This is the most walked circuit in Torres del Paine, the name “W” is because of the union of the three valleys, Ascencio Valley, Frances Valley and Grey Glacier Valley. It can be walked from Refugio to Refugio.
SECTIONS IN THE “W” CIRCUIT
Las Torres Hotel – Base of the Torres Lookout (Ascencio Valley)
It is the most characteristic walk in Torres del Paine and one of the most exhausting one too. It starts with a 50 minutes uphill walk, with a difference in height of 350 m, on the foothills of Almirante Nieto Mountain, then it keeps going through the Ascencio Valley passing Refugio and Camping Chileno. From there, the walk continues through a Lenga forest until the beginning of a 45 minute uphill walk up a moraine, a few steps from Torres Camp, the walk ends at Base of the Torres lookout point, with an impressive view of the three towers, the Torres Glacier and the Torres Lagoon. If you are lucky you might see climbers. The way back goes a long the same path.
|Difference in height||950 m|
Torres Hotel – Refugio Los Cuernos
This is an easy section, with a slight slope. You have to walk for 5 hours across an irregular terrain, until the Cuernos Mountains start to be seen. The walk ends at the foothill of The Cuernos Mountains.
|Difference Uphill||420 m|
|Difference Down hill||460 m|
Refugio Los Cuernos – Italian Camp
After a 2 hours and 15 minutes walk you will reach Italian Camp, it is a basic camp, no service available.
|Difference in height|
Italian Camp – British Camp (Frances Valley)
The Frances Valley is located in the heart of the W Circuit. After an intense trekking and an up hill walk you will reach one of the most awesome and less visited place in the W circuit. The view to the amphitheater formed by a series of mountains and granite hills it is amazing. It is advisable to camp here for a magic sunrise in the Frances Valley.
|Difference in height||400 m|
Italian Camp –Paine Grande Lodge
Easy trekking with a nice view of the Cuernos Mountains. At Pehoe there is a Rangers house of CONAF.
|Difference in height||150 m|
Paine Grande Lodge –Glacier Grey Lookout (Glacier Grey Valley)
The path starts from the Paine Grande Lodge, the first lookout is about 1 hour, and from there you can see the Grey Lake and the icebergs, then it continues for 2 and a half hours until you reach Refugio y Camping Grey, 20 minutes later you will get to the best lookout of Glacier Grey, it is advisable to stay quite and listen to the sounds of the glacier.
|Difference Uphill||458 m|
|Difference Down hill||365 m|