journey report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles
One in every of my massive targets for this Patagonia journey was to do the NEWLY well-liked Huemul Circuit out of El Chaltén, Argentina’s Trekking Capital or Capital Nacional del Trekking. (I do have El Chaltén included in my checklist of the highest 10 mountain climbing cities of the world.)
Huemul is a troublesome, distant, wild go to to the Southern Patagonian Ice Area, the second largest on the planet.
Right here I name Huemul a route moderately than a path as a result of navigation may be very difficult, particularly in low visibility. I obtained misplaced Three occasions for 1-2 hours, for instance. ☹️
As climate was good, I rushed to get on the Huemel the day after my arrival.
NOTHING went proper.
For instance, after shopping for the required (and pretty ineffective) map, I made a decision to CARBO LOAD 🙄 with a half kilo of gourmand ice-cream. In that brief go to I managed to lose my new map. Did it blow away? … And had to return to the shop to purchase a substitute. ☹️
I should have walked 20km round city merely attempting to get allow, gear and meals for the journey. Many companies nonetheless take a Three-Four hour siesta middle-of-the-day in Chaltén. ☹️
I waited for the retailers to open to lease my Tyrolean Traverse harness, tools you’re suppose to point out whereas filling out free registration on the Nationwide Park info station.
Rangers gave me glorious recommendation. Warned me of even BIGGER WINDS THAN USUAL forecast for day 2. And had me watch an orientation video for the Huemul.
They DISCOURAGE inexperienced hikers. And advocate you are taking a information.
It was almost 5pm earlier than I began strolling up the path.
One GREAT factor in regards to the Chaltén hikes is that each one the favored ones stroll out-of and back-to city. There’s no transport wanted to get to trailheads.
It’s a simple begin on the properly trod Laguna Toro path. About 15km to succeed in the campground.
Bizarre had been the lots of of 1000’s of caterpillars on this part. Over the Four days I by chance touched two — very painful.
The climate was beautiful for this a part of the world.
Off to my left was glacier fed Lago Viedma. That’s the place I’d be ending the loop.
Most of this journey is above tree line. However there are a couple of brief sections day 1 by way of darkish and gloomy forest.
After I noticed this signal I made a decision I’d cease wanting the official campsite.
Thus far navigation had been a bit of cake. There are stakes on grass. And a few random cairns on the rocky sections.
There’s Laguna Toro beneath the glacier.
I’d heard some unfavorable reviews. Mice at campgrounds are a nuisance, for instance. Individuals have died of Hantavirus within the Andes.
Right here’s one species of mouse I discovered useless on the path.
I arrange in a cow pasture with this beautiful view to the river.
Wild Tenting just isn’t allowed within the Nationwide Park. However I couldn’t see any hurt.
No fly was required. The night time completely clear. My greatest star gazing to this point. I did see the Southern Cross.