30. Trek Torres del Paine

On our 2010 Life List: trek Torres del Paine. Alone.

Sep 1, 2010
Outside Magazine
Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine    Photo: Michael Hanson

Approximately 130,000 turistas descend annually upon Torres del Paine, the Chilean national park centered on three 7,000-plus-foot granite spires. But most don't stray from the 47-mile circuit known as the W Route, which offers spectacular vistas of the Paine massif—and lookout points clogged with map and camera toters. The forgotten valleys—Valle del Silencio, Valle Bader, and Valle del Pingo—are three granite-wall-and-hanging-glacier-enclosed, wildflower-studded, boot-friendly areas. Trek them in shoulder season (September–October and March–April) and the only people you'll see will be diehard climbers on the Paine spires. Antares Patagonia Adventure, a local outfitter that guides for American companies like Mountain Madness, offers a nine-day trip that includes seven hours of strenuous daily trekking; two nights in climbers' camps; and a few nights of recovery at rustic refugios and classic lodges. (from $1,785; www.antarespatagonia.com).

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web