Trekking to Southern Patagonian Ice Field
(Paso del Viento-Mount Huemul)

A trekking program to discover the fascinating geography of the region surrounding the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, starting with the sighting of its entrance, Mount Huemul and Viedma Glacier. This area is one of the most desolate and inhospitable in the whole Los Glaciares National Park.

Trekking to Southern Patagonian Ice Field

5 days - 5 nights

The trekking starts at El Chaltén town, at the edge of the Andes Mountain Range. You will head to Toro Lagoon. Upon arrival to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado you will make a stop to observe the majestic view of the huge mountains. On the second trekking day, after breakfast, you will head to Tunel River, crossing it through a ford, to arrive to our destination for the day: Paso del Viento.

Trekking to Southern Patagonian Ice Field

This area is the gateway to the Continental Ice Fields. During the whole day, you will ascend almost 3,300 ft from Toro Lagoon to Paso del Viento. In the afternoon you will start descending towards Viedma Shelter. The third day opens up with a beautiful view of Viedma Glacier. On this day, you will explore the Continental Ice Field, entering the glacier using crampons and snow rackets. At the end of the day, you will return to Paso del Viento. On the fourth day, you will head to Paso Huemul and arrive at Viedma Lake in order to camp and rest. The views of Viedma Glacier are unique. On the last day of trekking on the continental ice fields, you will leave Viedma Glacier sailing as far as Puerto Túnel (Tunnel Port) and then you will travel to El Chalten where the Patagonian adventure ends. The trekking to Paso del Viento and Mount Huemul is 3 miles long, with an average of 3 hours of hike reaching a height of 3,300 ft.

5 days - 5 nights

Day 1 - From El Chaltén to Toro

On the first day of the tour, you will hike to the base camp at Toro lagoon on alternating trails surrounded by forest and gravel paths surrounded by rock formations. You will walk through this uneven terrain enjoying the spectacular views offered by the majestic Patagonian landscape, such as granite massifs that can be observed from a panoramic view point at Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. Upon arrival to Toro Lagoon camp, you rest and spend the night.

  • Accommodation: Laguna Toro Camp (wild area)
  • Meals: Lunch Box and Dinner
  • Grade: 1,000 ft ascent
  • From / To: El Calafate / Toro Lagoon

Day 2 - Paso del Viento: Entrance to Southern Patagonian Ice Field

Rising up early in the morning and after breakfast, you will border the Toro Lagoon and cross Tunel River, crossing a ford by zip line, depending on weather conditions and river levels. Afterwards, you will start the hike to Paso del Viento, which is the point to ascent the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. During this trekking you will ascent about 3,000 ft above Toro Lagoon’s level on your way to Paso del Viento, crossing the glacier and the high rocky grounds which will dazzle you with their splendid views, until you reach the fabulous panoramic view of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Upon arrival at this point, you take a break to contemplate the scenery. From that spot, you will start your descent to Viedma Shelter where you will camp for the night.

  • Accommodation: Paso del Viento Camp-Shelter (wild area)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Box and Dinner
  • Grade: 3,300 ft ascent.
  • From / To: Toro Lagoon / Paso del Viento

Day 3 - Southern Patagonian Ice Field: Viedma Glacier

You will wake up in the morning surrounded by the magnificent Viedma Glacier. After breakfast, you get ready for a full day of trekking at the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Ice rackets and crampons will be alternatively used according to surface conditions (ice hardness and other features to be evaluated by your mountain guides) providing a very different experience as far as trekking is concerned. Also, the surrounding scenery of ice, snow and rocks is fascinating. Views are superb and you can observe the Cordón Mariano Moreno (Mariano Moreno Mountain Range) and the Viedma and Witte Nunataks. As the sun goes down, you return to Paso del Viento Shelter to rest after this long day, have dinner and recover yourself for the next day.

  • Accommodation: Paso del Viento Camp-Shelter (wild area)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Box and Dinner
  • From / To: Paso del Viento / Returning to Paso del Viento

Day 4 - Paso Huemul

Like in previous days, your activity starts in the morning after breakfast. Today, you will enjoy a long trekking along the mountainside of Mount Huemul. You will go around almost one full turn, surrounded by incredible sceneries of Andean meadows, lagoons and rocky formations which make this a unique place. Then you will arrive at the camp site called Paso Huemul to enjoy an incredible panoramic view of Viedma Glacier, continuing on your way as far as the Viedma Lake and after hiking for some 5 miles you will get ready to spend the night on this place. 

  • Accommodation: Paso Huemul Camp Site (wild area)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Box and Dinner
  • Grade: 650 ft ascent and 330 ft descent..
  • From / To: Paso del Viento / Viedma Lake

Day 5 - From Viedma Lake and El Chaltén

After breakfast, on the least exhausting day, you will head to Bahía Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn Bay) to finally arrive at Bahía Tunel (Tunnel Bay) where your trekking ends. At this point you will continue on a land transfer for some 9 miles until you reach El Chalten, where this thrilling adventure ends. End of the service.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Box and Dinner
  • From / To: Viedma Lake / El Chaltén
  • Grade: 2,000 ft descent

Services

Included Services

  • Mountain Guide and Assistant, depending on number of passengers.
  • G.P.S. (Global Positioning System)
  • Radio for communications with El Chaltén town.
  • Kitchenware and dishware sets.
  • Crampons, snow rackets and technical equipment.
  • Accommodation and meals detailed on each program.
  • Crampons, snow rackets and technical equipment.
  • Transfers to Bahía Túnel and to El Chaltén from there.

Services Not Included

  • Transfer from and to El Chaltén.
  • Personal equipment (sleeping bag, insulation mat, etc). Renting is optional if you are not carrying your equipment.
  • Tips
  • Services not mentioned on the described itinerary.

General information

Note: Approximate load for the trekking from the second day on averages 40 pounds. We recommend that personal baggage be as reduced as possible, specially a light sleeping bag. The trekking on the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is carried out through a very inhospitable area. During the first day, the llamas carry the equipment of the group, such as tents, ropes, harnesses, food, etc. From the second day on, passengers are in charge of carrying their own equipment and part of the group’s equipment. The estimate load is a maximum of 44 pounds per hiker. This program does not include lunch tents (tents with tables and stools), since this kind of comforts are secondary in this case.

Recommended gear for the trekking

The following is the suggest equipment and clothing required for the trekking:

  • 50 litre rucksack
  • Synthetic interior garments
  • Long Sleeved T-Shirt and another of cotton
  • Walking trousers
  • Under trousers without feet
  • Polar jumper
  • A pair of leggings and a pair of gloves
  • Two pairs of woolen socks
  • Two pairs of light socks
  • Walking shoes
  • Woolen hat (better woolen than fibre)
  • Sun visor
  • Hand and bath towel
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun cream protector
  • Torch
  • Walking sticks (fundamental)
  • Documents necessary to enter to Chile (Passport etc.)
  • Personal medicines

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