The Splendor of Chile’s Torres del Paine in Patagonia


The towers of Torres del Pain

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.

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.

W is for…

Wide open spaces where horses roam.

Horses roam along the trail

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

Wobbly bridge

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

A wind worn flag

Wings of a condor gliding high above me.

A condor glides above me

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

The French Valley viewpoint

White capped peaks that surround me.

White peaks torres del paine

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

wooded trail

Waves 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

Wildlife whom we share the trail with.

A guanaco along the trail

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

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

Wimpy – 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.

Will 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.


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

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!


Sherry Ott
Sherry Ott is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer. She’s a co-founder of, a website offering career break travel inspiration and advice.

Additionally, she runs an around the world travel blog writing about her travel and expat adventures at
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