We recently participated in both the Route of the Parks and Torres del Paine trips in Chile with Jump Adventures. I had signed up for the trips because of the intriguing itineraries, but had not followed Jackie’s podcast, and new little about Jump Adventures. I was so happy to find that from the moment I contacted Jackie and signed up for the trips she was extremely generous. By that I mean she was generous with finding and sharing vital information, (with COVID this was crucial for travel planning) but also generous with her time and efforts responding to all of our questions and concerns as well as providing helpful info for the before/in between/after touring we wanted to do in the area. From the moment we met up with Jackie for the first tour I instantly felt like we were in good hands. She knew the language extremely well, knew the area, and most importantly had a laid back “we’ve got this” enjoyable vibe. During both trips the guides that Jackie had arranged were not just top notch, but FUN, and unforgettable. Each of them were knowledgeable about the area, history, wildlife, plants and ecology. They obviously loved what they did and loved sharing it with others. Throughout the trips arrangements were stellar! Lodging, food, and transfers were always different, and ranged from exquisite to rustic, but never disappointed!! The variety and caliber always fit the location, and I remember thinking multiple times that I just stepped into the cover of a magazine or trending travel post. These trips included multi sport and multiple locations along the way. All I can say about Chile and Patagonia is….breathtaking beyond words, but also complicated logistically if you don’t understand how things work, especially if you don’t speak the language and have a complicated itinerary. Even though I don’t tend to gravitate towards anything with groups, especially travel, this changed my perspective completely. The ease of travel because of preparations by Jackie and camaraderie of the group enhanced this trip tremendously! My boyfriend and I had plenty of time to be “independent within the group” (hang back) or be in the mix, or somewhere in between. It was the best of both worlds!! One of my most memorable moments of the trip was not a grand mountain, glacier, or volcano. It was a very hard moment for me. It was rainy and I wasn’t feeling 100%. We were doing an awesome project with the local community helping to clear out weeds, brush, and trash to allow for newly planted native flora to grow (rewilding). Shortly after we started a wasp got stuck in my hood and stung my face before I could get him out. It was awful and I just wanted to go hide. On my way to sneak behind the van Jackie picked up on the fact that something was wrong. She instantly came over, along with Sam (who was our photographer). I can’t remember what she and Sam said or how they said it, but it completely changed the situation, turning it to smiles and belly laughs. I still treasure the photo Sam took in that moment. It will always be one of my favorites because it is a reminder of the power of people and perspectives. In my humble opinion, Jackie thrives in this role because she is not just an extrovert or “people person”. She genuinely cares for people, appreciates everyone for who they are, where they are, and strives to provide unforgettable experiences. I can’t wait for my next Jump Adventure!!!
After five weeks, I still struggle to find adequate words to describe the experience of Torres del Paine’s Circuit and the adventurers who lived this experience with me. How can my written words convey the stunning beauty of this raw, rugged, and remote region or the heart connections made during our nine days of backpacking and camping? So much hiking over ‘undulating’ terrain (you had to be there to understand my choice of words); So many hard-earned sights, sounds, and smells of the Paine Massif, of Glacier Grey, of John Gardner Pass, of the Patagonian forests, vegetation, & wildlife, and of the region’s natural forces of wind, rain, and sun; So very many laughs, tears, and stories shared along the way… If you’re reading this review, you probably already have some idea of what awaits you along the Circuit. My words will do little to further entice you to visit the national park. However, maybe just maybe, I can convince you to attempt the entire Circuit and not just the W. El Circuito includes broad, open expanses of pastures; a slow, winding river; glacier-fed lakes, streams, and creeks; primeval forests; challenging hikes above the tree line; a breathtaking view of the southern tip of the Andes Mountain range; and sightings of many birds, including woodpeckers, hawks, and……. condors!!! And those are just some of the highlights….. Yet, maybe you can only carve out enough time for the W. My advice is just GO and DO it. Cerro Paine Grande will not disappoint. And for an extra special treat, do include time for ice hiking on Glacier Grey when you arrive at Grey Shelter. And, if you’re still reading this review, you’re very likely trying to decide on a group trip with JUMP Adventures and Jackie Nourse as the organizer (or you just like to read random reviews about adventure treks). I’m assuming it’s the former reason. 🙂 This group adventure was my second with Jackie. My first was a week of cycling and sailing the Dalmatian Islands off the coast of Croatia. That week of camaraderie sold me on group travel AND spoiled me to group travel with Jackie ONLY! Of course, such an awesome experience set a very high bar for this one. And she did not disappoint, in fact she exceeded my wildest dreams. So what makes her group adventures so special……… First, Jackie selects the guides – the experts that lead the group – with great care. She expects them to be personable, knowledgeable, experienced, caring, and FUN – someone you enjoy hanging out with throughout each day. I’m still in touch with my Croatian guides/friends and have a similar connection to Christian and Viti, our Chilean guides. They provided valuable insights into the location’s history, culture, wildlife, and vegetation and shared their personal experiences from many years of guiding others along the paths we traveled. And added so much fun and laughter to what could have been just another day on the trail for them. Next, she prepares an itinerary that has the potential to surprise and delight and challenge everyone who joins her. And she’s preparing it, so she, too, is having a fresh, new, and challenging experience alongside everyone else. Her excitement for seeing the entire Circuit on this trip was infectious. When we arrived at the summit of the John Gardner Pass and sat to rest next to the glacial lake, you could see the awe and joy that filled her eyes, her smile, and her tears. A completely shared experience for us all! Finally, Jackie Nourse attracts the best people to her adventures – all ages and backgrounds – individuals, friends, couples, families (not young children) – with a love for outdoor adventure and a willingness to challenge themselves and an esprit de corps that bonds the group. Where else will you find a group of fourteen strangers (mostly) plus two guides that will agree to add a group ice hiking excursion on our one rest day – the delicious cherry (more like the calafate berry) on top of the entire experience! So, what has made my JUMP Adventures worth the time, money, and energy? It’s the fabulous places Jackie selects for others to experience with her AND the meticulous planning and preparations Jackie pours into each experience AND the wonderful people that choose to JUMP on one of Jackie’s adventures AND that choose to join her ‘one wild and precious life’!