Climbing the Glaciar Torre... Oh My God!

El Chalten Travel Blog

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El Chalten

After 3.5 hours from El Calafate on a ChaltenTravel bus ( although there are many companies serving this service), living at 13.30, we finally got to El Chalten. The scenery on the way is again breathtaking, and once you get there, it will seem like you are in the middle of nowhere, just finding yourself.
El Chalten is a great place to go to if you like trekking. There are quite a few paths which take between 2 to 4 hours, taking you to Laguna Torre, (where you can see the amazings Glaciar Torre and Cerro Torre), Laguna Madre and Laguna Hija, and  Cerro Fitz Roy, one of the hardest mountains to climb in the World! 

There are one or two day trips to El Chalten from El Calafate with the overnight option, but my advice is to just head to El Chalten and stay there for as long as you like. It is a really cosy village and people are very friendly.

There is a small Refugio I'd like to recommend, rightly called 'El Refugio', just off the main street Av San Martin. Doña Flora is a very nice host, and you will be shocked with so much welcoming in this small, very basic but homey refugio. There are hot showers 24 hours, a kitchen, and heater, and although breakfast is not included, the price is one of the best in El Chalten. $40 with sheets or $30 if you bring your own or your sleeping bag.

In El Chalten you will also find 1 supermarket La Tostadora, many kioskos and internet cybers, good bakeries, mountain equipment rental shops and a few restaurants, although I recomend El Viejo (expect to pay between $40 to $50 per course)... and if you just fancy a pizza qith some beers, go to what is know as ' La Cerveceria' , a really cool place where you can have a good time, although is a bit noise, or I'd rather say busy.
A good place to go to after is Aires, a restaurant that turns into a club after midnight!!

Climbing Glaciar Torre

'Of course do not consider the last tip if you are climbing the glaciar the day after.'

If you like something a bit more extreme than just going throw the path, and of course did not want to spend $550 pesos at Glaciar Perito Moreno, than this is the right place to climb a Glaciar.

There are many companies that organize this kind of excursion, but I  recommend this two:  Chalten Travel and Mountaneering, the prices are  the same $300 for a full day guided tour. It is tough tho, as you will be laeving at 7 am and will be back just after 8 pm.  There are two hours walk to Laguna Torre, then another hour and a half to get to the Glaciar, and about two hours On the Glaciar, where you will be wearing Grampons and will probably be shitting yourself by such an amazing experience!!

If you are to do this tour, ask for Dante  Alegria. He was our  guide. Very knoledgeable, not just about the glaciar, but about thee vegetation, the hystory of Chalten, and  everything that has to do with Mountain sports and climbers. Amazing!

An option you have insteadf of doing the whole day walk is, as I did, to Camp at the Laguna Torre Camping 'De Agostini' (free), and then continue walking the next day.

You will get amazing views if you are lucky with the weather, and believe it or not, statisticaly, the best days to be there are from Sat to Monday.

I was with a Travel Companion, Olivier. We planned to camp for two night, but decided then, that was better and enough to just do one night up in the mountains and the second back in El Refugio. It was a right choice. On Tuesday it rained all day, but Doña Flora let us stay even after the check out, so we spend the whole day just chiling and having teas...really enjoyng the 'lazyng day', something you really need when traveling a lot.

Heading now from El Calten to Bariloche...

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El Chalten
photo by: mountaingirl