Thoughts While Trekking to the Patagonian Base Towers

 

You can’t visit the Chilean side of Torres del Paine without trekking to the base of the famous Patagonian towers. We could see these beauties from our yurt at Patagonia Camp and couldn’t wait to get closer. But, our guides had diligently warned us as our trip neared that this would not be an easy hike.

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I’ve done hard hikes before. No sweat. So, I wasn’t terribly concerned about making the nearly 14-mile round trip trek. Sure, I’d probably be sore the next day, but it’d be worth it. I’m young and healthy, so I figured all those warnings were for the more mature members of our group.

 Sunrise over the towers on the morning of our hike. We had no idea what we were in for.

Sunrise over the towers on the morning of our hike. We had no idea what we were in for.

I was wrong.

But it was worth every excruciating step.

Here’s a play-by-play of my thoughts as I hiked to and from the stunning base towers of Torres del Pain – I mean Paine.

This is so easy. The guides were totally sandbagging us.

 This hike is deceptively flat and easy to start.

This hike is deceptively flat and easy to start.

My ass is going to look amazing after this hike.

Why on earth am I still wearing long underwear?

Holy crap this place is incredible.

 About a quarter of the way through the hike. 

About a quarter of the way through the hike. 

Can I really drink water from this stream? (You can and you should).

 You can actually fill your water bottle up at many of the streams along the way. The water is ice cold and delicious!

You can actually fill your water bottle up at many of the streams along the way. The water is ice cold and delicious!

Halfway there! I’ve got this.

This is the most magical forest ever! Lenga trees are my jam.

 The lenga tree forests are absolutely beautiful!

The lenga tree forests are absolutely beautiful!

Woohoo! We’re almost there.

 Right before the hike goes from challenging to straight-up brutal. 

Right before the hike goes from challenging to straight-up brutal. 

I’m going to die.

Will it ever end?

How many more boulders do I have to climb over?

 We climbed over so many boulders as the towers looked on, taunting us.

We climbed over so many boulders as the towers looked on, taunting us.

I think my legs are giving out.

Dear God is it even worth it?

HOLY COW THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I’VE EVER SEEN!!!

 In person the water is a beautiful grey/white hue. Words and photos don't do it justice.

In person the water is a beautiful grey/white hue. Words and photos don't do it justice.

FOOD. (We only had about 30 minutes to eat and take photos).

Take all the pictures!

 Mandatory photo op with the towers.

Mandatory photo op with the towers.

 We were SO tired. But all smiles!

We were SO tired. But all smiles!

Can we swim in this lagoon? Nope, bad idea. It’s glacier water. And it's freezing.

 I seriously considered jumping in.

I seriously considered jumping in.

Going down will be so much easier.

 See ya, towers!

See ya, towers!

Going down is SO much harder.

I could fall to my death.

This seems longer than I remember.

Only halfway?

Oh yeah, this is gorgeous.

 Still can't believe we made it all the way up there.

Still can't believe we made it all the way up there.

Do they have Lyft here?

Just leave me.

Flat land!

BEER!

 Exhausted, proud, and SO ready for a beer.

Exhausted, proud, and SO ready for a beer.

Wow, I did it. That was amazing.

BRB - I have to go eat everything and sleep for 14 hours.

 

If you ever make it to Patagonia (and I really, really hope you do), don’t miss this hike. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before and well worth the temporary pain and suffering. But, a word of advice: start training well in advance. This one’s gonna hurt!