Cerro Paine

14.06.2018

© Timothy Dhalleine
© Timothy Dhalleine
© Timothy Dhalleine
© Timothy Dhalleine
© Timothy Dhalleine
© Timothy Dhalleine


This hike is an incredible opportunity to see the Towers from elsewhere than the heavily-traveled Base of the Towers trek. Summiting Cerro Paine will not only give you an imposing view over the Towers, but also a 360° lookout on the eastern side of the National Park. The climb is relatively long and steep, making it a high-difficulty rated hike. But the view at the top will make you forget the sweat.

Cerro Paine is the mountain located on the east side of the Paine mountain range, and getting to the top is no easy task. Often, especially in the spring and summer time, the strong Patagonian winds keep you from reaching its abrupt and narrow small stretch of a summit. In the fall and the winter, it is the amount of snow and white winds that might make you have to turn around. But if you reach the top, you will be glancing at the towers from an altitude of 1.550 m (~5,850 ft).

The trail will first take you through the Patagonian pre-andean scrubland, then the nothofagus forest, and finally the andean desert. This last part is made of switch-backs in a never-ending hillside consisting of losen and small rocks. If weather and conditions allow, you will be facing the imposing Towers during most of the climb. Moreover, you will be able to laugh at the indian file of people on the Base of the Towers trail looking like little ants from a distance, while you will be enjoying the silence and solitude this hike provides.

Difficulty: high
Time: ~7 hours
Distance: ~16 km (~10 miles)
Elevation Gain: ~1500 m (~4921 ft)

Observations: trekking boots and poles are a must for this excursion, as well as gloves and sun glasses; gaters will be of great help too.