Day 1: Arrive Calafate
Upon arrival in El Calafate, please make your way to the group hotel. A transfer can be booked on request for an additional cost. This evening is free to meet the other expedition members. Meals: NIL
Day 2: Drive to El Chalten and prepare for expedition
This morning we take the public tourist bus across the Patagonian pampa to El Chaltén, a small mountain village situated at 450m above sea level. Chalten is the main entry point into Los Glaciares National Park and is the base camp for numerous climbing expeditions to Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre as well as expeditions to the Patagonian ice field. Upon arrival at our hosteria, we shall meet our mountain guide and have a trip briefing. Your guide will check the equipment we'll carry during the expedition and ensure everyone is ready for departure the following morning. Accommodation at hosteria and dinner. Meals: B, D
Day 3: Commence trek to base of Marconi Glacier
This morning we transfer to the “Rio Electrico” bridge, 15 km northwest from El Chaltén and the starting point for our first day trekking towards the base of the Marconi Glacier. The first two hours of walk follow a well marked footpath along the river and a fording of the river on foot. We will then enter an area of moraine and rocky terrain until we reach our first camp. Approximately 6 hours walking/6km/300m ascent. Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Trek across the Marconi Pass
We ascend onto the Marconi Glacier and undertake a glacier trek up to the Marconi Pass (1450m above sea level) This trek will require the use of crampons and depending on the glacier's conditions, we'll use climbing ropes and harnesses. Today will be truly out of this world and into a remote wilderness of stunning mountain scenery and impressive views of the ice field and the granite towers that make Los Galciares world famous. Approximately 6/7 hours walking/10km/800m ascent. Camp on the ice field. Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Traversing the Continental Ice Field on Viedma Glacier
Continue trekking on the ice field southbound to the "Circo de los Altares" at the foot of the mythic west face of Cerro Torre. The narrow granite pinnacle of Cerro Torre is unmistakable in this glacial wonderland. For many decades Cerro Torre was considered impossible to climb due to its extreme vertical faces in an extreme environment, but eventually it was first climbed in the 70's by an Italian team and many mountaineers consider this one of the greatest feats in mountaineering history. As we pitch camp under the mile high vertical spire we truly realise how extraordinary this mountain range is. Approximately 6 hours walking/12km. Camp on the ice field. Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Complete Ice Cap Traverse
Another tough but rewarding trek on the ice field from Circo de los Altares to Los Esquies Lagoon. Today, weather permitting we should get great views of the Mariano Moreno range, Cerro Luca and Southern Ice Cap. We exit the ice field across the lateral moraine of the Viedma Glacier to our camp. Approximately 6/7 hours walking/14km/250m ascent/250m descent
Day 7: Trek to Paso del Viento
Today we continue our circumnavigation from Laguna de los Esquies via Paso del Viento to Laguna Toro. We are now entering back to where we might meet other trekkers. The views from our vantage point at Laguna Toro are impressive. Approximately 7 hours walking. Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: Conclude trek and return to El Chalten
Weather and conditions permitting we would hope to return to El Chalten through Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. After the rigours of the last week, we stay at a comfortable lodge and enjoy a farewell dinner. Approximately 6 hours walking. Meals: B, L, D
Days 9-10: Contingency days or trekking to Laguna de los Tres
These two days are set aside as a contingency in case of bad weather. PLEASE NOTE that on completion of the traverse your trip includes only one night in Chalten. On completion of the trip your mountain guide's job will be complete and the camping equipment will not be available for use. At the end of the traverse you may therefore have 1 or 2 days free to use as you please. You could have the option to undertake one or two day walks to Laguna Torre and/or Laguna de los Tres and if you wish to employ a local guide then this can be paid for locally (approx US$200 per guide per day or if you choose to hike on your own then this is at your own responsibility).
However given the rigours of the past week, it is not uncommon for any free time to be used relaxing in Chalten. One night on a bed and breakfast basis is included after the traverse concludes, so any other additional nights in Chalten or Calafate and any meals would need to be paid for locally. Our local operators can help to organise accommodation at a local hostel or hotel depending upon your budget. Meals: B, L, D
Day 11: Return to Calafate, where trip concludes
This morning we transfer back to El Calafate, where your trip arrangements conclude. We do not recommend leaving Calafate until after 4pm, just in case there are any delays. Meals: B
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $0 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.
The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.