Project Description

Fitz Roy & Torres Del Paine, Patagonia

Location: Argentina & Chile – Patagonia
Price: £3350 per person excluding flights
Ratio: There are nine spaces and I will be assisted by local guides and another British instructor.
Length: 14 days

Introduction
This is a two week trekking expedition to Patagonia taking in the best of Argentina and Chile including trekking beneath Fitz Roy, the Torres del Paine and a nautical safari to visit the ice walls of the famous Glacier Grey.

Pre-Requirements
You need to be a fit and active walker. There is no climbing and no high altitude element to the trip so no technical skills are required but you need to be happy walking for 2 weeks, have an appetite for adventure and happy to go with the flow of adventurous travel.

Trip Video
Here is a video from our 2015 expedition:

Summary of the Trek
Day 1 and 2
Fly to El Calafate via Madrid and Buenos Aires.

Day 3
Sightseeing at El Calafate and then drive to El Chalten at the foot of Fitz Roy.
Day 4
Route: Laguna de los Tres
Level of difficulty: medium
Distance: 17 Km.
Time: 6 hours
Overnight: Laguna Capri Campsite
Today, we will trek a trail to Poicenot Camp, then it continues across Blanco River. From there the path climbs to reach Los Tres Lagoon. The trail ends at the ancient arete of the glacial moraine, with an extraordinary view of the Laguna and Los Tres Glacier. This is the closest granitic wall of Fitz Roy and its powerful spires. Going down from the moraine, the path goes around till find Sucia Lagoon and its hanging Glaciers. If there are no clouds then the first minutes after sunrise the hills will dye a magical red color: a very beautiful view.
Day 5
Route: Laguna Torre
Level of difficulty: easy
Distance: 12 Km.
Time: 4 hours
Overnight: Laguna Torre Campsite
This trek goes through Fitz Roy Valley until it’s source in Laguna Torre, always inside of the National Park. The trail has some panoramic points that include: Solo hill, Cordon Adela and the impressive Torre hill. A little before, the camp Padre D Agostini (no-services camp) is placed. Laguna Torre is 500 meters away from there by the river banks: Torre Glacier and the front of Grande Glacier, Torre and Mocho hills, Egger tower, and Standhardt, Bifida, Cuatro Dedos spires can be seen on a spectacular view. Camp D’Agostini is one of the most popular, being a base for expeditions that try to climb the spires of this area.
Photo – Torre Lagoon

Day 6
Route: Loma del Pliegue Tumbado
Level of difficulty: moderate
Distance: 15 Km.
Time: 8 hours
Overnight: Hotel Altas Cumbres
We leave El Chalten on the trail that heads towards Laguna Toro. Having walked for about an hour in ascent and crossed over small streams and through some Nires and Lengas forests, we arrive at an exposed area with a picture postcard view of Mount Fitz Roy, Torre and Huemul. The end is the Summit of Pliegue Tumbado Mount. Return to El Chalten.
Day 7
Route: To Torres Del Paine
Distance: 550 Km by private bus
Overnight: Las Torres Campsite
Private shuttle from El Chalten to Torres Del Paine crossing the Argentinean/Chilean border. We will arrive to one of the most beautiful parks in the World, Torres del Paine. Transportation will leave us at Las Torres Campsite at the foot of Paine Massif and with an amazing view of the Paine Towers.
Photo – Torres Del Paine
Day 8
Route: Lookout of Torres Del Paine
Level of difficulty: moderate
Distance: 18 Km.
Time: 7 hours
Overnight: Las Torres Campsite (food provided by local guides)
Our first trekking in the Park goes up to the lookout of the Towers, about 700 meters of elevation, one of the highlights of the park. Seen from up close, the Towers stand next to a beautiful green lagoon with a vertical rock face towering more than 1.000 meters directly upward, it is in two words: awe inspiring.
Photo – Paine Massif
Day 9
Route: To Bader Valley
Level of difficulty: moderate
Distance: 16 Km.
Time: 5 to 6 hours
Overnight: Bader Campsite (food provided by local guides)
Today we will trek along a trail known as the “Cuernos Pass” which links the Hotel Las Torres with Italiano Campsite. The last section of the trail passes along the slopes of Cerro Almirante Nieto. There is no official trail as this valley is only used by expeditions that are going to climb the walls of this mountain. This campsite is located in a small patch of Lenga trees and it has a small cabin which was built by the climbers themselves whilst they waited for good weather. It is considered to be the gateway to Bader Valley.
Photo – Bader Valley

