The Big circuit goes around the Paine Massif including the “W” circuit. This circuit cannot be made sleeping from Refugio to Refugio, so you need to carry a tent. There are some companies that organize group tours with guides and porters.
BIG CIRCUIT SECTIONS
|Difference in height||10 m|
|Difference in height||20 m|
Dickson Refugio – Los Perros Camp
One of the most beautiful section, you will walk through an old Lenga forest, and pass through a hanging bridge over Los Perros River. At the end the path goes up a moraine until you reach a lagoon full of icebergs and the camp.
|Difference in height||360 m|
Los Perros Camp – El Paso Camp
This is the most demanding section. Most of the trail is an uphill walk and you must pass through a marsh, were it is very difficult not to cover in mud your feet. The trail keeps going up, it might be possible to pass through some snow until you reach the John Garner pass at 1,200 m of altitude, from here you will get the best views of the Southern Ice Field and Glacier Grey, a good award for all the effort. From here starts the steepest downhill walk in the circuit, in-between a Lenga forest and the Grey Glacier until you get to El Paso Camp.
|Difference in height||630 m|
El Paso Camp – Grey Refugio
The trail continues along the Grey Glacier through a Lenga forest with nice views of Olguin Mountain until you get to Grey Lake, if you are lucky you will get to see an Iceberg falling from the glacier. This section ends at the Refugio.
|Difference in height||490|
Grey Refugio– Paine Grande Lodge
This walk has nice views of the Grey Lake and its icebergs, you will walk through Lenga, Coigue and Ñirre forests, pass nice lagoons until you reach Pehoe Lake.
|Difference in height||50 m|