MARCH 2022: PATAGONIA, CHILE
Torres del Paine National Park is our flagship adventure destination here at JUMP Adventures, but in all the times we’ve been there, we’ve never attempted to hike the entire Paine Circuit, aka the “O” Circuit, before this year…
Now, we are happily ruined for life, thankyouverymuch.
The “O” is an 80-mile thru-hike that few travelers attempt, not only because of the distance and demand of the trail, but also because of the time it takes to complete it and the logistics involved. We spent 9 full days together on this trail, camping for several nights, staying in remote mountain refugios, circumnavigating the impressive Paine Massif against the backdrop of the Andes, and all the while, carrying everything we needed on our backs.
The Torres del Paine “O” Circuit
If I thought I could do it justice, I might try to explain what it feels like to witness a condor lifting up on the thermals just to your right, only to hover so close over your head that you can maybe, actually, truly, for the first time, appreciate the sheer immensity of its 9-foot wingspan, and when it cocks its head to look straight down at you as your neck is kinked all the way back, staring eye to eye with it, all you can think is “please don’t eat me” before it casually soars away with the wind.
I could try to explain why a massive rainbow over the trail on Day 1 feels like the universe sending you a message that it just wants you to be there.
I’d attempt to thrill you with summiting a mountain pass to be greeted by the most beautiful view you’ve ever seen, feeling like you’re on top of the world while you’re actually grounded on your own two feet, overlooking a 46km stretch of glacier that connects to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, your teeth and eyes stinging with cold because you can’t stop smiling and you refuse to even blink, as if you’re in a dream.
I could try to get your stomach to drop like mine did when, on our glacier trek, I approached a hole in the ice that reached down beyond what we could see or comprehend, into deep blue darkness, along a rushing waterfall that started below us and fell into the void, right at our feet.
I might try to make you laugh, because there was rarely a time when laughter couldn’t be heard among the members of our incredible group. People who didn’t know each other before, but connected over so much more than views, calafate beers, and falcon jokes (although we appreciated all of those things too).
But words simply fall flat. None of my words could possibly do justice to what the 14 of us spent 10 mind-blowing, soul-filling days of our lives accomplishing together.
So, I’ll show you some pictures, and I’ll share with you some of the sentiments and reflections from the members of our group, but ultimately, you cannot experience Patagonia on a screen.
You. Must. Go. For. Yourself. But I hope you enjoy this tribute regardless.
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Reflections from the “most fun people ever”
This was the trip of a lifetime, with some of the most fun people ever. There really is no better way to experience Patagonia than to go with someone who loves it like [Jackie] does. Everything was amazing…the group, the guides, the food, the accommodations, how organized everything was. And honestly, I don’t think I have ever laughed as much as I did on our trip! [This was a] life changing experience with the best guides and the best group of people imaginable!Katrina C
[This was an] unforgettable trip that my family and I were soooo glad to have experienced! Everything was carefully and well-planned out from the lodging to trip itinerary to food and transportation. We’re all SO glad we finally made the JUMP! It was an incredible and wonderful trip that we will forever cherish.Ashley Y
All I can say about Chile and Patagonia is….breathtaking beyond words… I remember thinking multiple times that I just stepped into the cover of a magazine... I can’t wait for my next JUMP Adventure!!!Katy S
After 2 long years of waiting, Patagonia did not disappoint! Finally I got to experience this amazing “O” circuit trip with Jackie / JUMP Adventures and an awesome group. Jackie definitely rose to the occasion as group leader, planner/organizer and most importantly as a friend.
She welcomed each one us as if we had all known each other for quite some time. This trip was a five star trekking experience from start to end. The lodging – refugio and campsites are very comfortable to sleep in. There was plenty of food every day, including many snacks. We were surrounded by bountiful streams of waters—no one was ever thirsty. We snacked on mountain berries and watched condors flying over the mountains and woodpeckers tirelessly drilling holes, looking for food. Patagonia was incredible and the park was filled with unique flora and fauna everywhere we turned. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of this group. The local guides – Cristian and Viti were super nice, friendly and very helpful. They made sure everyone was safe.
There was never a dull moment while hitting those undulating trails. We experienced howling winds and the ever changing Patagonian weather and drank in the views of the most breathtaking mountain passes. The stunning beauty of Torres del Paine, the jaw dropping landscapes and the spectacular colors of the glacier ice are just simply phenomenal. The turquoise lake water of Mirador Las Torres is so fascinating (no wonder Jackie loves this color so very much)!
We shared our roses, buds and thorns during dinners. Sharing our trip highlights brought us closer together. There was always so much laughter and joy. Thank you, Jackie, for this wonderful journey and for showing us everything that Chilean Patagonia’s magical wilderness has to offer.Rosalina Y