Tours and Activities:
Martial Glacier AscentMarcos RodríguezJorge González
Close to the city, Martial Glacier is a great option for nature lovers.
Martial Glacier, only a few kilometers from the city center is one of the most outstanding natural attractions not only because of the awesome view it provides, but because it can be visited throughout the year as well.
One thousand and fifty meters MSL, Martial Glacier was named in honor of explorer Luis Fernando Martial, leader of the French scientific expedition which arrived in 1883. To reach the glacier, visitors must go up the winding street bearing the same name. It is paved and clearly indicated and is kept free of snow during the winter to ensure road safety.
In the summer season, it is ideal for activities such as trekking. There are different options regarding difficulty and duration. Although it is completely covered in snow in winter, tourists can still enjoy Martial as there is a 56-square-kilometer ski centre, easily accessed by a chair lift. Alpine and off-piste skiing are especially appealing to more experienced skiers.
UP IN THE CLOUDS
The ride in the chair lift to the trails leading up to the glacier provides one of the most amazing views of the city, the Beagle Channel and its islands. At the exit of the chair lift are the shelter of the Club Andino Ushuaia and the trail to the base of the glacier, which runs alongside a little mountain river in its last stages.
Another option is walking on ice. The first slope is the steepest, although the ascent is not particularly difficult. Previous experience is recommended and appropriate gear required. Should the ascent take place during spring or autumn, special care must be taken to avoid possible cracks in the ice bridges.
From the highest point there is a spectacular view of Andorra Valley, Vinciguerra Glacier and Mount as well as postcard pictures of the Beagle Channel, Navarino and Hoste Islands.
There are also options for visitors who choose not to walk on the ice: the ascent along Cañadón Negro (Black Gorge), a large valley to the right of Martial Glacier. There is a small amphitheatre at the top of the gorge with a breathtaking view of the islands in the Beagle Channel.
Continuing along the road taken to ascend, visitors will reach the chair lift that will take them down to the parking lot and several tea houses where they can treat themselves to delicious home made cakes. They can also descend on foot and delight in the views of the city.