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Southern Patagonian Ice Field 7-day expedition

Join this group of IFMGA mountain leaders from El Chalten and enjoy a guided week walking of the southernmost ice lands of Argentina. An unforgettable expedition in the South Patagonian Ice Field!

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration7 days
Offer periodJan, Feb, Oct, Nov, Dec
Type of tripNot specified

Description

We are a group of mountain guides who are planning an amazing expedition week to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Therefore, if you plan to come to South Argentina this adventure is a MUST.

You probably have heard of this famous place because the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is one of the most enormous ice cap in the world. Furthermore, it is one of the most challenging expeditions with an incomparable beauty. It’s about an absolutely white world of around 13000 km2. Here is where most of the glaciers of the South Patagonia break off.

Moreover, this white paradise will take you to a unique scenery known as the Circus of the Altares. It is a place where the ice is surrounded by the great granite towers like Cerro Torre, Egger and Standhardt, among many others.

The total guided expedition in Southern Patagonian Ice Field  will take a full week. The Argentine spring and summer are the perfect seasons for doing it. And if you want to take the best from this trip and enjoy it to the maximum, you should have some previous ice experience. Please take into account it’s an expedition of intermediate difficulty which involves some physical effort as well.

At the end of this description you’ll find the day-by-day itinerary of the expedition. However, if you want to know extra details or talk to us about your own wishes, motivations and times, please contact us now. As a group of guides with base in Patagonia, we’re capable of offering you the best custom trip!

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Itinerary

Day 1: Rio Electrico Valley

Transfer to the bridge over the Rio Electrico, 15 Km northwest El Chaltén. It will be our starting point of the first trekking day. We’ll walk from here to the base of Marconi Glacier. The first 2 hours will go by over the river and through a dense wood. We’ll say bye to the vegetation when we get to the Piedra del Fraile camp (currently “Los Troncos” Hut). There, a wide glacial valley will be opened in front of us. So we can see the amazing mountains as well as both south and north sides of Marconi.

From Piedra del Fraile we’ll border the Lago Eléctrico on its southern edge and less than 2 hours we’ll be at the Pollone River, where we can see the northwestern face of Mount Fitz Roy.

After that, we’ll be in the west side of the Lago Eléctrico where we’ll finally set up our camp in La Playita campsite, very close to the Marconi Glacier. We can visit it after a deserved rest.

Your luggage will be carried by our group of helpers. The total distance will be 12 km. (6 hiking hours) and the altitude change will be 50 meters.

Day 2: Glaciar Marconi - Paso Marconi

We’ll wake up with the first lights of sun. We’ll breakfast, disarm the camp and start a new trekking day.

In only 30 minutes we’ll be at the moraine of Marconi Glacier. It will be our first aim of the day due to the irregular and constantly loose terrain. 

Once we overcome this section we’ll mount on the Marconi Glacier to slowly exceed the 800 meters of altitude change until the Homonimo Pass.

According to the ice conditions, crampons and ropes will be needed to overcome cracks or ice slopes. Overcoming a rocky section to access the top of the glacier is the most challenging goal of the day.

The Marconi Glacier forms a funnel effect for the winds that come from the Patagonian Ice and the Pacific Ocean, generating bursts of snow and ice, which can mean a challenge not only physical but mental for each member of the expedition.

At the end of the day we will set up Camp II, in the foothills of South Cerro Marconi, only 1 hour far from the pass.

From there we can get an amazing viewpoint of Fitz Roy, Cerro Pier Giorgio as well as Gorra Blanca. Total distance 10 km (7/9 hours of hike). Positive altitude gained: 800 meters.

Day 3: Paso Marconi - Circus of los Altares

In the morning we’ll start the crossing of the Marconi Pass.

After just an hour of walk south Patagonian Ice will open before us giving us the views of the Lautaro Volcano (still active), the Cordón Mariano Moreno (almost as high and much bigger than the Fitz Roy), the Paso de los Cuatro Glaciares and The Chico Glacier to the South West.

Trekking on the Patagonian Ice field in direction to the south until we are in the Circus of Los Altares. There, we may need to use snowshoes. The total distance of today we’ll be 12 km (6/7 hours of walking). The positive altitude change will 50 meters and the negative 100 meters. 

Base camp at Circus of Los Altares.

Day 4: Circus of los Altares –Laguna esquies

In the morning we will go to La Esquina on the moraine side  of the Viedma Glacier. Here, our guides will decide the best departure point to leave. If climate and your physical conditions allow us to continue, we’ll go to the hut of Paso Del Viento. Distance of today 14 km. (8 hour of march). The altitude gained is 250 m of descent and 250 meters of ascent by the end of the day.
Laguna Esquies camp or Paso del Viento hut will be our accommodation options.

Day 5: Laguna esquíes- Toro Camp

In this day we will begin to cross the valley of the Tunel River that will leave us in El Chaltén. The first challenge is the ascent to the Paso del Viento and then the descent to the Toro Camp, where we will rest in a lengas forest.

Positive altitude gained today 300 meters. Negative altitude 700 meters.

 

Day 6: Toro Camp - El Chalten

It is the last challenge. We will cross the valley of the Tunel River until we reach El Chalten. The total distance of today will be 15 km with 300 meters of ascent and 500 meters of descent.

Day 7: Extra Day

We’ll take this day in case of bad weather or if the group need to rest.


About the guide

guide profile img

IFMGA/UIAGM guide from Argentina.

I’m trekking guide since 2009, and became fully IFMGA certified in 2014.
I’ve climbed in many destinations in the Andes in Argentina, and also in Perú, Brasil, France, Spain, Italy and Austria.

I work together with two other colleagues and friends, Indio and Tomás, who are also IFMGA. So if I’m not available to guide you, one of them can do it.

The three of us live in El Chalten, where we practice our profession and develop our passion for climbing and skiing. And we want to share it by opening the doors to all those who want to live their Patagonian experience in a safe and unforgettable way.

We are also committed to mountain training. Therefore, we can give you the basic tools to move in the mountain safely and smoothly. That's why we offer courses for all levels depending on the terrain you want to train. We give lessons of rock climbing, ice climbing, glacier transit and mountain skiing.


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Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 4330 each

Group of 2

USD 1959 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Transport during the trip

• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


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