Expedition to Southern Continental Ice Field

The Patagonian Southern Ice Field (locally known as the Continental Patagonian Ice Field) is the third largest ice mass in the world, after Antarctica and Greenland. It is a humongous plateau that is always covered in snow; located at an average altitude of 1500 masl. It is crossed by the Cordillera of the Andes from north to south. It is shared by both Chile and Argentina. This expedition is a 90km trek circling Mounts Fitz Roy and Torre, walking through forests, crossing rivers, walking with crampons and/or snowshoes, living a unique experience: it is without a doubt a most exciting, challenging and technical trek.

Day 1

Meet the Mountain Guide to go through equipment and final checks. Last chance to rent any equipment that you may need. Go to Gendarmería and go through Immigration as we enter Chile on this trek.

– Overnight in hotel (not included).

Day 2
La Playita

We beging with a transfer to the departure point for the expedition – the Eléctrico River Bridge (17 Km from El Chaltén). We trek for 2 hours through a thick forest of lengas until reaching Piedra del Fraile camp ground. After a short break, the trek continues along the old glacial valley of the Eléctrico River before crossing the Pollone River.

Having traversed various different rocky terrains over a 3 hour period we arrive at “La Playita”, where we will camp for the night.

– Overnight: Tents.

– Meals: Lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

– Distance: 12 km.

– Walking time: 6 hours.

– Elevation change: 50 m

Day 3
Glaciar de los 14

This is an important day of the expedition as we do need good weather to be able to make it to the ice field. Today we will cross a zip line, climb up some rocky walls to reach Laguna de los 14, and finally hike gently uphill “De los 14” Glacier”, which is the current port of entry to the Continental Ice Field. While crossing the glacier we will use crampons and depending on the weather conditions, we may also use snow shoes and equipment to ensure a high level of security.

We set camp up on the glacier, where the ice suddenly becomes flat! A fantastic location for great views of the Mounts Fitz Roy, Pier Giorgio and Gorra Blanca. Depending on the weather conditions we may continue on to the Mountain Refuge of Gorra Blanca, located in Chile.

– Overnight: Tents.

– Meals: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

– Distance: 12 km.

– Walking time: 8/10 hours.

– Elevation change: 800 m.

Day 4
Circo de Los Altares

This day we make our way to the “Circo de Los Altares”, where we will get close to the West face of the mythical Mount Torre and the mountains surrounding it.

This has to be one of the most impressive views within the National Park Los Glaciares.

– Overnight: Tents (on ice).

– Meals: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

– Distance: 10 Km.

– Walking time: 5/6 hours.

– Elevation change: 100 m.

Day 5
Laguna Ferrari, de Los Esquíes or Refugio Paso del Viento

Today we begin our journey walking on our crampons or snowshoes in a southerly direction passing by the Laguna de Los Esquíes and then turn due east either to Laguna Ferrari or to Refugio Paso del Viento, to set up camp for the night (where we go depends on the group and weather conditions). The second half of the journey will be on a rocky terrain on the lateral moraine of Viedma Glacier.

– Overnight: Tents.

– Meals: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and Dinner.

– Distance: 20 Km.

– Walking time: 8/10 hours.

– Elevation change: 500 mts.

Day 6
Laguna Toro

This day we climb up to Paso del Viento, to descend afterwards the valley of the Túnel River until we reach Laguna Toro.

This is an excellent spot for a panoramic view of the Mariano Moreno range and Viedma glacier. The terrain will be rocky, crossing various moraines and part of Túnel glacier. We will also have to cross Túnel River on a zip line.

– Overnight: Tents.

– Meals: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and Dinner.

– Distance: 8 Km.

– Walking time: 6/8 hours.

– Elevation change: 500 mts.

Day 7
Laguna Toro – El Chaltén

We return from Laguna Toro to El Chaltén, with the option of climbing up Pliegue Tumbado and enjoying great views of Mt Torre and Mt. Fitz Roy, from a different perspective!

– Meals: Breakfast and Pack lunch.

– Distance: 15 Km.

– Walking: 6 hs.

– Elevation change: 250 m.

Day 8
Back up in case of bad weather conditions or rest day.

Day 9
Back up in case of bad weather conditions or rest day.

Requirements:

  • Excellent level of fitness and willing to carry a rucksack of about 20/25 Kg.
  • Experience in trekking and camping.
  • A proactive attitude and a team spirit.
  • No technical experience is necessary.
  • You will need your passport for immigration.

