Torres del Paine National Park – W Circuit trek (3)

Sunday 01/04

By me:

The alarm clock rings at 6:30am. We indeed want to leave at 7:30am. Tough!

Happy Easter! It’s a bit sad because we don’t even have one chocolate egg to give to the kids… It was not really a year of celebrations: we didn’t give any present for St Nicholas, Christmas and even birthdays… But I don’t think anyone thinks of complaining; we are living marvelous adventures that greatly overcome the lack of celebrations…

We leave at 7:45am, with our legs still sore of yesterday and our bags on our back! A bit tough… It’s still a bit dark; the sun hasn’t risen yet.

The weather is not great. No sun, but no rain; the sky is grey. 

We walk to Refugio Grey (11 km), which we reach in 4 hours. It’s a tough walk. We do only a few pauses, and we each time stop for less than 5′. We have nice views on Glacier Grey and we see icebergs floating on Lake Grey; it’s quite impressive. We leave the kids at Refugio Grey, where they eat their lunch pack. Isabelle and I continue to a viewpoint on the Glacier Grey (from where we can see floating icebergs) and to the nice Gardner’s suspension bridge. We do 5km more. So today we did again 16km.

At 2pm, we take the catamaran to go to hotel Grey where we sleep tonight. The boat is full of “one-day” tourists. We can immediately see the difference between them and the trekkers. The catamaran does a 3-hour excursion on the Lago Grey. There are 2 hours remaining when we embark. It goes very close to the Glacier Grey, at 3 different areas. We can see the blue of the ice and we can feel the cold of the glacier… It’s really impressive!

It’s nice to go close to the icebergs as well.

On the boat we drink our first pisco sour, which is good.

We arrive at Hotel Grey around 4pm. It’s good to be in a nice hotel after 4 days of shelters. We take a warm shower; it feels good. We chill in our bed until 7pm, when we go and take an aperitif at the bar with the kids to celebrate our successful W trek. We drink another complimentary pisco sour (and a calafate).

In total, we’ve walked 70km in 3 days (with a day of rest in between). Not bad…

We eat in the hotel (there’s nothing around anyway). We take a cheeseburger (not great). 

At 9pm, we go to our rooms. Everybody sleeps early…

Time for a quick reflection of our W trek, one of the most renowned treks in the world. It was hard but we liked it very much. The 3 days were very much different, which is great. Personally, I now have a pretty good idea of what would be an “ideal” trek for me: a “one-way” trail (or a loop but not a return path), no crowd, sunny but cold weather, rather flat, great views (ideally walking on a crest), with animal-spotting opportunities and also some interaction with the local life (working in fields, like in Morocco, e.g.). I’m not sure such treks exist… Any recommendations?


Summary of the W trek by Ludivine:

This is my view on the W trek.

The views were varied and the last day it was fantastic with the glacier and the icebergs floating in the lake, and the second day as well, the mountain was beautiful, but I was expecting a bit more and even though they were great, like my father always says, it’s a question of expectations. The walk itself was more or less okay but a lot of pointless uphills and downhills which kill your knees and the last day we had to walk with our bags therefore it was even more painful and we were all glad to get to the end refuge. The food honestly wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be and I was positively surprised. The breakfasts were usually toast and omelet with cereal then for lunch we would have a packed sandwich and that was probably the worst meal of the day because the last two days our sandwich had a filling of mayonnaise, chicken, crab salad, and tuna mixed together which wasn’t very appetizing. Even though in the lunch bags, they put energy bars, fruit, and water so that made up for the sandwich a little. Then the dinner was probably the best meal because we always had either chicken or pork that were very good and we also had dessert every day but on the other side, it wasn’t always good except for the last two days where it was very good chocolate cake :). The rooms were small and we had to share a room with bunk beds but it was not horrible and the beds were not rock hard. The only thing was that it was really cold but we couldn’t have done anything about that. Finally, the overall experience was harsh but I don’t regret doing it and the views made it worth the pain. I would recommend if you have a good fitness level but definitely not during the winter because we did it at the end of summer and we were freezing :).


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