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Emmett Lyman
(ejl10) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Patagonia in November - Paine Circuit and Fitz Roy on 09/06/2009 08:46:51 MDT Print View

Hey all,

I'm going to be in Santiago, Chile for 2 months to learn Spanish, and by a stroke of luck I ended up with free time from November 7 to 24. I've decided that I should invest this time wisely - by hiking the Torres del Paine circuit and Mt. Fitz Roy. The only problem is I have no idea what gear to bring.

I thru hiked the Long Trail in July this summer (yeah, it's been a good year), and I have my final gear list posted under my profile. What do I need to change? I'm not at all prepared for the climate down there, and need to quickly make some purchases. A couple of potential changes that I already own and would love to hear thoughts on -
- an Arc'Teryx Naos 55 pack - waterproof, tough as nails (4lbs, 11oz)
- an Arc'Teryx Alpha SV gore-tex jacket (19oz)
- a Patagonia Lightweight R4 windproof fleece (roughly 20oz)

So, I fly out this Friday and have very little time to pack. Would appreciate any and all advice!

Thanks,
Emmett

Edited by ejl10 on 09/06/2009 08:53:13 MDT.

Emmett Lyman
(ejl10) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Updated with gear list: Patagonia in November - Paine Circuit and Fitz Roy on 09/08/2009 21:26:34 MDT Print View

I did some research, and did a little shopping at REI today, and I've come up with a gear list that I think will work. It's a little heavier than I'd like, but I had to use some of my ski gear to supplement what I used on the Long Trail to minimize the financial damage. I'd love to hear thoughts!

Gear list is posted in my profile.

Thanks,
Emmett

Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F

Locale: Almost Yosemite
Patagonia in November - Paine Circuit and Fitz Roy on 09/09/2009 19:22:28 MDT Print View

Hey Emmett,

Did you see the other thread a little ways down? There may be some info of use to you in there. I was there three years ago in late Feb and March. The most beautiful place I have been! I would imagine the weather in November may be colder and/or unsettled. I'll look at your gear list and gather some other info and get back to you.

Ryan

Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F

Locale: Almost Yosemite
Patagonia in November - Paine Circuit and Fitz Roy on 09/09/2009 19:28:57 MDT Print View

I see you are leaving Friday so here is a few thoughts.

Why not use your Ohm with a trash compactor bag as a liner. Save a couple pounds this way. It will keep everything dry.

I never treated the water in Torres Del Paine and it was no problem. Water should be plentiful from side streams. Just have something to filter out the silt like a bandana.

Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F

Locale: Almost Yosemite
Patagonia in November - Paine Circuit and Fitz Roy on 09/09/2009 19:37:07 MDT Print View

Couple more thoughts.

Overgloves would be a must have in the wet as the wind will freeze your hands once they are wet. Some rubber kitchen/dishwashing gloves will work if you don't have time to pick up something else.

I used a 30 degree bag but had warmer conditions than you may experience. Something warmer than the thermawrap vest to supplement your bag might be a good call. I had a Patagonia micropuff along on the trip.

Check the other thread for tips on places to camp to protect that Contrail. The winds can be ferocious at a couple of the camp spots like Dickson and Coiron. Lago Pehoe has wind breaks if you can get a spot with one. All other campspots are sheltered and you will be fine at those.

Also one fuel canister should get you through if you have a decent windscreen.

Edited by monstertruck on 09/09/2009 19:40:04 MDT.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Torres del Paine on 09/10/2009 10:39:00 MDT Print View

Be sure that you take a tent that can handle constant wind (and I mean WIND; these latitudes are called the roaring 40s for a reason) and be prepared for daily rain squalls. Much of the trail is muddy. I did the Paine Circuit (counterclockwise) in January 1999 and I still think it is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. We couldn't get to the Pingo area or the French Valley but both are supposed to be outstanding. I'm quite jealous.

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Re: Patagonia in November - Paine Circuit and Fitz Roy on 09/10/2009 13:14:20 MDT Print View

My wife and I went there a year ago and hiked the Paine Circuit CW to Lago Dickson, then packrafted out to the Paine Falls, then hiked back to the trail and over to Rio Grey and packrafted that to the road.

We spent a few hours passing through snow on at the pass and the wind can not be exaggerated. But we had no gloves, no gaiters, and no floor to our tent.

It's not wilderness -- lots of people and Refugios. I'd think you could lighten up your load by leaving some the stuff you'd only use going over the pass. My impression is that the loop can be done w/35 pounds.

It's a world classic hike. A real beauty. But windy nearly everywhere and rainy in a few places in the West and NorthWest.

Here's a vid of that route going CW for the first five days. You can see the wind and snow at the pass at about 1:55 or so. BTW the Circuit was officially closed when we did it due to snow at the pass, but there were several groups that did it anyway.

Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F

Locale: Almost Yosemite
Patagonia in November - Paine Circuit and Fitz Roy on 09/10/2009 14:02:30 MDT Print View

Great trip Roman!

I would love to get into packrafting and go back to both Patagonia and NZ.

I guess your gear suggestions show the difference in toughness between a California boy like me and a packrafter from Alaska.

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
Torres del Paine without the crowd on 09/10/2009 14:16:32 MDT Print View

I was looking to do it in may to avoid the crowd thats is reported to do this hike october-February.
And i found some photos of people that did it with a weather that didnt seemed so bad in may :

http://picasaweb.google.com/matthieu360 … DelTorres#

but then doing some search i saw Roman blog about what can be the condition in summer
so surely it can be much worse in may than what those people got.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Patagonia weather on 09/10/2009 14:49:32 MDT Print View

In fact when I did the Circuit the weather was freakishly good - one 15-minute rain squall and a snow squall when we hiked through Passo John Garner. But be prepared for anything, especially that wind.

Roman is correct that it's not wilderness. Many of the campsites have canteens that sell food and wine. A couple have showers. It's all trail that's well maintained and the campsites are reasonably spaced except for the hike through the pass; count on a long day for that. Not even high elevation, I recall that the pass is only about 4000 feet.

Take some pictures and post them!

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Re: Patagonia in November - Paine Circuit and Fitz Roy on 09/10/2009 14:50:16 MDT Print View

Thanks Ryan -- you know I have been accused of "liking to be cold".... maybe!