Most of Patagonia's terrain has been formed in a way by the glaciers. Sometimes, the hiking / trekking tours lead you along moraines, or glacial creeks. This means you have to walk over the stones, which sometimes may be quite big.
Make sure, you hike careful - I would like to recommend alway using hiking poles and make a stop from time to time to release the tension on your knees.
(The picture was taken from top of the Torres del Paine lookout - and the way up was quite steep).
When doing my research to hike the "W" I came across reports of swollen streams and different recommendations on how to do this. I was fortunate in that the streams were not that swollen. Or maybe I just have enough experience on how to cross these without a panic.
There are two schools of thought. Remove your hiking boots to keep them dry in case you fall in. The other being to leave the boots on and don't worry about getting wet. Based on my experience, I would always leave my boots on and don't worry about getting wet. Removing your boots will expose your feet to sharp rocks and gravel and potential injury. Leave the boots on to protect your feet. Don't worry if you are about to fall in and that you don't want to get your boots wet. If you slip or miss step, just go with it even if your feet get wet.
If your boots do get wet, and I mean soaked to your socks, there are ways to make it bearable and help prevent the inevitable blisters. Once on the other side, remove your boots, drain out water and ring out socks. Do not put dry socks on yet! Check your map to see if there are other streams to cross. Either way, you should be hiking in wool socks. This is fine if they are wet. Putting dry socks on will only mean that you now have two pair of wet socks! Stop hiking as needed to remove boots and ring out socks.
Once at camp, the best way to dry out boots is to fill them loosely with newspaper. The refugios most likely will have something.
We saw quite a few avalanches during the hike up the French Valley. Most were from Paine Grande. They are relatively small, unless of course you are standing under one. The trail is definitely far enough away to observe in safety. Don't wander off the trail and hike off trail to the base of Paine Grande. You will be very safe on the trail.
Keep looking at the hanging glacier. You will definitely see an avalanche before hear one.
A pesar de tener las reservas y de haber confirmado personalmente en la Hostería la visita , la víspera nos llamaron a las 9 de la noche para cambiaros la hora de las 9 a las 3 de la tarde , lo que nos impidió hacer la visita pues a esa hora salíamos hacia El Calafate
De nada sirvieron las reclamaciones , el enfado , las cartas al CONAF , nos quedamos sin verlo y sin ninguna explicación
Afortunadamente fuimos a El Calafate y vimos muchos e importantes Glaciares
Mucho Cuidado !!!!!!!!!
Besides having the reservation and that we confirmed personally in the Hostería the visit , the day before they called us at 21h to change the hour from 9 to 15h , and it was impossible to make the visit as at that time we were departing to El Calafate
It was worthless the claims , the hungry and the letters to the CONAF we couldn´t see and we had not any explanation
Luckily we went to El Calafate and there we saw many and important glaciers
Con un fortísimo viento fuimos a ver el cementerio de glaciares y la verdad es que lo pasamos bastante mal , primero para cruzar el puente colgante que era peligroso pues se movía mucho y no había casi sitio para agarrarse y segundo que al ir pasar por la playa el viento levantaba la arena y era un auténtico chorreado de arena
No lo pasamos bien
With a very strong wind we went to see the glaciers cemetery and the true is that we had a bad time , first to cross the hanging bridge that was dangerous as it moved a lot and practically there were not a place to put the hands and second when we passed to the beach the wind was lifting the sand and it was an authentic sand blast
Always carry your sun screen lotion and apply it often on your unprotected skin because even the clouds can not protect you.