Patagonia’s Ice field trek

ARG-10 / 11-day trip / Grade: T3-T4

Patagonia’s Ice Field Trek
OVERVIEW

Patagonia’s ice field, known as “Hielo Continental Patagonico” in Spanish, is the third biggest ice mass in the world. It is more than 400 km long and 100 km wide, located in the heart of the Patagonian region, which creates a natural border between Argentina and Chile. This unique place in South America provides one of the best experiences for people who like to trek in remote areas and get a taste for vast nature.

Our Patagonia Ice Field Trek starts on the green Eastern side of the Andes, ascending though valleys decorated with deep blue lakes and gigantic rock faces, passing over into the ice field, a barren but beautiful icecap! An experience than can only be compared to Antarctica or Greenland.

This trip is one of our adventure programs, where the members will be an active part of the logistics; trekking with all their equipment, helping carrying supplies (like food) and participating in setting up campsite and melting water. The reward for this work is traveling in a wild place and seeing one of the most spectacular places on earth: the Patagonian granite spires and wind shaped ice mushrooms. For this trip we have a great team of guides with experience in this type of terrain and all the needed technology for safety as satellite communications, GPS, etc.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime trip!


Day 1 Arrival in Patagonia
Day 2 Perito Moreno’s glacier
Day 3 Chalten and trek to Rio Electrico
Day 4 Marconi Mountain Pass
Day 5 Circo de los Altares
Day 6 Laguna Ferrari (Refuge)
Day 7 El Paso del Viento
Day 8 Pliegue Tumbado pass – Chalten
Day 9 Reserve day in case of bad weather
Day 10 Reserve day in case of bad weather
Day 11 El Calafate – Departure
ITINERARY
Day 1

Arrival in Patagonia
Pick up at airport and transfer-in to hotel in El Calafate

Day 2

Perito Moreno Glacier
El Calafate – Visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier and back to El Calafate
Today we will enjoy one of the most impressive views of a moving glacier. Departing at around 9 am we will drive westwards towards the Chilean border. After about 2 h, we will reach the Perito Moreno national Park. We will take one of the catamarans and sail very close to the glacier, looking for the impressive ice boulders breaking and falling into the cold waters that surround the glacier. After the tour we will drive to the visitor area, where we can enjoy a coffee and some snacks before starting our very relaxing tour over the rails. This will take us to several different viewpoints where we can appreciate the glacier and its magnificence. We will head back to El Cafalate in the afternoon.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 3

Chalten and trek to Rio Electrico
Early morning transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten, Argentina’s trekking capital. After a short break we will continue to Los Glaciares National park, driving 17 km to the Electrico River Bridge from where we will start our trek. The trail ascends quite gently and leads us into the heart of the Andean range. After 2.5 hours we will reach La Piedra del Fraile. From there we will continue to the famous Rio Electrico, named for its strong electric blue colors. We will hike its southern margin crossing the Pollone River, establishing our first campsite on the Western end of the lake (600 m). Here we will get our first glance at Fitz Roy’s north face.
Ascent: 150 m / Highest Altitude: 600 m / Activity duration: 5-6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 4

Marconi Mountain Pass
Get ready – this is one of the long and tough days of the trek. We will depart from our Lago Electrico camp quite early, as the ascent is long and demanding. We will have to hike around 1000 m of altitude in all, over very changing terrain. First we will follow the valley up onto sole rocky slopes, where depending on the conditions, we might have to secure with ropes. Once on top of the Marconi pass, we will have our first view over the ice field – a door into a completely different world! We will start our descent towards the ice field, and once on it we will hike until we find a suitable place for the campsite. If the weather is good, we will camp on the ice field, otherwise we will continue to the Gorra Blanca refuge, where we will set up our camp outside. By this time we will have already crossed the border into Chile, and will have our camp close to the Cerro Gorra Blanca peak.
Ascent: 950 m / Descend: 150 m / Highest Altitude: 1550 m / Activity duration: 8-10 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 5

