W is For…

February 22, 2013 3 Comments »

The towers of Torres del Pain
The towers (Torres) of Torres del Paine’s W trek

The W trek is a 4 to 5-day trek in Torres Del Paine Park covering approximately 50 miles. It’s the most popular route in the park and it’s named for the shape of the route.

Follow the blue trail to see how the ‘W’ got its name

I found the route challenging – physically and mentally. What I love about hiking is that it is a form of exercise, AND it allows me uninterrupted time to think and meditate on life. For me – hiking is about finding new paths in my brain and exploring new thoughts – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. I thought a lot about the W as I hiked – the shape, the landscape, the physical demand, and the mental demand. I most definitely struggled, but in my struggle, I thought about what the W meant to me.

See my Essential Hiking Gear List

Now that you’ve chosen a hike, you need to know what gear to take with you! Don’t leave on your hike without these hiking gear essentials!

W is for…

Wide open spaces where horses roam.

Horses roam along the trail
Horses roam around the flatlands of the W trail

Wobbly bridges that sway back and forth and up and down with each step.

Wobbly bridge
There were many bridges to cross – all varied in construction!

Wind that appears with no warning and practically pushes you over.

A wind worn flag
A wind worn Chile flag near the Grey glacier trail

Wings of a condor gliding high above me.

A condor glides above me
A condor glides above me along the trail

Waiting to catch my breath as we climb up to the French Valley viewpoint.

The French Valley viewpoint
The French Valley viewpoint

White-capped peaks surround me.

White peaks torres del paine
The peaks are white even in the summer in Patagonia

Woods where I can hide from the intense sun and find some relief.

wooded trail
Passing through woods on the W trail

Waves are formed from the powerful gusts blowing off the mountains and through the valleys. Enough to form ocean-like white caps on the lakes.

Mountains melt into lakes
Mountains melt into lakes on the trail

Check out my hiking packing list – essential gear for any hike

Wildlife whom we share the trail with.

A guanaco along the trail
Guanacos are found throughout the park.

Wet feet and Band-Aids that won’t stay on my sweaty blisters.

Weak knees, which require a cold shower every night to keep them happy.

Warm Weather – unseasonably warm as we climb to Los Torres in an unheard-of 80+ degrees.

A steep climb up the moraine
A steep, hot climb up the moraine. Will we ever get there?

Wandering – my mind dives deep into the cracks of my confidence and pries the cracks further apart.

Wimpy – how I feel as I bring up the rear of our hiking group, constantly gasping for air and wondering where all of my fitness has gone.

Will you let me carry your bag? Asks Claudio. No, my ridiculous pride makes me insist on carrying what I have brought. Claudio looks like a rejected little puppy.

Carrying packs along the W

Watching person after person pass me, heading upwards to Los Torres.

Wrestling – with myself as my mind goes to battle with all of my insecurities – age, fitness, and confidence.

What if… what if I simply believed that I was a strong 42-year-old woman?


Reaching the Torres
Reaching Las Torres – I did it!

Disclosure: Adventure Life hosted my Patagonia travels. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own – as you know, I love to speak my mind!


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