At El Chaltén, travelers may navigate Lake Viedma up to the ancient walls of its glacier and then walk on it with the aid of crampons. A fantastic experience.
Túnel Bay lies just a few minutes away from El Chaltén and it is the starting point to navigate across Lake Viedma on a modern catamaran. Passengers may land on the shore and walk on the glacier bearing the same name.
The firm Patagonia Aventura has launched this modern watercraft for visitors to have the chance of coming close to the glacier in order to behold the colors, cracks, formations and listen to the sounds made by this wonder of nature.
At the Tourist Information Office in El Chaltén, Patagonia Aventura offered three tours. They could be done in half a day, all day or adventurers might choose to spend the night.
To see the glacier from a different perspective
Navigate Lake Viedma
To behold the colors, cracks
Walk on it with the aid of crampons
Light-blue and even blue
A really memorable adventure
Viedma Light consists in a two-and-a-half-hour navigation across Lake Viedma. It takes visitors down to the glacier and its 40-meter-high walls.
Viedma Ice Trek consists in navigating only to land on the Viedma Glacier and walk on it with the aid of crampons. This hiking tour on the ice takes two hours and a half. The other tour has been specially designed for physically fit travelers. It takes nine hours and it is called Viedma Pro.
We landed on an area with large rocks that looked burnt and washed out. Our eyes were not wrong. “These rocks were occupied by glaciers for thousands of years; their colors give proof of the cold temperatures as well as of the pressure of the ice”.
After walking for a while, we reached the spot where the rock meets the glacier and it was at this moment when we started to put on the crampons in order to go up and climb.
We started to walk in a single file. Juan was leading the small troop. “The secret is to open your legs wide and take short but firm steps. This way, it is impossible to get tired or to be in risk of getting hurt with the crampon edges. This is essential to keep the excursion going.”
White, light-blue and even blue walls followed one another as we discovered the different parts of the glacier and even appreciated some we just dared to behold without getting too close to the dangerous sections.
Juan is one of those guys who is full of peace and that is evident both in the way he talks and walks, as well as in the way he moves through life. Not anyone can climb the Fitz Roy on its most difficult side. He had.
He had a surprise for us. Holding his pick axe, he started to break up the ice and got a bottle of Baileys from his backpack. We need not tell what happened next. The glasses cheered up the moment as we all had a well-deserved rest in order to keep on discovering some really magical areas on the glacier.
Ice ridges, deep blue cracks and frozen ice ponds appeared on the last segment of this wonderful tour.
There is no doubt that the Viedma Ice Trek is one of the best excursions to choose at El Chaltén. Ice scenes. Hues ranging from white to extreme blue. A really memorable adventure.
Pablo Etchevers Jorge González
Contact of the excursion or tour
Patagonia Aventura S. A.
San Martín 56 (9301) El Chaltén, Santa CruzTel: +54 2962-493110
See more points of interest in El Chaltén