Torres del Paine French Valley

Torres del Paine French Valley – Click to Enlarge

French Valley Storm: Daily Travel Photo


On my hike through Torres del Paine National Park I saw some absolutely amazing things.  Glacier Grey was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever set my eyes upon, and to be honest, I had never even heard of it before arriving.  Of course at the end of my trek The Grand Torres was a highlight.  I climbed to the top in the evening with a couple friends I met along the way, a box of wine I packed in, and sat down gazing at the view.  We had the site to ourselves as we hiked up for sunset while everyone else seemed to be set in the mindset of hiking for sunrise.  But perhaps above all places on the trek the French Valley blew me away.  It is a narrow valley tucked between two sets of towering mountains covered in glaciers that constantly crash down the slopes.  It is so powerful that it is inexplicable.  There has never been a place that has made me feel so small, yet so alive, like the French Valley of Torres del Paine National Park did.  The above photo is from a river bed at the entrance to the French Valley.

The Shot

I remember the looks people gave me when they saw me packing my huge trekking backpack, a camera bag full of gear, and using my tripod as a walking stick.  People thought I was mad to be packing in all the equipment I brought with me.  Sure I could have left the tripod at home, packed only a wide angle lens and no filters.  Sure I struggled more than everyone else while climbing the steep slopes.  But at the end of the day, the photos I got from that trip were worth every bit of the 4 day struggle.  The lesson for this post is to always pack your tripod – no matter how far you go – because if all else fails at least you can use it as a walking stick or to ward of dangerous animals or trekkers that find out that you have wine.

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