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Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

Concord, Australia
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38 posts
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Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

We are to be based in Puerto Natales for 5 full days from the end of this November to start of December so should have reasonable daylight hours. We will have a car and are used to driving long distances on outback gravel roads so 130km into the park appears to be a relatively short trip.

While we have no problems day walking we are probably past carrying weight for an extended trek hence our decision to base in Puerto Natales. Depending on the weather we may not travel into the park every day.

Can anyone with local knowledge comment on whether the following are reasonable options or make suggestions for alternatives noting the comments above.

Day 1:- Drive through the park including CONAF Administration, Lago Grey, Lake Pehoe, Hosteria Las Torres and loop back to Puerto Natales. This would give us a general overview of the park and we would check out departure points/ferries for day walks.

Day Walk:- Hosteria Las Torres to Mirador del la Torres and return. Are there any opening hours for entrance to the park as we would plan to arrive as early as possible?

Day Walk:- Take first Lago Grey catamaran crossing and walk north from Refugio Grey allowing enough time to return on last afternoon ferry. We will have seen Perito Moreno Glacier so are more interested in walking than the Glacier boat trip.

Long Day Walk:- Leave car at Hosteria Las Torres and bus to the first Lake Pehoe ferry of the day. We need to assess how far up the French Valley we could walk if we plan to return via Los Cuernos to our car at Hosteria Las Torres. On our return we would not be limited by bus or ferry timetables so are prepared to walk to about an hour before dusk which will be around 9pm local time. The CONAF map suggests around 6 hours return up the French valley. Is this likely to be reasonable if only carrying a day pack or is it possible we could do better than this if the weather is reasonable.

Thanks for any feedback,

Stephen

Concord, Australia
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38 posts
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1. Re: Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

It would seem if we wish walk part way into the French Valley we might be better to return the same way to catch the last Lake Pehoe in which case we would be better to leave the car at the ferry stop. I gather parts of the track via Los Cuernos might be slow going.

It is obviously a better option to try to overnight at one of the Refugios to do the French Valley but I would expect they would now be booked out.

Stephen.

Concord, Australia
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38 posts
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2. Re: Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

It would seem if we wish walk part way into the French Valley we might be better to return the same way to catch the last Lake Pehoe ferry in which case we would be better to leave the car at the ferry stop. I gather parts of the track via Los Cuernos might be slow going.

It is obviously a better option to try to overnight at one of the Refugios to do the French Valley but I would expect they would now be booked out.

Stephen.

Edited: 12 October 2013, 20:23
Denver, Colorado
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122 posts
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3. Re: Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

Personally, it sounds like too much to me. Just going through the park itself can take 2 hours; the roads are winding and rough. Plus it's another 2.5 hours between PN and the park. So it sounds like you might meet yourself coming and going. But if you don't mind spending half the day in the car, maybe it won't be a big deal for you.

Your itinerary within the park is also quite ambitious considering you are only doing day hikes. These day itineraries might be possible IF you were staying closer to the park, or the driving might work fine IF you weren't trying to do so much in the park itself. Plus, the roads are very rough and the rental cars frequently end up with flat tires (our car got a flat, as did another couple staying at our hotel), so the additional driving might make that more of a concern, and squeezing so much in leaves little wiggle room. That's just my two cents though.

etown
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4. Re: Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

We plan to do the Las Torres to Mirador del la Torres and return from PN the last week of November. It could take longer than stated because of the weather so I would plan accordingly. There can be snow, rain, sleet and sun allin the same day.

We are staying in the park for 2 nights at Paine Grande so we have 3 days of possibility to hike the Frances Valley. I do not think you will be able to hike the valley in less than 10 hours RT from the Refugio. Your route will take much much longer and it probably is not recommended by anyone. The winds could stop you in your tracks and you really need to consider how this might affect your travel time with or without a pack,

Edited: 22 October 2013, 12:28
Stanley, Falkland...
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5. Re: Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

I agree with #3. Why go all that way and stay 130kms from one of the worlds best parks? Stay in the park and enjoy it.

Santiago, Chile
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for Chile
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6. Re: Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

You might get lucky and find a couple of beds. If not, book a tent at one of the refugios. They set it up for you and you can rent all the gear you need.

Concord, Australia
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38 posts
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7. Re: Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

Hi, yes we have booked at Los cuernos cabanes.

Was not able to do so from Australia but looks some places have since become available.

Thanks Stephen

8. Re: Torres del Paine:- Day Walks???

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