Torres del Paine Part I - furious winds
Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
49Trip End Dec 16, 2008
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The W is a 48 mile(!) trek over five days through what is universally regarded as the most amazing scenry in South America. Many claim it the most scenic in the world. They call it "The W" since the trail resembles an upside down M.
13 new friends from the Navimag Ferry set off with everything on our backs for 5 days of strenuous hiking into the wilds of Patagonia.
Torres del Paine was painfully beautiful - but there was a price - we slogged through mud, rain, snow, and wind strong enough to blow hikers into trees and send tents flying across the landscape like bright red tumbleweeds
Click below for some videos of the wind. The second video is of one of the girls in our group getting blown into a tree.
"I'm not taking photos - I'm getting a video! Hold on...this is going to be good!"
I never imagined there could be wind like this. Torres del Paine borders the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which is the third largest chunk of ice on the planet behind Antarctica and Greenland.
The ice creates it's own weather system that works a similar to a giant meterologic jet engine. Humid air from the Pacific is forced up the Andes where it cools and dumps snow on the ice field.
The wind was so strong, it would whip 10 story walls of mist off the lake.
We saw wind gusts so strong, they reversed a waterfall!
Our first night, we camped at the base of Glacier Grey at the upper tip of the left side of the "W" and watched icebergs drift past as we cooked our dinner.
In fact, if you zoom all the way in on the map above, you can see the icebergs in front of our camp - and a really cool shadow of the Torres (towers) and peaks on the lake.
Next up... Torres del Paine part II, slogging through mud.
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