Torres Wednesday morning concludes our trek. 

RMI Guide Mike King

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Torres del Paine: King & Team Trek to Paine Grande

The high pressure system ended abruptly with rain and wind this morning. The team got up earlier than they’d like after the long day over the pass. There was a glacier hike to get up for. After a short briefing they zipped out on a RHIB for a four hour walk on the Grey glacier, the consensus was it was very picturesque and the glacier water tasted good. 

We still had to hike four hours to Paine Grande. This section of trail is rocky and when raining can be slick in some places. The area between Grey and Paine also reflects the wildfires that have swept through the park. Barren landscape at first glance, but upon closer inspection there’s wild flowers, nice rock formations and a lot of blue ice floating in Lago Grey. We got soak, 4 times and the Patagonian winds blew out the squalls and dried us out. We are at the Refugio eating dinner, enjoying the many views out the windows. Will likely get to watch some of the Super Bowl and we have 26km tomorrow if our side hike into the French Valley goes the distance. 

Thanks for following along,

RMI Guide Mike King

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Incredible photos!!! Chris’ son, Bodhi, says that “Dada is silly for jumping in the air!” We look forward to the next update. Thank you for keeping us updated. Safe travels!

Posted by: Lindsey Stover on 2/13/2024 at 9:27 am

Torres del Paine: King & Team Trek Up John Gardner Pass

We had a calm night at Perros with a 5am wake up. Quick coffee and breakfast and we headed up towards John Gardner Pass at 3,812’. The air was warm, high pressure moved in over the last 24 hours. The views of the Grey glacier and southern Patagonia ice field were outstanding. As we dropped into the trees the real fun begins….steep trail, contorted 2.5” plumbers pipe handrails and lots of sore toes. There might not be a more accessible trail that takes you from a dense forest to a large valley glacier at such low attitude in only 2.5 miles, this is what the “O” circuit  provides. It’s all worth the views and cold beverages once at Grey. The team is doing well, hanging out, showers and clean clothes with a buffet dinner to wrap up the biggest day thus far.

Thanks for following along,

RMI Guide Mike King

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Torres del Paine: King & Team Arrive at Los Perros Glacier

A little over 7 miles of hiking brought us to the Perros glacier overlook and nearby camp. The wind, forest and rivers make for a soothing ambient soundtrack as the trail winds through the lenga trees. We are at the base of the Pass, fed & rested for the longest day to join the "W" circuit in the Grey Glacier Valley. The laughs continue as we get to know each other.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Very Cool Mike!!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/10/2024 at 4:37 am

TORRES DEL PAINE: King and Team Trek to Lago Dickson

Hi Everyone,

We had a windy eleven miles into Lago Dickson today. The trail takes us through the appropriately named windy pass. The group enjoyed the scenic views of Lago Paine and the glaciated mountains that surround Lago Dickson. We are enjoying the trek and having a lot of laughs along the way. Watching the clouds move quickly over the mountains now.

RMI Guide Mike King & Team

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TORRES DEL PAINE TREK: King and Team Reach Their First Camp

We had a nice ride this morning as the Patagonia landscape opened before our eyes. There were a lot of guanacos, think wild alpaca running around the pampas. The view of the Torres was spectacular upon entering the park.

For the birders, seeing some harriers and Magellanic woodpeckers in the first hour of hiking kicked off this first day nicely. The "O" circuit goes counterclockwise around the park. The first portion is private property that the family manages for tourism in cooperation with the national park now. This side is dry grasslands with rolling hills along the Paine River which is a milky turquoise color and full from rain and snowmelt.

Approximately 8 miles brought us to Seron camp, a former ranching outpost turned campgrund. The team is doing well and enjoying some time in the newly installed rooftop style safari tents to get out of the strong wind that has been blowing all day.

We are excited to be out on the trail and away from the airports and hotels for the next 8 days, we will check in from Lago Dickson tomorrow. 

RMI Guide Mike King and Team

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Torres del Paine Trek: King & Team Assemble in Puerto Natales

This is Mike checking in from the Torres del Paine trek. Our team is finally assembled in Puerto Natales. We arrived over the last few days and finally got all of the group together for a dinner. There was some delayed bags and subsequent logistics that needed to be figured out. The winds were very strong leaving Punta Arenas, our Magellanic penguin tour was cancelled due to high winds and tide issues, which resulted in a windy van ride that made the cancellation all the more understandable as white caps and ships listed in the harbors. 

We are in Puerto Natales, briefed and packed for our trek. Everyone is eager to leave the amenities of the hotels and begin the "O" portion of our trek tomorrow. We will be heading for Seron camp and fingers crossed that we get a nice view of the Torres and Cuernos as we head into the park. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Hell yeah y’all are crushing it!! Keep it up and enjoy!! Sending big love and encouragement to my Dad, Peter Williams as well as you and the entire gang!


Posted by: John Williams on 2/9/2024 at 1:00 pm

Torres del Paine: King and Team Visit the Towers

We got a 5 am start today so that we could get some of the clearer weather that had been forecasted. This also put us out in front of the day hiking crowd that arrives daily from Puerto Natales.

We enjoyed a near windless and warm morning on the 10k hike to the base of the Torres del Paine. With the sunrise groups heading down the steep rocky trail we were greeted with some clouds up high on the Torre Central and the impressive lake created from the glaciers. 

After a good break to take in the beautiful rock and reflect on 9 days in Torres del Paine National Park we took some pictures and began our 10k hike down to our tents. We passed the crowds, got to camp and had a scenic ride out of the national park. The team is back at the hotel in Puerto Natales, showers are first on the list followed by dinner.

This trek has featured a great group of people and decent weather, both of which lead to fun times down here in Patagonia. Thanks for following along on our trek through Torres Del Paine and Chilean Patagonia!

RMI Guide Mike King and team

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Loved each moment of the journey.

Posted by: Terri L. Jennings on 2/18/2023 at 6:30 am

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