We did the W trek, which gets its name from looking like a W-shape of trails on the park map. Our first day was an out-and-back hike up to the famous Torres Del Paine. Then we got shuttled in our group almost all the way back to town (this part changed from the original plan) to a big ranch house for a lamb dinner. It wasn’t as pleasant as that makes it sound, but we had no choice and were happy to have showers, beds, and food. The next day we were shuttled back to the park and our group was able to split up and hike as each person wished as long as you make it to your destination for the end of the night. The weather on the first day was perfect, the heather on this second day was varying between light rain, knock-you-over-wind gusts, and bright sun between clouds. It felt like the longest hike of the trek, along a lake and to where we were supposed to stay in dome cabins…but we found out the itinerary was even more screwed up than we found out about 2 days earlier because we had to stay in 2 person tents instead. It snowed that night and the follow day was cold, snowy, rainy, cold, my goretex jacket didn’t work so I got soaking wet. I was loving it, though. I think I remember that day as my favorite day of hiking because the conditions felt like something I would rarely get to experience. The middle point of the W is a long hike up a the French valley to some view points. Because of the heavy snow, it was closed except for the first part. Sad and Mad went for it and were optimistic that the weather could clear. Mia and I continued on the rest of the trail to the next refugio. I’m glad we did because we arrived around 1pm, which meant it almost everyone else was still out hiking. I got to shower and dry some of my soaked clothes next to a fire. We played cards and had lunch while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. The weather never did clear up for the cousins but they were glad they gave it a shot. We kept hearing that this particular refugio had “the frat-iest bar” which I think just meant a 2 for $5 beer deal and a 2nd story view. I’ll take that. We hung out at a table and got to know some of the other members in the same tour group before grabbing dinner and settling in. This refugio was a lot like a ski lodge and dorm put together. We woke early the next day and finished the remaining left side of the W, which was a strenuous hike with a lot of elevation changes and steep rock-steps. At one point Mia twisted her knee with about another hour left, she borrowed my extra hiking pole and fought through it to the finish. The original plan was to rest that night in the cabins, but instead we got sent down to tents again, and then hike the same trail back to the refugio we just stayed at. Due to Mia’s knee pain, my knee pain, and an scary storm forecasted to arrive overnight, we had a feeling sort of like when we got stuck in Mexico during a hurricane. A feeling of being trapped under poor circumstances and constantly fearful of what else can go wrong. We had an out though, if we decided quickly to leave, we could buy tickets on a ferry boat that was about to arrive and depart at a beach a little further up the trail. It was a best-case scenario to get back to Puerto Natales late that night and having this feeling from Mexico compounding anxiety in my gut, we took the opportunity to go. The cousins wanted nothing to do with out early departure, and stuck it out in the park for one more night.