​Basecamps Trek: Backpacking Mt. Fitzroy and Cerro Torre


Introduction


From north to south, trek to the basecamps of Mt. Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre, camping at each and trekking to Paso del Viento with views to the 2nd largest icecap outside the polar regions! Experience classic Argentine Patagonia landscapes - steep granite spires towering over vast glaciers, cerulean lakes, rivers and forests.

DATA SHEET

 5 days backpacking trek
 7 days total
 Requires backpacking experience
 Vigorous - Must be physically fit
 2 - 8 people per guide
 October to March

Highlights


• Towering view of the east face of Mt. Fitz Roy from Laguna de los Tres
• Trek to Laguna Torre and Mirador Maestri to witness the mythical Cerro Torre and Glacier Grande
• Zip-line across the Fitz Roy river and hike to a pass with the finest vista to Mt Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from the south
• Wade Tunnel River, hike up scree, and cross a section of glacier to Paso del Viento (pass of the winds) to view the Viedma glacier, part of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field

Itinerary


Day 1

Arrive El Calafate (airport FTE). Bus Transportation from Calafate Airport to El Chaltén. Briefing with your guide about details of the program. Gear check. Lodging at El Chaltén. No meals included.

Day 2

Transportation from El Chaltén to Hostería El Pilar. We start hiking towards Fitz Roy base camp, along the Rio Blanco valley. We pass by the front of Piedras Blancas Glacier and then by the Rio Blanco campsite. We will hike up from here to Laguna de los Tres (1200m/a/s/l). This viewpoint has the closest and best panoramic view of Fitz Roy. From here, we descend to Poincenot campsite (750m/a/s/l), where we will spend the night. This hike has an elevation gain of 700 meters and will take approx. 7-8 hours. (B, L, D)

Day 3

Poincenot campsite is a good spot to take pictures of Fitz Roy during sunrise. After breakfast, we will leave for our hike to Laguna Torre, passing by Lagunas Madre and Hija. The hike to Laguna Torre is about 3 hours and a wonderful place for lunch. If the weather allows, we will continue to Mirador Maestri, the main viewpoint of the mythical Cerro Torre and Glacier Grande. Afterwards, we’ll return to our camp at “De Agostini” to spend the night. This hike takes 5 to 6 hours and has an elevation gain of 300-400m. (B, L, D)

Day 4

From “De Agostini” campsite we walk about 15 minutes to the origin of Fitz Roy river. We use a zip-line and harnesses to get across the river. Then we start ascending a steep forest towards “Paso de Las Agachonas” (1400m/a/s/l), a pass at “Pliegue Tumbado” mountain. The panoramic views of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from this site are astonishing! From there we descend to “Rio Tunel” valley and camp at “Laguna Toro” (600m/a/s/l). This hike has an elevation gain of 800m and will take approx. 6-7 hours. (B, L, D)

Day 5

After 30-40 minutes of walking around Laguna Toro, we cross the Tunnel river: wading through the river or using another zip-line cable, depending on the conditions of the river. The ascent to Paso del Viento (passes of the winds) through scree, moraines and a brief section of glacier trekking on the Inferior Tunnel Glacier. From the windy pass (1550m/a/s/l), you will appreciate part of the Patagonian Ice Field; the origins of Viedma Glacier and the Mariano Moreno Range, among others. We return to Laguna Toro campsite. The hike has an elevation gain of 900m and takes about 7-8 hours. (B, L, D)

Day 6

We return to El Chaltén by a trail through an open valley and beech forests (lenga trees), traversing the lowest part of “Pliegue Tumbado”. This hike has an elevation gain of 300-400m and takes 5-6 hours. Lodging at El Chaltén. (B, L)

Day 7

Bus Transportation from El Chaltén to El Calafate Airport. End of our services. (B)

  Packing List

Weather: The weather in Patagonia is notorious for high winds and extreme variability. Days can range from sunny with temperatures in the mid-60s (15°C) in October to rain, hail, and occasionally even snow. Nighttime temperatures often drop down into the 30s and 40s (0-5°C). The wind-chill factor can sometimes make the ambient temperature feel much colder. Please come prepared for all possibilities and equipped with good quality rain and wind gear.

Luggage

• Medium to large duffle or rolling soft-sided luggage
• 60-65 L backpack
    • Waterproof pack cover or garbage bag to line pack
    • Dry sacs or plastic bags

Clothing

• Medium to large duffle or rolling soft-sided luggage
• Casual clothing/shoes for travel and city wear (lightweight, easily washable)
• Waterproof jacket, lightweight
• Waterproof pants, lightweight
• Fleece/softshell jacket (windproof preferred)
• Down (or synthetic) jacket
• T-shirts, synthetic or wool
• Long sleeve shirt, synthetic or wool
• Hiking pants (no jeans for trekking)
• Synthetic or merino base layers
• Underwear/sports bra (quick drying)

Footwear

• Waterproof trekking boots with rugged sole
• Hiking socks, synthetic or wool
• Light shoes (sneakers or water sandals)
    • Water crossing/camp shoes

Assorted Personal Items:

• Trekking poles (collapsible)
• Sleeping Bag (15-20°F/-5-10°C) with compression stuff sack
• Insulating mattress (compact, lightweight; Therm-a-Rest ideal)
• Water bottles (2 1-Liter or 2L hydration bladder)
• Headlamp with batteries (& extra batteries)
• Sunscreen and Lip balm with SPF
• Sun hat
• Wool or fleece hat
• Neck warmer or buff
• Gloves/mittens
• Sunglasses with UV filter
• Personal hygiene items (toothpaste, toothbrush, quick drying travel towel,etc)
• Toilet Kit: Toilet paper, Ziplock bags (at least one for clean TP, one for dirty TP), wet wipes, hand sanitizer (You must pack out all toilet paper.)
• Personal first aid kit, medications, blister kit
• Bandana
• Pocket knife
• Camera/memory cards/battery
• Packing cubes/stuff sacks
• Gaiters
• Optional:
    • Earplugs and eye shade
    • Binoculars
    • Water purification (filter or tablets)

Note:
Water is potable in Southern Patagonia. Please bring your own water filter or purification tablets if you don’t want to drink the water untreated.
Sleeping bags/pads are available for rent in El Chaltén. Book early for best availability





More Information


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