El Chaltén

Huemul Circuit

Length: 4 days and 3 nights
Grade of difficulty: Demanding
Experience required: Trekking with camping experience
Season: October to April
Group size: 1 to 6 people
Ratio: 1 Guide : 6 Pax

Description

An unforgettable trek. A four day cirucit to enjoy a trek that encompasses lots of different environments and varied landscapes. We walk through mature forests, across high altitude meadows, over glaciers and moraines to reach an altitude of 1550 masl; to appreciate the immensity of the Continental Ice Field and its frozen world. We will see the source of the Viedma Glacier and be astonished at the size of Lake Viedma. A challenging trek for those who want to live a different experience in this corner of wild Patagonia.

Itinerary

Day 1: El Chaltén - Laguna Toro

Start the trek from El Chaltén towards Toro lagoon, walking gently uphill, over large open areas, known as Pampa de Las Carretas, south of Pliegue Tumbado. After walking through forest and out in the open and enjoying views of Lake Viedma we finally arrive into the Toro Valley.


From the valley we can appreciate a hanging glacier on Mt Huemul. After crossing some small bridges made out of old tree trunks and walking in a young lenga forest we arrive at our camp: Toro lagoon at 650masl.


This wild and exciting location is ideal for our first night under the stars.

  • Overnight: Tents.
  • Meals: Pack lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • Distance: 15 Km.
  • Walking: 7 hs.
  • Height gain: 250 m.

Day 2: Laguna Toro - Paso del Viento Refuge

After breakfast and taking down camp we set off for Paso del Viento with an elevation gain of 900m. After walking for about 30 to 40 minutes we arrive at Túnel River, which we must wade through, to be able to carry on with the trek. The cold water will wake us up!

The interesting part of this stretch is the variety of terrains crossed; pastures, stony areas, moraines and the Lower Túnel Glacier.

What doesn’t change is the direction - always uphill, bit by bit...


After all the hard work and effort we arrive at the Paso del Viento (1550 m.a.s.l.), we can appreciate a great view of part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the source of Viedma Glacier and Mount Mariano Moreno, amongst others.


After enjoying lunch, taking millions of photos and getting our energy back we start the descent to the Paso del Viento Refuge (900 m.a.s.l.) our next camp.


It’s located next to a small lagoon that if it’s not too cold we can refresh ourselves in before another good hot meal. Camp is set up around the refuge itself.

  • Overnight: Tents.
  • Meals: Breakfast, pack lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • Distance: 12 Km.
  • Walking: 7/8 hs.
  • Height gain: 900 m.

Day 3: Paso del Viento Refuge - Paso Huemul - Lago Viedma

After breakfast today we continue our trek circling Mount Huemul. The path climbs quite gently and allows us to enjoy fascinating views, very different to what we have seen so far.


Crossing a few small streams we start the climb up to Paso Huemul (987 m.a.s.l.). From here, we again, get breathtaking views of the landscape below us: Glacier and Lake Viedma.


This humongous glacier is the largest one of Argentina and on the eastern side of the Continental Ice Field. In a protected spot we’ll enjoy lunch before starting down the very steep and rocky path to Bahía Cabo de Hornos on Lake Viedma (300 m.a.s.l).


This will be our final camp for the trek. After setting up camp and before dinner we can head towards the lakeside and admire the icebergs: some of the humongous blocks of ice that have fallen off the front of Viedma Glacier.

  • Overnight: Tents.
  • Meals: Breakfast, pack lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • Distance: 18 Km.
  • Walking: 6/7 hs.
  • Height gain: 600 m.

Day 4: Lago Viedma- Bahía Túnel

Today we start the final trek across part of the steppe towards Bahía Túnel, with Glacier Viedma behind us and the lake we are now familiar with: Viedma on our right (east).




The path is undulating, no big effort is needed. We cross over various streams and we wade through Río Túnel. When we arrive at Puerto de Bahía Túnel there will be a vehicle waiting for us to take us back to El Chaltén. We have made it!