Day 10
Route: Into the Bader Valley
Level of difficulty: medium
Distance: 16 Km.
Time: 5 to 6 hours
Overnight: Los Cuernos Refuge (food provided by the Refuge)
Leaving the woods we will find the north-western wall of the East Horn with it’s perfect granite forms. The ascent of the valley crosses an expansive glacial moraine of granite rocks which have formed small valleys and lagoons. The wind has given a very remarkable splendor to this place too.
On this trek it is possible to see the Hoja (Leaf), Mascara (Mask) and Espada (Sword) hills, all of them made of granite walls between 700 to 900 mts. high. From this Valley, we can appreciate a different perspective of Paine Towers, the big wall of the South Tower and the hanging Glacier on its base.
Trekking back to Los Cuernos Refuge.
Day 11
Route: To the French Valley
Level of difficulty: moderate
Distance: 23 Km.
Time: 8 to 9 hours
Overnight: Paine Grande Lodge (food provided by the Refuge)
The walk goes to reach Campamento Italiano, close to the French Glacier, which is famous for its constantly falling ice and small avalanches. We will continue climbing into the interior of the French Valley with the Principal and North Horn as our faithful companions during our approach to the first viewpoint of Valley. This is an awesome lookout, which offers a panoramic view of the western sector of the Valley and to mountains such as the North Peak of Paine Grande, Castillo, Cota 2000, Catedral, and Aleta del Tiburon amongst other granite peaks. The descent will take half a day to reach the Paine Grande Lodge, leaving behind the largest valley in Torres del Paine, a place full of history and of great mountaineering exploits in the 1970’s and 1980’s when the first ascents of many of the peaks were first achieved.
Photo – French Valley
Day 12
Route: To Grey Glacier
Level of difficulty: easy
Distance: 11 Km.
Time: 3 to 4 hours
Overnight: Kau Lodge or similar
Today we will trek to Grey Refuge, with amazing views of Grey Lake which has many giant blue icebergs floating on its grey waters, making this an unforgettable site. This path has several viewpoints to the Grey Glacier. Great views of the Cordillera Olguin and of Paine Grande Mountain, the highest mountain in Torres del Paine National Park. In the afternoon we will enjoy the Grey Glacier boat trip. This is a beautiful way to say goodbye to Paine, visiting the front of the Glacier by water. (2 hrs) The navigation ends at Lago Grey Hotel, where a private van will pick us up to take us to Puerto Natales.

Day 13
Free day in Puerto Natales. There are a range of activities that you can choose from, including kayaking amongst the ice bergs, pony trekking with a barbeque lunch and sport climbing – or you can enjoy a well earned rest and out your feet up!

Day 14
Route: Return to El Calafate
Distance: 260 Km.
Public bus from Puerto Natales to El Calafate Overnight Hotel Los Hielos
Day 14
Fly to UK (Not included)

Altitude:
There is no high altitude element to this trip.

The cost includes:

Leadership and instruction from me (Rob Johnson MIC & IML)
Certified Local Guide (1)
Assistant Local Guide (1)
Porters (3) for Torres Del Paine
Private Transportation & Public Transportation
Grey Glacier boat trip
Nautical safari to Perito Moreno
All meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner (describe on the itinerary)
2 Nights on Refuges: Los Cuernos / Paine Grande Lodge
4 Nights on Hotels in double rooms: El Calafate (2) El Chalten (1) Puerto Natales (1)
Camping Fee
Logistic included (permits and communications)

The cost Excludes:
Park ticket (Torres Del Paine) – £30
Plane Tickets – approx £800 this year
Insurance
Extras at the Refuges and Hotels
Lunch and Dinner of day 2 of the itinerary
Dinner of day 6
Lunch of the day 7
Dinner of the day 12
Lunch/Dinner of the day 13

Cancellation & Insurance
This trip is classed as an overseas expedition and is subject to our terms and conditions of booking so please make sure you read them before committing to the trip. Once you book an expedition I will reserve that space for you, hire local and UK staff and make arrangments in the country we are visiting. Hopefully you will have no need to cancel but if you do I will try and re-sell the space for you. A deposit is required to book the course and is non-refundable. If you cancel less than 16 weeks before the course starts I can only offer a refund once I have sold the space on your behalf. Please take out cancellation insurance at your time of booking in case the unexpected happens. (Travel insurance is mandatory for the expedition anyway)

Each course member must have with them and show proof of insurance for the duration of the course on the first evening ie personal accident, rescue and public liability. Our approved insurance contractors are:

BMC: 0870 0104878 www.thebmc.co.uk

Kit List
We will send you a detailed kit list when you book. There is no climbing on this expedition and no high altitude trekking and so the kit requirement will be the same as it would in the UK. We will provide tents and sleeping bags.
Fitness & Health
It is worth pointing out that this is a remote mountain adventure. That has many positive points but on of the downsides is that if you become ill or injured then evacuation is very difficult. I therefore need every trip member to be fit and healthy before we leave and stay that way! For that reason I will send everyone that books a medical declaration that I need completed and returned to me ASAP.

The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy this trip. It is essential that you do some training in advance to prepare yourself. The sooner you can start a training programme the better, but its never too late.

To enjoy the trek you need to be happy walking all day with a rucksack on your back for 7 days in a row. An ideal training programme would be to spend as many weekends as possible walking in the mountains prior to the trip. If you can bag one or two summits on each day that you go out your fitness will soon improve.

Additionally you should aim for three sessions a week of aerobic exercise to get the heart pumping. I find swimming particularly good as it is a low impact all round work out but cycling and brisk walking are equally suitable.

Whatever exercise you choose start off very easily and slowly increase the duration of the exercise. Make sure you warm up before hand to avoid muscle pain and warm down slowly at the end. Vary your weekly routine or you will soon get bored.

Expedition Dossier
Once I recieve and confirm your booking I will send you a complete dossier that provides full and detailed information on the program, health preparations, kit list, accommodation etc.