Mirador las Torres: Fourth Day of the W Circuit in Torres del Paine
In this post we will talk about our intentions to visit Mirador las Torres during our fourth day at Circuit W in Torres del Paine, one of the most popular trekking circuits in the park and also in Patagonia. If you need initial information to plan your trip in Torres del Paine and make the W Circuit on your own, see our guides:
As we decided to do the W Circuit by the Inverted Route we started the fourth day in Torres del Paine leaving the Refúgio las Torres where we stayed after our third day on the W Circuit . After the fourth day we would return to Refúgio las Torres to take the van that takes us to the Laguna Amarga stop, where we would take the bus in the late afternoon to Puerto Natales. In this way, it was possible to leave the cargo backpack in the refuge and go up only with the attack backpack.
We already knew that this would be the most complicated day in Torres del Paine. Despite the round trip distance being 19km which is a little shorter than the distance of the first day (22km) and the second day (26km), the climb to Mirador las Torres is difficult to do, especially in its stretch end where the slope is very high. So, you must be prepared for a greater physical demand.
If you followed our account of the second day and the third day , it was already possible to see that we had a knee injury, an old acquaintance who has caused us other problems in the past. Anyway, we decided to start our walk towards Mirador las Torres to see if we could make it to its end. The pain was great, but so was the desire to go up.
The trailhead is steep and on a more deserted terrain, but we were still just at the beginning of a long hike to Mirador las Torres, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Torres del Paine. As you go up, you can see a beautiful landscape behind, with green mountains and some central lakes. Certainly one of the most beautiful views we had during our trip to Torres del Paine.
At this point in the walk, we stopped much more than we walked, our knee was very sore and the other leg started to hurt since we pushed the leg more than the knee didn’t hurt. We continued with great difficulty until we found a sign that showed that we were only halfway up the first climb. We saw on the clock that we had walked for 4 hours, and the total estimated travel time was 9 hours (round trip). In other words, we would spend all this time just going up and maybe we didn’t have time to go back or our injury could get much worse. So, with some disappointment, we decided to stop at this point, observe the landscape and return to the refuge so as not to force the knee further.
Of course we would have liked to have gone to Mirador las Torres, but we also had to respect our limits. Analyzing the situation a little more after we finished Circuit W, we would change two factors that might help us to reach Mirador las Torres:
– on the second day that we went up the Vale do Francês, we decided to go on until we reached the British Viewpoint. Despite the landscape there being very beautiful as we saw on other blogs, the weather was very bad and we could not see anything from the British Viewpoint. So, we had a great extra effort that ended up not paying off.
– looking at the official map of Torres del Paine , the Refuge and Camp Chilean are much less distance from Mirador las Torres than the Refuge and Camp Las Torres. Thus, on the passage from the third day to the fourth day it would be better to book the accommodation at Refúgio Chileno and have followed the shortcut that leads to this refuge during the third day of trekking . The path of the third day would go from 11km to 16km, but in compensation we would travel a shorter distance on the fourth day until reaching Mirador las Torres.
We do not know if changing these two factors we would have managed to reach Mirador las Torres on the fourth day since the knee injury was great, but these would be the two items that we would look at more closely during our schedule in Torres del Paine. So, you need to program in advance if you want to finish your circuit successfully. Unfortunately we were unable to, but we were happy with our route and we also have an incentive to return to the park, which is one of the most beautiful places in all of Patagonia.