Southern Patagonia IceCap Expedition

Trek out onto the South Patagonian IceCap, via the Marconi Pass, with a local operator who specialises in trekking and mountaineering in Patagonia. You'll spend 3 to 4 days on the IceCap itself, be working with ice-axe and crampons and need to prepared for a challenging adventure on the ice.

10 Days


Southern Patagonia IceCap Expedition - 10 - $2,235

Itinerary Map

Start from El Chaltén and end at El Chaltén

Landmarks visited on Southern Patagonia IceCap Expedition

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to El Chalten

Expedition briefing and equipment check Arrival at El Chalten. Small town of 300 people located at the foot of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Meeting with rest of the group and expedition Leader. General briefing about Southern Patagonian Ice Field, instructions on how to use camping and technical gear provided by us. Personal equipment check.

Accommodation: Double occupancy in hotel or lodge lodging.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2:  Rio Electrico Valley

The day begins with a private transfer to the bridge over Electrico River, 15km northwest of El Chalten, and the start point of our trek towards the base of Marconi Glacier. We will walk the first two hours on a well-marked path, through a forest of Lengas, alongside Electrico River. At the end of the vegetation, we stop for a while at Piedra Del Fraile campsite (Refugio Los Troncos - property of Estancia Ricanor), which is our last encounter with civilization before our return to El Chalten, at the end of the expedition. We will then enter into a great glacier valley surrounded by Treinta Aniversario, Marconi South, and North Peaks. From Piedra Del Fraile, we will follow the southern shore of Lake Electrico, crossing moraines and rocky formations left by the glaciers less than 70 years ago. Along the way, we will cross Pollone River walking, from where we will be able to observe the North-west face of Fitz Roy. One more hour of trekking will bring us to the western shore of Lake Electrico. We will set-up our camp there, only 20 minutes away from Marconi Glacier. After a well-earned rest, we might have some extra energy to explore the area.

The participants, guides and other supporting staff will carry the equipment and food.

Walking distance: 12 Km. (6 hours). Elevation gain: 50 mts.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: La Playita camp 

Day 3: Marconi Glacier - Marconi Pass

We will wake up at dawn, to start our daily routine of the expedition: breakfast, packing up of camp and backpacks, and trekking... Only 30 minutes of walking will bring us in front of the Marconi Glacier. A gigantic scree moraine is our first obstacle; the terrain here is unstable and moves constantly, impeding the formation of a marked path. After this short but difficult stretch, we will climb on the glacier itself entering slowly into a kingdom of snow and ice. This day might be the toughest of the expedition.

We will climb 2400 ft (800 m) on ice and snow, using crampons, and round crevasses with the assistance of the guide and his team - with the aid of ropes if necessary. Marconi Glacier forms a pass that creates a bottle effect with the winds coming from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the Pacific Ocean. Hence, participants will need to be not only physically, but also mentally prepared to trek in a rain or snowstorm. At the end of the day, we will arrive at our second campsite, in the shadow of Marconi South Mt and only an hour away from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field itself. Our almost aerial campsite offers fantastic sunsets and sunrises over the Fitz Roy Range, Cerro Pier Giorgio, and Gorra Blanca.

Walking distance: 10 Km. (7/9 hours) Elevation gain: 800 mts.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Paso Marconi camp

Day 4 : SPIF: Marconi Pass- Circo de los Altares

In the morning, we will cross the Marconi Pass. Guide and assistants will use sledge for the first time, carrying most of the general equipment (tents, food, gas...). Only an hour of trekking with snowshoes will bring us into a land of rock and ice. The Patagonian Ice Field will open itself up giving away fantastic views (if weather permits) of Lautaro Volcano (still active), Mariano Moreno Range (almost higher and much larger than Fitz Roy Range), the De Los Cuatro Glaciares Pass and Chico Glacier, further south. A day of southbound trekking on the ice field to the "Circo De Los Altares", at the foot of the mythic Cerro Torre's West face, take us to the place where we will set up our camp on the ice.

 Walking distance: 12 Km. (6/7hs. Hours) Elevation gain: 50 mts. - 100 mts descent

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Circo de Los Altares camp

Day 5:  SPIF: Circo de los Altares - Paso del Viento Hut

Trekking to De Los Esquies lagoon, on the lateral moraine of Viedma Glacier - where we will exit the ice itself. If the weather and the physical condition of the participants permit, we will continue up to Paso Del Viento Hut.

Walking distance: 14 Km. (8 hours) Elevation gain: 250 mts descent and 250 mts ascent

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Paso del Viento Hut Campsite

Day 6: Paso del Viento Hut

Rest day in the campsite near the hut.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Paso del Viento Camp site

Day 7: Huemul pass

For the past couple of years and after many expeditions, we have decided to continue the trip following Viedma Glacier towards Lake Viedma, instead of climbing to Windy Pass and return to El Chalten. This new circuit offered by us, makes the trek more interesting and attractive, keeping in sight of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and Viedma Glacier for two more days. This part of the expedition contours Cerro Huemul Andean steppe, lakes, and marvelous viewpoints accompany us towards Paso Huemul, where we will set up camp. Spectacular aerial views of the Glacier's snout as it calves into Lake Viedma will reward us. Full board views of the Glacier entering into Lake Viedma will reward us.

Walking time: 6/7 hours. Distance: 8 Km Altitude drop: +600 ft, -300 ft (+200 m, -100 m)

Walking distance: 8 km. (6/7 hours.) Elevation gain: 200 mts ascent and 100 mts descent

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Huemul Pass Camp

Day 8: Viedma Lake

Trek down the steep descent to Lake Viedma and Cabo de Hornos Bay, for our rendez-vous with the boat HUEMUL (for our return to Bahia Tunel, 30 minutes away by minibus from El Chalten.

Walking distance: 5 Km. (2/3 hs. hours) Elevation drop: 600 mts steep descent

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Lodge

Day 9: Weather Day

To be used at any point of the Expedition, if the day is not needed the expedition and service will end the first morning after arriving at El Chalten.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping

Day 10: End of our services

Meal: Breakfast

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Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Price of USD $2,235 per person is based on a group of 4 people. For a group of 2 there is a an additional supplement of USD $300.

Departures can be set up for a minimum of 2 people. Please get in touch for more details.

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