130 Photos

Base of Torres del Paine
Chile 2011

Last Hope FjordLast Hope Fjord (Janet Gordon)
Another long hike was in store today. The trail to the base of Torres del Paine is the right leg of the W. There was no way I would miss that. Fortunately the weather remained good so I hiked in running shoes. A mere 20 km today but more total elevation gains than the French Valley. As we worked our way up the Rio Ascencio valley our early elevation gains were lost as we dropped to the river. Then we immediately started relentlessly back up. Our destination was not visible for much of the way. That made the pay-off that much more appreciated as we scrambled up a scree slope and the tops of the Torres reappeared. Then finally one last scramble and the entire vista lay before us. A milky green lake in a rugged depression below the granite pinnacles of the towers straight ahead and over a thousand feet above the lake. Seeing this sight was a bucket-list moment and it lived up to the years of anticipation.

Margie joined me at the back of the pack the long way down. But we had made it. The W route was securely in our memories.

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