We have done several multi-day treks...Mont Blanc, Everest, Routeburn, Milford, Kepler, Abel Tasman...but had never heard of the W until the daughter and her husband of college friends Ken and Susan did it last year. Vicki, the trekker among us, was smitten, and I certainly knew of the Torres del Paine, one of the world's great alpine scenes. So we hauled all of our backapacka gear with us to South America and did the W in a leisurely 7 days and 6 nights. We enjoyed fair weather most of the days we hiked, chilly (!), but dry and with little of the legendary Patagonian wind. It rained two of our nights in the national park and then throughout our final day's hike-out to the catamaran and bus back to Puerto Natales. Very lucky. There is much literature in print and on the web about the W, but perhaps the best source of information is the daily 90 minute talk given at Erratic Rock (a hostel/cafe/gear rental shop in Puerto Natales). The young German woman who does this is excellent on all aspects of the trek, transportation, weather, gear, food, the reservations system, etc. And very entertaining too.
|It's called the W because of the trail's shape; alas, it's not a loop,|
and there is much back-tracking
|At the Torres del Paine mirador|
|What if John Goodman had played Saruman?|