The mighty Las Torres Towers
Torres Del Paine Travel Blog› entry 7 of 10 › view all entries
While chatting with the other trekkers on the previous evening, we knew that a group would be leaving at 3am in the morning to hike up to the base of the Las Torres Towers to see sunrise. We were tempted to join but the weather forecast was not very promising. Indeed, when we got up at 7.20am, the sky was overcast and the towers were hidden behind the clouds. It was rather disappointing because the trail to the Mirador Las Torres is the most famous trail in the entire national park. After all, the park is named after the three Torres del Paine towers.
The impressive rock formation is made up by the Torre Sur (southern tower, 2,850m), Torre Central (central tower, 2,800m), Torre Norte (northern tower, 2,248m) and Mount Nido de Condor (2,243m).
Leaving Refugio Chileno at about 8.30am, we began on the trail across Rio Ascencio into the forest of native Lenga (Beech) trees and small rivers with the usual ups and downs. It took us nearly two hours to reach the Campamento Torres, the campsite at the base of the steep moraine leading to the Mirador.
On the way through the forest, we met a lot of campers and trekkers on their way down. It was indeed a busy trail! Apparently, those who went up to the Mirador hoping to catch the sunrise were not quite successful.
After a short rest, we began our climb up the steep moraine with huge boulders leading to that famous view of the eastern face of the Towers. The sky was still partially overcast with clouds hanging ominously above us. Halfway on the uphill slog up the moraine, it started to snow and we waited behind some huge rocks to keep out of the way of the winds. The snow shower lasted for about 15mins and after which, the sun even shone a bit.
We continued on the trail and could see a part of the towers’ peaks. After a while, we finally reached the Mirador Las Torres where a postcard view of an amazing natural amphitheater with the impressive granite towers rising 1,000m vertically from the glacier and a glacier-fed lagoon laid before our eyes.
As most trekkers gathered around the Mirador signboard, we took the effort to make our way all the way down to the glacial lagoon and took a dip in the icy water …. with only the hands of course! Away from the other trekkers up at the Mirador, it was a tranquil and surreal feeling down at the lagoon with the Towers rising dramatically above. Yet another place for lunch with a grand view, we spent an hour there before proceeding with the return at about 2pm.
On the way down, we met many trekkers who were making their way up to the Mirador.
We arrived back at the refugio at about 4.20pm, only to see the sun finally shining. There were a lot of horses waiting next to the campsite. These must be for the tourists who have opted for a horse ride up the Ascencio Valley before doing the hike up to the Mirador.
The Andean fox did not appear that evening as there were too many activities going on. There were some campers and trekkers still outside on the campground at 9pm. Inside the dining room, there was also a lot of commotion as a pair of good-humoured Portuguese brothers was engaging almost everyone into singing and dancing.