How to (Not) Climb Round Top, or: The Importance of Good Research

April 3, 2016


“We think we took a wrong turn a quarter of a mile back.”

Guest post by Matthew Adjemian

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The Complete Guide to Patagonia

January 9, 2016
Lago de los Tres hike near El Chalten

Lago de los Tres hike near El Chalten

You are all set on going to Patagonia, but don’t know what you want to do down there yet? First thing to know is there are three main regions: Northern (Lakes District), Central and South. Most people however think of Southern Patagonia when they think of Patagonia. Below you’ll find the boots on the ground knowledge I gained from spending three weeks in Southern Patagonia in November 2015.

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Parks and Places of Southern Patagonia: Argentina

El Chalten

El Chalten near Mt. Fitz Roy

Argentina’s Torres del Paine and UNESCO World Heritage Site is Parque Los Glaciares. This area features its own  glaciers, beautiful mountain vistas and contains the “end of the world.” Below you’ll find the many great experiences available on the Argentinian side of the border…

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Parks and Places of Southern Patagonia: Chile

Rocks of the French Valley in Torres del Paine

Rocks of the French Valley in Torres del Paine

Activity in Chilean Southern Patagonia centers around Torres del Paine National Park. Torres del Paine itself has many options to experience it, however if you didn’t come to Patagonia to experience among crowds I’d recommend the more strenuous or remote options within the park. Below you’ll find the many great experiences available on the Chilean side of the border…

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The 5 Cities of Southern Patagonia


In my three weeks in South America I found Chile to be raw and local with modest food and accommodation. Whereas Argentina had higher prices, delicious lamb and beef dishes, much more shopping and a large touristy vibe. Read below to learn the essentials regarding the main cities in Souther Patagonia…

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Chile’s Yosemite: The Refugio Experience in Torres Del Paine

December 7, 2015


The refugio and hotel infrastructure in Torres Del Paine make this landmark accessible through a variety of experience and exertion. Visitors can simply bus into the Lago Grey Hotel to view an astonishing scene of dark jagged mountains, bright green trees, and turquoise blue glacier lakes from the lounge. They can take a boat to see Glacier Grey or the Catamaran to Paine Grande where they can do day hikes. Visitors can hut-to-hut hike with a light pack between refugios or they can carry all their belongings and backcountry camp. Torres Del Paine is a true multi-purpose park. On the trail we saw people from their 20s to their 70s, a very balanced gender distribution, two person partners, solo hikers and guided groups.

On my W Trek I spent two nights at refugio campgrounds, one at a primitive free campground one and ended the trip with two nights in a refugio. I also experienced several meals inside the cooking huts and the refugio dinning halls. The goal of this post is to describe the refugio experiences on the W trek so you too know what to expect.

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Trail Report: Torres Del Paine W Trek

w cover

Looking north over Lago Grey toward Glacier Grey.

Torres Del Paine National Park is located in Southern Patagonia, a couple hours north of Puerto Natales, Chile. The W-trek is a route through the park’s contrast of colors: jutting grey stone pillars, dark black jagged peaks, turquoise glacier lakes, deep blue spine-riddled glaciers, luscious green foliage and vibrant red fire bushes.

Patagonia as a whole is an ancient landscape formed by glaciers with little human structures or inhabitants. A land with no dangerous predators besides the mountain lion, ruled by the domineering weather and its famous wind.

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How to Prepare Successfully for the W Trek

Torres Del Paine from Campemento Paine Grande

You are all excited to come down to Patagonia and do the Torres Del Paine W Trek. All you have to do is plan it… Not to worry! This guide should help answer some common questions people have about the W and how to make it a reality.

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Forest, Wilderness, Park… What’s the Difference?

November 21, 2015
John Muir Wilderness
To the average person National Forests, Parks, Wildernesses, Monuments, Demonstration Areas, etc. are all the same. These are areas of land protected from human development. However, it wasn’t until I started backpacking heavily that I started to understand their differences and how I could leverage these differences to create different experiences. Lets explore…

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Best of the Bay: Multi-day Backpacking Trips

November 1, 2015
Henry Coe Ridgeline

For the high mountains and the North, Summer is over and hiking season has come to a close. However, we are just entering my favorite time of hiking in the Bay Area where I can explore the beauty of ridge lines in greens instead of golds. Below I’ve listed my favorite multi-day trips within a couple hours of the bay. Enjoy!

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