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 it’s 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.

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap] is for…

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]ide open spaces where horses roam.

Horses roam along the trail

Horses roam around the flatlands of the W trail

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]obbly 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!

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]ind that appears with no warning and practically pushes you over.

A wind worn flag

A wind worn Chile flag near the Grey glacier trail

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]ings of a condor gliding high above me.

A condor glides above me

A condor glides above me along the trail

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]aiting to catch my breath as we climb up to the French Valley viewpoint.

The French Valley viewpoint

The French Valley viewpoint

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]hite capped peaks that surround me.

White peaks torres del paine

The peaks are white even in the summer in Patagonia

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]oods where I can hide from the intense sun and find some relief.

wooded trail

Passing through woods on the W trail

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]aves which 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

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]ildlife whom we share the trail with.

A guanaco along the trail

Guanaco’s are found throughout the park.

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]et feet and Band-Aids that won’t stay on my sweaty blisters.

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]eak knees which require a cold shower every night to keep them happy.

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]arm 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?

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]andering – my mind dives deep into the cracks of my confidence and prys the cracks further apart.

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]impy – how I feel as I bring up the rear of our hiking group constantly gasping for air as I wonder where all of my fitness has gone.

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]ill you let me carry your bag? Asks Claudio. No my ridiculous pride makes me insist on carrying what I brought. Claudio looks like a rejected little puppy.


Carrying packs along the W

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]atching person after person pass me heading upwards to Los Torres.

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]restling – with myself as my mind goes to battle with all of my insecurities – age, fitness, and confidence.

[dropcap style=’1′]W[/dropcap]hat if… what if I simply believed that I was a strong 42 year old woman?


[dropcap style=’1′]T[/dropcap][dropcap style=’1′]H[/dropcap][dropcap style=’1′]I[/dropcap][dropcap style=’1′]S[/dropcap]

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 how I love to speak my mind!


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