SOUTHERN ICE FIELD EXPEDITION

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Fromusd4,790
Price
Fromusd4,790
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97
8 days / 7 nights
Difficulty: Demanding
From October 10th to March 15th
Booking Code: E - FRE 30

OVERVIEW

The Southern Ice Field is perhaps one of the less known areas on Earth; being it one of the explorers’ and dreamers’ constant objective in their search for a real and direct contact with wild nature.

So, we propose that we follow the steps of those brave explorers from the past years and we enter into an incredible world where ice and rock are the main protagonists.

ITINERARY

Day 1:  ARRIVAL TO EL CHALTÉN

On this day, you will arrive to El Chaltén and you will stay at your hotel.

In the evening, we will meet with our guide and the rest of the expedition staff. During this briefing, the guide will explain the technical characteristics of the program and he will introduce us to the magical Southern Ice Field. There will also be a revision of the personal equipment of each passenger and the common loads that each person will have to transport all along the itinerary, which includes the food provided by Fitz Roy Expediciones.

It is IMPORTANT that the arrival to El Chaltén on this day be early (during the morning) so as to have enough time in the evening in case it is necessary to rent or buy equipment.

Meals: Not included

Accommodation: Not included

Day 2:  EL CHALTÉN – LA PLAYITA CAMP

After we meet the guide at the hotel, a private transportation will pick us up to take us to the bridge of the Río Eléctrico (15 km northeast from El Chaltén), which is going to be the departure point of our expedition.

We will start trekking to the base of the Glaciar Marconi. The first two hours of the trekking follow the Río Eléctrico upstream through a thick forest of Ñire and Lenga trees up to Piedra del Fraile Camp. Crossing the camp, we will enter into a vast glacier valley that will open in front of us to let us see the Cerros Treinta Aniversario, Marconi Norte and Marconi Sur.

From Piedra del Fraile we will walk along the southern edge of the Lago Eléctrico by its southern edge, and in less than two hours walking we will ford the Río Pollone. From here, we will be able to see the northeast face of the monte Fitz Roy.

By walking one more hour we will arrive to the west margin of the Lago Eléctrico, where we will set up our tents in La Playita camp, which is only 30 minutes away from Glaciar Marconi.

Hiking time: 6:00 hrs

Distance: 10 km

Elevation gain: 100 m (maximum elevation gain during the day)

Meals: Box Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Camp (sleeping tent in double occupancy)

Day 3:  LA PLAYITA CAMP – PASO MARCONI CAMP

We will wake up at first light to have breakfast, to pick up camp and to begin with the hiking day. A 30 minutes walk will lead us to the moraine of the Glaciar Marconi, where the land is unstable and the path disappears. Once we cross that stretch, we will get on the glacier to gradually ascend the 800 meters of elevation gain that separates us from Paso Marconi. From there we will have a panoramic view of the surrounding mountain range and of the immense continental ice cap field.

At the end of the day, we will set our camp at the foothills of Cerro Marconi Sur. The almost aerial position of the campsite will allow us to see the sunset and the sunrise on the walls of the Fitz Roy, the Super Canaleta, and the Pier Giorgio and Gorra Blanca mountains.

Depending on the ice conditions, crampons and cords will be used to overcome the cracks or compact ice steep hills. The Glaciar Marconi creates a funnel effect for the winds that come from the Southern Ice Field and the Pacific Ocean. At this point, expedition members can experience an added physical and mental challenge due to the gusts of wind and hail that can pick up in this area.

Hiking time: 8:00 hrs

Distance: 9 km

Elevation gain: 850 m (maximum elevation gain during the day)

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Camp (sleeping tent in double occupancy)

Day 4:  PASO MARCONI CAMP – CIRCO DE LOS ALTARES

Early after breakfast, we will start walking. Our guide and assistant will carry the bulk of the general load (tents, food, gas, and others) in sleds.

During the day we will walk over the Southern Ice Field, which will be the magnificent setting of our journey. And we will be revel in the sights of the Volcán Lautaro (still active), the Mariano Moreno Mountain Range (almost as high and much more larger than the Fitz Roy), the Cuatro Glaciares pass and the Glaciar Chico. We will have to use snowshoes if necessary.

By evening, we will arrive to Circo de los Altares, at the foot of the legendary South Face of the Cerro Torre, where we will set up our camp.

Hiking time: 7:00 hrs

Distance: 13 km

Elevation gain: 0 m (maximum elevation gain during the day)

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Camp (sleeping tent in double occupancy)

Day 5:  CIRCO DE LOS ALTARES – LAGUNA DE LOS ESQUÍES

During the morning, we will walk to Laguna de los Esquíes over the lateral moraine of the Glaciar Viedma, which is going to be the place from which we are going to abandon the Southern Ice Field (formally Glaciar Viedma in this place).

