Bushwhacking the Oggioni Pass – The Paine range’s most adventurous trek 

In Torres del Paine the W trek is the classic route that many people hike that takes you to 3 magnificent valleys – the ascencio, Frances and Grey valleys. For more experienced hikers there are a number of different routes including the Paine Circuit and others that take you off the beaten track and allow you to see another side to the park.
On my recent trip to Torres del Paine I wanted to see these routes that I hadn’t seen before.

 In Torres del Paine the W trek is the classic route that many people hike that takes you to 3 magnificent valleys – the ascencio, Frances and Grey valleys. For more experienced hikers there are a number of different routes including the Paine Circuit and others that take you off the beaten track and allow you to see another side to the park.
On my recent trip to Torres del Paine I wanted to see these routes that I hadn’t seen before.

The first route was the Oggioni pass high up above the Ascencio valley. This pass slices through the Paine range from the towers viewpoint directly to Dickson camp and looked incredible.  As I was short on time I recced the pass as a day hike from Hotel Las Torres but for very strong walkers you can hike across the pass to shorten a circuit trek or to create a completely different trek. Here is a description of the route and how we got on.

lgVjVOOvV097QybimPc-CCq0rZ61c0_1wRGmRic4NrY,NOf3sjZMLDMuQF8ItpiL4odrqfnQUcMECjhQR_CJq2s

The sun rose in a glorious and triumphant glow,

uSedZK0Iqcj6d2gNYkGGYttS_PsMjtLEPGFuX9xkXyA,DN-QToZDFW53UMOS0TQudzNBv-P-LKhG-zWOEDU7EOs

We set off along the trail up the ascensio valley to the towers.

11BGVbOS8frU599oZurm3vIqrAQlD5NOSzz-TpXO3Qg,EbpQshVNNP_JPSS4-IDZUI4LZQddun3ZGLDZ4eZfYWU

Instead of following the general migration toward the viewpoint…

6cAAhwRIdHJKtZ6bvkLkRmVxNjvLk-MboNINpa12y8I

…. We turned off and only caught this Scoundrels view of Las Torres.

nug8tN8o5XRGC67tvS_QWyf6ixRpmEN101Y4vgmyRcc,CIzKhUQqNIttZqjpAKnBEXHTmywQbt3Rv5xSi6rHFA4

The path became small as we stumbled through a boulder field….

msZvT-uscSG5vuWLRBaySmjj_YKPMTsNn2sSldEjvDE,B4IMY4TRnG63iH1TcU43YmglN7Qvv2yGNULJrN0kKBg

….and into the woods.

o0De2tcCwyNSlQUc9oEl5N37QeMH3DRvJr1NVWd2Bzk,hLZlJgAyj2NczHlcVCIZSpCRecvgY-O_vd1wBZJ1Rkk

We followed the Ascensio river as it bubbled its way down through beech forests.

SrpQObYDp47Y1ya6db5PvSj4i82fHC-rF2PkYGHBD7g,8eB3EX2ed4q1yP8baqRw5kamkb69sxmv1ErpH2rMUjU

There was no one around and we were on tenterhooks, certain that we would see a Huemul deer.

MMF_IK3b55DiA0_dI2KybbKTiC5w0a9f63BK7YYE_Zw,JinpX_OvuqakvOBPle0CVK8xrmtQ5B42PF8VtoaKUPU

Our target lay on the ridge ahead.

dxRYwUmssIa9qZhq48ucpNrOwis7oDgZD9EUssjGGnU,q9loa4NyWmmzJpSHpp7A2-JHFf6L7NApTKi1xuAOap4

At Japones Camp a climber’s camp with a ramshackle shelter made from Tarpaulin, string…

rGo319PFfySOEs7_iQgmWC0Ve5LT7fmsDOxPcKNc2J0,Y1QkyU7X2qQsWAvfMUka2N_lBo7hTZhIqMKG2mKfUCg

…and fallen branches and hung with victoriously and carefully chiselled wooden plaques in celebration of climbs past.

mYAk2W70jVCi9bdkUa9RRRVIpj_wvgLU7fjAd559TYM,DAqo_BDWOxcSeTaFr6kselBnQOUa-qsUl0b27ziyj3Q

As the path narrowed we turned off it altogether…..

PIOLTEuBKqUERHaACv5LdoFvXH5x7q4gwCOyIYDGoMg,lgBcZwYqnv0W4P_sI3SRSmYKRXXWcuSoROsTLyBtwrs

A tricky river crossing followed which involved crossing on all fours.

l7HaH-cjlSKMRVSrZDlEwVbJXak8XymGWtEZ6ebTiys,3TNK3ooIz6b9vNWnFSBh1OufYcS0MuHAeNslKHiGWdg (1)

Before doing this trek ask yourself if this is a river you feel able to cross.

gQu_C_pU8YpkrL7V5d_kh_j-XYRPEg7C59gZsq_XN30,YyaoRgtXFAW6cqsvXaRVyA09lmWCp3pdmU1K96FLTe4

The forest thickened…

– Swoop Patagonia’s BlogKfnWIhS-sN-Zv6zXj1x0BrEaLyaSa4wQ1dRR0ExdcmI,r4gPXkGuXJPX-Dd8Aa4Pm4aTztAIMSAK2preDebs7U0

…and we wander up through the forest, free of paths and people.

17

WAHHHH!!!!!!

18

The edible Pan de Indio didn’t tempt us as we toiled.

19

As we left the treeline…

20

…the views started to open out…

21

…and as we climbed…

22

…the peaks of Escudo and Fortaleza dominated the Silencio valley.

23

Rock dykes guided us towards the pass.

24

The scree slopes became tougher……

25

…and tougher

26

We left the valley far below, this was no place for vertigo…

27

28

29

The final push to the pass was snowy and early in the season much of the scree slope can be covered in a layer of snow.

30

At Paso Oggioni the view opened up to reveal Dickson lake. If you are continuing onward the trail bushwhacks down to Refugio Dickson at the near end of Lago Dickson.

31

A further climb to Punta Oggioni reveals the Silencio valley. and a view back the way we’ve come…

32

…and a peek at the back of the towers and the peaks of Escudo and Fortaleza peaks.

 

 

 

33

My guide, Justin had been to the pass but never scrambled up to the viewpoint above. We whooped with excitement for a good 5 minutes…

34

…AMAZING!!!

35

The wind was starting to throw us around so we descended back to camp.

For more information on The Paine range’s most adventurous trek, get in touch today.