|Subject: Re: Summer plans changed to winter in Patagonia|
Dear Beverly and other Ziners,
I can't help you out with backpacking in Torres del Paine, but we were there and we hiked the 'Z' -- the French Valley, the Grey Glacier + trip and the hike to the base of the Towers. It is a spectacular area!!! We stayed in a hotel.
We then went to the Fitz Roy region and hiked while camping some, staying a one motel and then staying in Estancias. This region is even more diverse and spectacular, we felt.
The tour operator we chose for this portion of our trip was 'Above the Clouds' (www.abovetheclouds.com) and we were very pleased with the guide (who was the best!) and the choice of region where we hiked, the food, the estancias that were chosen - pretty much everything - It was a very strenuous hiking trip but we'd do it over in a heartbeat! -- we walked on Glaciers, crossed glacier-fed rivers either on foot or in a Tyrolean Cross (on cable hand over hand with help if needed - as I did) or bypassed the rivers altogether when they were too wide or too deep or the current was too strong -- and we went up and down very steep embankments. The trip that we chose with this group was their Patagonia Suprema -- I would be happy to discuss any aspects of our 3- week adventure with you or anyone else in the group if they would like help or our input.
In all of our years of hiking in spectacular places like the Pyrenees, New Zealand twice, all over Europe and the Canadian Rockier, this trip to Patagonia was the most dramatic - it impacted us both so much that I'd have to say it's the pinnacle of a hiker's experience!
Good luck. Regards, Susie Newton, MA