Circo de los Altares
Our first morning on the third biggest ice mass on the planet! We will start the day packing and organizing for the day’s activities. Today is a shorter day and much less demanding, as we are already walking over the glacier and there is almost no altitude difference between the camps. After several hours hiking, we will reach one of the most iconic places in the mountaineering world: “El Circo de los Altares” the east face of Cerro Torre, Standard and Eger, some of the most desired climbs in Patagonia. This place is worth every effort to get to, and may be the highlight of the whole trip.
Highest Altitude: 1400 m / Activity duration: 4-6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 6

Laguna Ferrari (Refuge)
We will depart from our campsite and head southwards over the ice field for about 4 hours. Then we will hike back to the mountain range, ascending a rocky section to the Ferrari Lake, located below the Paso del Viento – our “exit” back to the eastern side of the Andes. From our campsite we will have a great panoramic view over the ice field, and with a bit of luck, a great view over the mountains on the Chilean side.
Descend: 300 m / Ascent: 80 m / Highest Altitude: 1180 m / Activity duration: 6-7 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 7

El Paso del Viento
Today we will ascend to the famous mountain pass “El Paso del Viento”(Pass of the Wind) at 1400 m, a place known for its exposure to high speed winds, but also for one of the best viewpoints over the ice field. Once on the pass, we will take some time to enjoy this amazing site, looking for the last time onto the extension of the ice and the amazing granite spires, so famous around the world! On the other side, we will head down the valley by a not very well-marked trail. On our descent we will pass a small glacier just below the Cerro Grande peak, on our way to our camp by the Toro Lake’s shores (650 m). Just before the campsite, there is a zip line crossing over the Rio Toro, an amazing experience!
Ascent: 220 m / Descend: 750 m / Highest Altitude: 1400 m / Activity duration: 6-7 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 8

Pliegue Tumbado pass – Chalten
We will continue to descend following the Tunel River for some hours until we make a final ascent to the Pliegue Tumbado pass, over which we will follow the trails back to El Chalten. Here we will notice the change of vegetation as we encounter again the grass plains, flowers and life appearing as we lose altitude. Back in Chalten, we will enjoy the comfort of a nice hostel and a good meal!
Ascent: 350 m / Descend: 600 m / Highest Altitude: 1000 m / Activity duration: 5-6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 9

Reserve day in case of bad weather
All services are included on the mountain, but back in the towns/cities no lodging or meals are included – these are on the member’s own account.
Note: There are plenty of activities to do, if the reserve days are not used. Please ask you guide for assistance.
Included meals only while in the trek: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 10

Reserve day in case of bad weather
All services are included on the mountain, but back in the towns/cities no lodging or meals are included – these are on the member’s own account.
Note: There are plenty of activities to do, if the reserve days are not used. Please ask you guide for assistance.
Included meals only while in the trek: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 11

El Calafate – Departure
Morning transfer-out to El Calafate city or Airport – End of services.
Included meals: Breakfast

PRICING
ARG-10 – To request prices, please click on the BOOK TRIP bottom on the right sidebar and fill the information.

INCLUDED

  • Program in shared international group
  • Local English speaking professional UIAGM mountain guide
  • Assistant guide from 4 PAX
  • Entrances fees to the National Park
  • Tour to Perito Moreno
  • Private transportation throughout the entire program
  • 2 nights in shared double rooms in El Calafate
  • 1 night in shared double rooms in El Chalten
  • Quality mountain tents – 2 PAX per tent – from day 3 to 10
  • Group common campsite equipment
  • Porters for tents and kitchen equipment
  • Satellite phone for communications and rescue
  • GPS navigation systems
  • Complete mountain First Aid kit
  • Meals as specified in the day to day itinerary

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and international flights
  • Personal mountain/camping equipment
  • Lodging and meals for the reserve days, if back in towns/cities
  • Extra activities
  • Insurances
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list
HOTEL LIST

EL CALAFATE: Hotel Kosten Aiken or similar

EL CHALTEN: Hosteria El Puma or similar

MAP

Overview:


Patagonia´s ice field trek:

GALLERY
Tags: Trekking, Argentina, T3, T4, Patagonia, Ice Field, Chalten, Calafate, Hielo Continental, Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, Paso del Viento