Towers of Paine, Chile in winter


Patagonia off season: winter hiking in Torres del Paine

Tourists flock to the Torres del Paine in the southern summer, but our writer finds hiking there in winter brings a different set of snowy rewards

Andrew Gilchrist:

It’s minus five outside. Not great conditions for roughing it. The previous night, in an unheated, near-deserted refuge covered in snow, we had bedded down in extreme-weather sleeping bags, complete with hoods. But tonight, after a thrilling 20-mile hike through some of the finest scenery on the planet, we are warm, dry and, frankly, ecstatic beneath polar blankets in a chic ecodome that feels more penthouse than campsite. Steam rises from our boots as they dry by the log-burning stove and, through the round windows in the curved ceiling, I can pick out what seems like every star in the southern sky.

“This is sublime,” I think, as I ease myself off my furry headboard and pour another glass of velvety Chilean red. “Where is everyone?” …

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Southern Patagonia

Check our Paine Circuit information page.

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