Thursday, March 5, 2009

PN Torres del Paine: Wind

I think that the third element of Patagonia has to be wind. Wind that brings you to a standstill when walking against it. Wind that tears tents out of the ground. Wind that keeps anything except for the hardiest plants from growing. I was reading a book about Patagonia in one of the hostels we were staying at, and came upon this quote that I thought is very true of Patagonian wind:

¨In these inhospitable lands blows the fastest wind in the world. It carries thousands and thousands of ice darts from the pole that pierce any protection, sinking cruelly into veins and bones, instead of providing living warmth. What vegetation can resist these many blasts?¨

- Robert Caillois, Patagonia

Not to say that it is always windy, and there are places that are protected geographically where the wind is not so harsh, but there is a definite presence of the wind in all that grows and lives here. Some of the points that we had hiked around while hiking in both Torres del Paine and now on Isla Navarino have cute pictures of an old guy blowing, indicating that it might be windy at those points on the contour map...and I have learned that the old guy´s lungs are working great.

Andrew took this video with his camera, and I think it´s pretty indicative of the wind, because ├Żou can´t even hear his voice, only the wind flapping things around:

From Torres Del Paine


Some more pictures from Torres that I wanted to post, just because I liked them...not that they have anything to do with wind, other than it was probably windy when I took them.

The cuernos of PN Torres del Paine in the background.

From Torres del Paine

Trail leading beside Glacier grey, which looks alot like a sea in the background between the peaks.
From Torres del Paine

Leaving Torres del Paine on a particularly clear day.
From Torres del Paine


  1. it's nice to hear your voice, brother! Even if it is covered by the wind. We are actually just studying in science about wind, hope you guys didn't get too cold or chapped up there. I'm sending you good vibes, hopefully you won't get as sick.

  2. From your description, it appears that you have no need to repeat this trek again (due to Erin's illness, the wind, cold, and poor trail marking). I did notice a few mountain flowers in several of your photos. It must be late summer bordering on early fall, and these would be the end of the season flowers. I am glad that you both returned from the hike safe.