If the weather and physical conditions allow it, we will continue to Paso Del Viento shelter where we will spend the night.

Hiking time: 8:00 hrs

Distance: 10 km

Elevation gain: 100 m (maximum elevation gain during the day)

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Camp (sleeping tent in double occupancy)

Day 6:  LAGUNA DE LOS ESQUÍES – PASO DEL VIENTO – LAGUNA TORO

After a great breakfast, we will start trekking to Paso del Viento, where we will take a rest to contemplate the magnificent landscape.

From there, we will descend the 800 meters elevation gain to the Laguna Túnel Superior through a glacier and altitude rocky ground. We will cross the Rio Túnel through a ford or a zip-line, depending on the conditions, and we will border the Laguna Toro. Very near from it, will we spend our last camping night at the Laguna Toro camp.

Hiking time: 6:00 hrs

Distance: 10 km

Elevation gain: 250 m (maximum elevation gain during the day)

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Camp (sleeping tent in double occupancy)

Day 7:  LAGUNA TORO – EL CHALTÉN

We will start walking with the Río Túnel to our right, following the path that will take us back to El Chaltén, and enjoying the last sights of the Torre and Fitz Roy mountains. End of the services.

Hiking time: 6:00 hrs

Distance: 16 km

Elevation gain: 250 m (maximum elevation gain during the day)

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch

Accommodation: Not included

Day 8:  CONTINGENCY DAY (REST OR WEATHER)

This day will be used in case of adverse weather conditions that prevent us from progressing in the key steps of our journey. In any other case, we will use it to spend an extra day in Circo de los Altares, to rest or to camp again in any of the other spots of our program. This will be decided by the guide taking into account weather conditions and the physical condition of the passengers.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Camp (sleeping tent in double occupancy)

Note:

The hiking times, distances and elevation gains are tentative.

Remember that each person will have to carry their own personal equipment, box lunch and water during all the program route.

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INCLUDED

  • Mountain guide
  • One assistant guide every 3 passengers
  • All transportations mentioned in the itinerary
  • Technical and camping equipment for the activity
  • Six camping nights (sleeping tent in double occupancy)
  • Meals specified in the itinerary
  • Satellite communication

NOT INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in El Chaltén
  • Extra nights in El Chaltén in case of the return being brought forward
  • Personal equipment
  • Sleeping bag and isolated sleeping pad
  • Porters for personal equipment
  • All the services that are not specified in this program

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT

  • Mountaineering boots (Boreal Latok or Sportiva Nepal Top (we recommend from experience lighter weight and water-proof materials)
  • One pair of good quality Gaiters (depending on the season of the year)
  • Lightweight footwear or sandals (which also serve to ford rivers)
  • Synthetic mountain stockings, comfortable and adjusted to the foot (3 pairs)
  • Strong fleece pants, trekking or other synthetic material
  • Waterproof trousers with side closures (we recommend 3-layer Gore-tex)
  • Synthetic underwear (polypropylene): two shirts with long sleeves and two pair of leggings or thin inner pants
  • Polar fleece jacket
  • Duvet or synthetic jacket for warmth when not hiking
  • Waterproof Shell jacket with hood (we recommend 3-layer Gore-tex)
  • Polar fiber balaclava
  • Polar fiber cap
  • Glacier sun glasses with UV filter for high solar radiation, Category 4 or 5
  • Ski goggles with UV filter
  • One pair of thin gloves made of synthetic material
  • One pair of polar gloves or mittens
  • Cover mittens (We recommend Gore-tex), COMPULSORY
  • A backpack of 75/85 liters capacity
  • One pair of trekking or ski poles with snow baskets
  • Sleeping bag rated -10 C, Duvet or synthetic
  • Insulating sleeping pad length (we recommend Therm-a-rest brand)
  • Plastic bottle (if possible, wide mouth, Nalgene type)
  • One-liter thermos for every two people sharing a tent
  • Headlamp (with replacement batteries)
  • Multi-purpose penknife
  • Mug, bowl, knife, spoon & fork
  • Sunscreen cream (SPF 50)
  • Lipstick with sunscreen (SPF 50)
  • Personal first aid kit with personal medicines
  • Wide adhesive tape for blisters
  • Hygiene items reduced to the minimum necessary
  • Waterproof bags to pack clothes and keep it dry
  • Photographic equipment reduced to a minimum
  • Reading/writing material (cut to a minimum)

Booking Code: E – FRE 30