  • Overnight: Tents.
  • Meals: Breakfast and pack lunch.
  • Distance: 18 Km.
  • Walking: 7 hs.
  • Height gain: 50 m.
  • Programme details
  • Requirements:
  • Fit - be able and willing to carry a back pack weighing 15/20 Kg.
  • Multi-day trek and camping experience.
  • Proactive attitude and team spirit.
  • No technical experience is required.
  • Prior to the participating in the trek the Personal Information Questionnaire must be filled in and sent to us.
  • Includes:
  • Mountain Guide (AAGM/EPGAMT-APN).
  • Technical mountain equipment.
  • Group camping and cooking equipments.
  • Meals during the trek (*): 3 breakfasts, 4 pack lunches, 3 afternoon teas and 3 dinners.
  • Transfer in minibus or 4x4 (Bahía Túnel / El Chaltén).
  • National Park permission of Tourist activities (P.N.L.G.).
  • Doesn’t include:
  • Personal equipment (check recommended Kit List).
  • Additional porters.
  • Alcoholic drinks or fizzy drinks.
  • Insurance.
  • Gratuities.
  • Anything not mentioned in the programme.
  • Equipment and logistics:
  • Camping and Safety equipment are provided.
  • Any equipment that you don’t have or you forget may be hired in El Chaltén.
  • Clients help with the carrying of group equipment and food.
  • Clients can contract a porter (up to 15kg) for transfering personal/group kit.
  • We have available digital cameras, GPS, Walkie Talkies and VHF radios for hire if you wish.
  • Transport coordinated by Walk Patagonia.
  • Equipment provided::
  • 3/4 season - 2/3 man tents.
  • Sleeping bag and sleep mat.
  • Camping stoves and utensils.
  • Snow shoes (if necessary).
  • Crampons (if necessary).
  • Harness (if necessary).
  • Helmet (if necessary).
  • Ropes and Safety equipment.
  • First Aid Kit.
  • VHF Radio.
  • GPS (Global Positioning System).
  • SPOT (Satellite messenger).
  • Satellite telephone.
  • Recommended personal kit:
  • Back pack (60/90 litres).
  • Warm hat.
  • Cap/sun hat.
  • Buff/scarf (something to keep your neck warm).
  • Short and long sleeved t-shirts (synthetic).
  • Thermal layers - top and bottom.
  • Fleece.
  • Waterproof jacket with hood (like Gore-Tex).
  • Trekking trousers (preferably convertibles).
  • Waterproof trousers.
  • Warm gloves.
  • 2 pairs of trekking socks.
  • Pair of trainers/sandals for wading.
  • Light waterproof trekking boots.
  • Gaiters.
  • Trekking poles (optional - or hire locally).
  • Sunglasses with UV filter.
  • Sun block (SPF 40) and lip balm (it’s dry in Patagonia).
  • Water bottle - 1 litre.
  • Tape/Compeed - something for blisters.
  • Personal hygiene kit.
  • Personal basic first aid kit.
  • Penknife.
  • Head torch (plus extra batteries).
  • Plastic bags (various sizes).
  • Toilet paper.
  • iPod, small book, camera, etc.
  • Weather conditions:
  • The climate in this are is very unstable and unpredictible. Therefore a certain amount of flexibility in this programmes is necessary..
  • It’s advisable to have a spare day to be able to complete this activity.
  • General considerations:
  • We advise you to have insurance that covers mountain hiking.
  • This programmes is generic and may suffer slight changes by us or because of a client request.
  • Any change to the programme, for the security of the group, will be an unarguable decision made by the Mountain Guide.
  • Notes:
  • Campsites are basic (they have no conventional infrastructure).
  • Campsites don’t have electricity, toilets or showers.
  • Please inform us when booking if there are any special dietary requirements or limitations (vegetarians, celiacs, etc.).
  • (*) All meals have been prepared and calculated according to the energy output of each day of the trek. We only use top quality produce that has been recommended by the nutritionist Ma. Eugenia Sánchez (Mat.Prof.LN-025) exclusively for Walk Patagonia..


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Tourist Service Provider of trekking and expeditions in Los Glaciares National Park
El Chaltén - Santa Cruz - Patagonia – Argentina
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