Includes:

  • Mountain guide (AAGM/EPGAMT – APN) (Ratio 3:1).
  • Assistant guide/porter.
  • Technical mountain equipment.
  • Group camping and cooking equipment.
  • All meals throughout the expedition (*).
  • Transfers from El Chaltén to Río Eléctrico.
  • Tourist Activities Permit (Los Glaciares National Park).

Doesn’t include:

  • Personal kit (see suggested personal kit).
  • Additional porters.
  • Alcoholic or fizzy drinks.
  • Insurance.
  • Tips.
  • Accommodation in El Chaltén.
  • Any service not specified in the programme.

Equipment and logistics:

  • All technical, safety and camping equipment will be provided.
  • Transport coordinated by Walk Patagonia.
  • Any missing equipment can be hired in El Chaltén.
  • All meals are provided during the expedition (*).
  • A client can hire a porter to take up to 15 Kg of equipment (personal or group).
  • We have digital cameras, GPS, VHF and walky talkys available for rent.

Equipment provided:

  • Expeditions tents.
  • Cooking equipment and fuel.
  • Snow shoes.
  • Crampons.
  • Harnesses.
  • Ropes, carabiners and safety equipment.
  • Snow shovels.
  • Sledges.
  • Comprehensive First Aid Kit.
  • VHF radio.
  • GPS (Global Positioning System).
  • SPOT (Beacon/Satellite Messaging).
  • Satellite phone.

Recommended personal kit:

  • Warm hat.
  • Cap for the sun.
  • Buff (or similar) for the neck.
  • Short sleeved T-shirts (synthetic).
  • Long sleeved tops (synthetic).
  • Warm jacket (duvet or similar).
  • Waterproof jacket with hood (e.g. Gore-Tex).
  • Thermal trousers (synthetic).
  • Trekking trousers – convertibles are the best.
  • Waterproof trousers (e.g. Gore-Tex or Ultrex).
  • Warm gloves.
  • Waterproof gloves.
  • Plastic expedition boots (e.g. Koflach) or mountaineering boots.
  • Trekking boots (lightweight).
  • Walking sandals or footwear for wading.
  • 2 pairs thick socks (synthetic).
  • Gaiters.
  • 90 litre back pack.
  • Expedition sleeping bag (-18ºC /0ºF). 800 g (Down would be the best).
  • Bed mat (e.g. Therma-rest).
  • Telescopic walking poles.
  • Sunglasses with UV filter (and a spare pair or goggles – ski style).
  • Sun block and lip protection (SPF 60).
  • 1 l Water bottle (e.g. Nalgene).
  • Wide adhesive tape/ anti-blister kit.
  • Small toilet bag.
  • Swiss Army Knife.
  • Head torch (with spare batteries).
  • Toilet paper.
  • Plastic bags.
  • Ipod, small book, camera, etc.

Weather:

  • The climate in this area is very unstable and unpredictable. Therefore a
    certain amount of flexibility must be permitted in the proposed programme.
  • Two extra days are available in the programme in order to carry out the
    expedition.
  • Any change to the programme, for the security of the group, will be the
    indisputable decision of the Mountain Guide.

General considerations:

  • We recommend that you check that your travel insurance covers mountain
    activities.
  • The porter or portes provided by Walk Patagonia (from 3 people) can take
    up to a maximum of 25kg, including their personal equipment. The excess
    wieight is shared out amongst ALL participants of the expedition. Those
    that don´t want to carry group equipment can hire an extra porter (for
    15kg).
  • Immigration has to be done in El Chaltén in the Gendarmería Nacional
    Argentina office as part of the expedition takes place in Chile – Paso
    Marconi to Circo de Los Altares.
  • This programme is a general one, and may suffer small changes by us,
    Walk Patagonia, or by the client.
  • The reserve days can only be used to recuperate time lost due to bad
    weather and cannot be used to extend the programme or any other activity
    not contemplated in this programme.
  • Any modification to the programme during the expedition is the Mountain
    Guide´s final decision.
  • (*) All meals have been calcuated and prepared according to the energy
    needed for each day of the expedition. Only top quality brands are used
    and everything has been calcualted by the Nutritionist Lic. Eugenia
    Sánchez (Mat.Prof.LN-025) exclusively for Walk Patagonia.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Trip Facts

  • 9 days (2 extra days included in case of bad weather)
  • 5. Extreme
  • November to March
  • 2 to 6 people
  • 1 guide : 3 Pax
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