dientes de navarino, chile
the end of the world, an unbroken wilderness
Dientes de Navarino is a 42 km circuit hike out of Puerto Williams, Chile. It is a dangerous, notoriously difficult hike that is made more challenging by the violent & unpredictable weather. We finished Patagonia Soul here, grateful for the previous three months of training for this five day loop, which featured a 26 km spur hike to a dilapidated beaver-hunting cabin called Cabana Charles. But it's changing, fast. Go now to experience primal Dientes before the tourism industry takes it over. Go now. It's worth the effort getting there.
Travel Tip: Fly with DAP from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams. It's the cheapest and fastest way to get there, and a really neat experience getting in a little 18-passenger puddle jumper.
Andy hiking away from Puerto Williams & the Beagle Channel, moving towards the unknown of the Dientes Circuit. Onwards, Andy! Upwards! Reese Wells.
Dientes in the background, Andy in the foreground, we're making some mental moves before walking across the sharp scree slope on the left side of this photo. Reese Wells.
At this point in the day visibility was at low, fifty feet max, and we are just able to make out the cairns for navigation. It was around this point where I began growling uncontrollably, a werewolf took over my body. Reese Wells.
I love this photo for the colors and reflections within the water. How still, how peaceful, how rare these moments in the backcountry. Reese Wells.
Pass of the Teeth. This photo taken moments before we are caught in a day-long whiteout. Check out these jagged mountain teeth! Reese Wells.
We decided to take a 13 km spur out to Cabaña Charles. After an absolutely horrible day hiking through freezing rain and wind we made it here. It's not much to look at, but it felt like a 5-star hotel. Reese Wells.
The final two miles to Cabana Charles is straight bog land. It's like playing a Mario game, hopping from dry patch to dry patch. Tyler making a face minutes before his water bladder broke and water poured into his waterproof pants. Reese Wells.
Coming back from Cabana Charles we had a ridiculous, dangerous uphill through thick and unforgiving mud. Tyler and Andy pressing with all their strength uphill. Ugh. Reese Wells.
Snow, scree, sky. Tyler and Andy navigating the three, cold with the wind whipping us on the narrow spine of Bettinelli. Reese Wells.
A full scene looking south from Bettinelli. What I love so much about this picture is the contrast from left to right. Barren to lush. Brown to green. A spectrum five miles wide. Reese Wells.
Hiking up through ice and snow on what I call the Bettinelli Spine, a steep, narrow scree path to the mountain's top. Reese Wells.
Andy modeling atop Cerro Bettinelli. All that snow on the peaks today is what we hiked through the day before en route to Cabana Charles. But, today, it was so absolutely worth it. Reese Wells.
Long day, still smiling. Sums up our sweet Andy Fairweather. This guy took time from his two year bike tour to join us in Dientes. What an amazing addition to our trip. Reese Wells.
The final pass of Dientes, the final pass of Patagonia Soul, this beautiful scene came at the end of a long day spent navigating scree, plasmatic mud, and steep dangerous slopes. Happy to be here, soaking in the scenery. Reese Wells.
We woke up to tents iced over here at Laguna de los Dientes. Andy is fully clothed and attempting to dry out his tent, but it's tough with the teethy mountains blocking the morning sun. Reese Wells.
One of my favorite pictures, I like to imagine the slow crumbling of this mountain. The white scree streak is an amazing feature to Paso Ventarron. See Tyler and Andy down there at the pass? Reese Wells.
Tyler and Andy pressing up over Paso Ventarron on day four of Dientes. It's clear, for now, and shorts are out. Check out that crazy scree! Reese Wells.
Two Hilleberg Atko's and another kind of tent that I can't remember. Oh well. They look cool here, and I slept great next to the creek burbling to the left. Memories. Reese Wells.
Descending off the final pass and moving back into the boggy horselands of Puerto Williams, Tyler takes a look out over the Beagle Channel. Reese Wells.
Tyler one of the last passengers aboard the 18-seater Twin Otter, which is flown by DAP, and is the cheapest and most efficient way to get from Punta Arenas, Chile to Puerto Williams, Chile ... and the start of the infamous Dientes de Navarino circuit. Reese Wells.
The End to Begin
This is the end of the world.
But maybe it is the beginning of me.