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Is this itinerary okay?

Washington DC...
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250 posts
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Is this itinerary okay?

Hello - I'm contemplating on the following trek and wondering if the distance/time will be okay. We are fast trekkers, but tend to spend way too much time taking photos which does slow us down a bit.

Day 1 - Hike from Refugio Paine Grande to Refugio Grey

Day 2 - Hike from Refugio Grey to Refugio Cuernos

Day 3 - Hike to the Valles De Frances, then hike back down to Refugio Cuernos

Day 4 - Hike from Refugio Cuernos to Refugio Chileno

Day 5 - Hike up to see the Torres and go back to Punta Arenas

Some folks have also recommended going the trip from East to West. What do you recommend? Is 5 days too many days for the W? Or do most people do 4 days / 3 nights? What is the usual?

Thanks!

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

Oops! I meant to say go back to Puerto Natales on Day 5. Not Punta Arenas...that would be too ambitious!

Missouri
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57 posts
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2. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

Hi Flowergirl79 ~

I think your itinerary is fine - especially if you are fast & experience trekkers. We took 5 days & it was good for us (since we were NOT experience trekkers - this is our first trek...LOL - I know, not a good one to start on since it's not exactly beginners hike) & were extremely slow. I think if you were experience, you could probably handle a good hard 4 days of hike - but it depends on you. We were also slow as we took a lot of pictures (but overall...our whole trip was about 550 pictures - which really is not a lot compare to our other trips).

Your Day 2 sounds like it maybe intense. But again, if you guys are great trekkers, it won't be a problem for you. Only you know how much you can do. : D

We went from West to East & would do it like that again. I thought the sceneries went prettier as we walked to the East. Going from East to West I think would not get the same effect since I feel like you've already seen the prettier sceneries on Day 1 & Day 2.

The sceneries didn't change too much (in my opinion) & I think that was one reason why we didn't take much picture. Lugging around the dSLR was not ideal & it somewhat discouraged me from taking it out to take pictures. After looking at all the pictures again, I wish we would have taken MORE. Ah well.

One thing you might want to check is if the French Valley is open. We heard that it was closed due to weather earlier (check at the front desk at Cuernos). I think when it gets windy is when they closed because it gets pretty dangerous. We never made it to the top but we made it at the first Mirado.

Just curious - do you intend to go on up farther after you get from Grey or just a layover at Grey & check out the Mirado?

Good luck! Would love to hear what you decide & how your trip goes!

Cheers,

Serena

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

Hi Serena,

Thank you so much for the info! I've decided to change my itinerary to reflect the following instead - I think you are correct that the current route is a bit too ambitious :)

Day 1 - Hike from Refugio Paine Grande to Refugio Grey

Day 2 - Hike from Refugio Grey to Refugio Grand Paine

Day 3 - Hike to the Valles De Frances, then hike back down to Refugio Cuernos

Day 4 - Hike from Refugio Cuernos to Refugio Chileno

Day 5 - Hike up to see the Torres and go back to Puerto Natales

Denver, Colorado
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4. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

When staying at the refugios on the trek, do you need to provide your own soap and towel for the showers?

Missouri
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57 posts
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5. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

I think one of the place may have had a soap dispenser but not all so you will need to bring it. If you get the package at the refugio which comes with a towel, you'll get a towel. But if you don't get that full package, no towels. I recommend the micro towels. My friend had a regular towel and it was heavy.

Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

Thanks, Serena, I appreciate the information. It's a little thing, but need to plan what goes in the backpack.

Missouri
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57 posts
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7. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

Hi Pamccue - You welcome! Are you doing the w or the o? :D

san francisco
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8. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

Hey - I just got back from doing the W and I think your itinerary is great and very doable. I would leave your pack at Italiano so that you can do the Valle Frances with just a day pack. It is a great hike -- probably my favorite of the trip. Also, be prepared for lots of rain -- highly recommend rainproof pants / jacket.

As for towels, defn bring a micro-towel / camping towel. A regular towel may not dry and is heavy.

You are going to have a blast!

Also, fwiw here was our itinerary:

Day 1: Puerta Natales to the catamaran to Paine Grande. Hiked from Paine Grande to the lookout for Grey Glacier (about 90 minutes each way, the first hour is super windy). Then went from Paine Grande to Domo Frances (new refugio!) about 40 minutes past Italiano.

Day 2: Hiked from Domo Frances to Valle Frances (Britanico Mirador). Awesome very rainy day!

Day 3: Hiked from Domo Frances to Cuernos to Torres Norte. My friend sprained her ankle, so she stayed at Torres Norte and I hiked on my own to Refugio Chileno from Norte.

Day 4: Woke up early to go from Chileno to the Torres for the sunrise...sunrise was a non-event! but still fun. Hiked back from the Torres to the Hotel and took the 2:00 bus back to Puerta Natales.

Sydney, Australia
2 posts
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9. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

Hi Serena,

Probably a little premature but have you completed your hike yet?

We're going from 21-25 Feb and are looking to do the same itinerary as your revised one. Haven't booked any accommodation or anything yet so any tips/advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Paul

Missouri
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57 posts
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10. Re: Is this itinerary okay?

Hi Paul,

Do you mean Flowergirl's itinerary? I have done the W trek & think her is a good plan. The only thing I'm not sure is since there is something open by French Valley now how it can make the itinerary better. When my friend & I did it, we thought having something by French Valley would be fantastic & would have helped us reach Mirador Britanico (which we didn't make).

Good luck on your planning!

Cheers,

Serena