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Patagonia travel photos: hiking, skiing, ski touring, Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of Patagonia travel photos, hiking, ski touring, and skiing, which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. The photos are from a backcountry skiing trip to Los Glaciares National Park, in the Patagonia region of Argentina. The approach hike and ski led along Rio Electrico and under Fitzroy, then up through Paso Marconi to Refugio Garcia-Soto.
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from February 14, 2005:
Skiing in Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina,
October-November, 2004, part 1 of 2:
Days 1-8: the trip in, Gorra Blanca saddle, Fitzroy views

South America map, Patagonia highlighted
South America map,
Patagonia highlighted
Southern tip of South America: Patagonia map
Southern tip of South
America: Patagonia map
Hiking-skiing route topographic map
Hiking-skiing route
topographic map
Cerro Torre and Fitzroy from El Chalten
Cerro Torre and Fitzroy
from El Chalten
Registering at El Chalten customs office
Registering at El
Chalten customs office
Don Guerra, El Chalten horse packer
Don Guerra, El
Chalten horse packer
Poincenot, Fitzroy, and Cerro Electrico
Poincenot, Fitzroy, and
Cerro Electrico
Rio Electrico trailhead, with Cerro Electrico
Rio Electrico trailhead,
with Cerro Electrico
Wind protected camp
Wind protected camp
Stefan Glowacz' tents at La Playita
Stefan Glowacz'
tents at La Playita
La Playita on Rio Electrico
La Playita on
Rio Electrico
Something nasty
Something nasty
Inside snow cave below Paso Marconi
Inside snow cave
below Paso Marconi
View down the Marconi Glacier
View down the Marconi Glacier
Hauling to snow cave below Paso Marconi
Hauling to snow cave
below Paso Marconi
Entrance to snow cave below Paso Marconi
Entrance to snow cave
below Paso Marconi
Aguja Pollone and Cerro Piergiorgio
Aguja Pollone and
Cerro Piergiorgio
Cerro Piramide from Refugio Garcia-Soto
Cerro Piramide from
Refugio Garcia-Soto
View south from Refugio Garcia-Soto
View south from
Refugio Garcia-Soto
View east from refugio to Gorra Blanca
View east from refugio
to Gorra Blanca
View north with Refugio Garcia-Soto
View north with
Refugio Garcia-Soto
Silas glides toward Fitzroy
Silas glides toward Fitzroy
Erik at day's high point on Gorra Blanca
Erik at day's high
point on Gorra Blanca
Just another beautiful day
Just another beautiful day
Cerro Ilse, Gorra Blanca, and Gorra Blanca Sur
Cerro Ilse, Gorra Blanca,
and Gorra Blanca Sur
Erik, Agujas Guillaumet, Mermoz, Fitzroy
Erik, Agujas Guillaumet,
Mermoz, Fitzroy
Sunset sastrugi
Sunset sastrugi
Hielo Patagonico Sur with marine clouds
Hielo Patagonico Sur
with marine clouds
Evening light on Cerro Ilse and Gorra Blanca
Evening light on Cerro
Ilse and Gorra Blanca
Skiing toward Gorra Blanca on summit day
Skiing toward Gorra
Blanca on summit day
Continued in the following gallery: Gorra Blanca summit day and beyond.

Photos by Erik Berg and Silas Wild


Erik has photos available for purchase: Patagonia high quality photographic prints



Backcountry skiing trip report:
Skiing in Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina,
October-November, 2004, part 1 of 2: Days 1-8

    Only an hour into our five hour bus ride to the border town of El Chalten, Argentina, we had our first glimpse of Cerro Fitzroy 50 miles away and the summit was clear of clouds! We reached the outlet of Lago Viedma at sunset and our anticipation grew through the darkening twilight as we got closer and closer to that skyline made famous by the clothing company logo. We arrived at our hosteria around midnight, and luckily my bladder got me up around 6AM just as the sun was rising. We ran outside to take photos of the bluebird weather, a rarity in these parts, then dove under our duvets for another couple hours sleep.
    At 8:30 AM our blind date climbing partner came knocking at our door and joined us for the hotel's cold breakfast. Wolfgang, a friend of a friend of a friend of mine, would be part of our expedition since his partner had not yet arrived, already ten days late. Wolfie is a 70 year old Austrian who has been skiing for 68 of those years, with a style and accent similar to Fred Beckey (including a way with the ladies). He had arranged a horse packer to take some of our gear as far as possible, and a porter for a couple days more.
    Erik walked to the Ranger Station to get our permit, and learned we also needed to visit the Customs Office to register our electronic equipment, in case we ran into Chilean border officials on the icecap! Of course the office was closed until 2PM, but showing up promptly at the afternoon opening, the permit process took only an hour.
    The weather was so perfect and we were so enthused that Erik and I took a taxi to the trailhead that afternoon, while Wolf spent another night in El Chalten. We had more spectacular views of Fitzroy and surrounding peaks on the drive, and then a beautiful flat trail walk through Southern beech forests to a grassy campsite at 7PM. It was a perfect warmup hike to shake off jet lag and check for potential hot spots on our feet and backs from the heavy packs. The usual Patagonian breeze had kicked up and the end of good weather was upon us.
    We slept long and deep, especially after first waking in the morning to light snow. By 10:30 we had packed up and within half an hour arrived at Piedra del Fraile where Wolf and his porter had been waiting for us and the horse packer, who showed up soon after with all of Wolf's gear, our skis and sleds. His porter shouldered the three pairs of skis and the sleds along with overnight gear and food for himself, and we continued on to la Playita, the "little beach" at the west end of Lago Electrico.
    That only took us a couple hours but it was fairly breezy and since the next campsite was three hours further on, we decided to set up our tents for the night. We enjoyed meeting six burly Germans, members of the Stefan Glowacz Cerro Murallon expedition, which included a 51 year old cigarette smoking Patagonia clothing sales rep who had carried a load of 50kg into camp.
    The next morning we awoke to a winter wonderland and near whiteout breezy conditions. After lunch the weather seemed brighter, so we carried small loads for a few hours to a moraine on the Glaciar Marconi, and returned to the beach. Our German friends decided instead to head for El Chalten, real food, wine, women, and song.
    The following day was more of the same weather, so we loaded up the rest of our gear and walked beyond our cache to a steep snowslope where we dug a snowcave for a quiet night out of the wind. Unfortunately we were soaked from the digging and Wolf had a down jacket and sleeping bag, so the next morning he returned to the beach to dry his gear, while Erik and I lounged in the quiet cave until we heard voices, a group of three from Bozeman, planning to cross the icecap and climb new routes on an unclimbed peak on the Cordon Mariano Moreno. Spurred to action we descended the glacier to our cache, and brought the remaining gear up to our cave.
    Wolfgang showed up at 8 the next morning ready to ski and pull a sled toward the Chilean hut five hours further on. The German expedition was not far behind, hauling big loads. Fortunately the Bozemaniacs had given us the exact location of the refugio, because we only found it by GPS navigation in the whiteout. Of course there was the usual dispute over whether the GPS could really be reading properly, did we have the proper declination keyed in, and might it operate differently in the Southern hemisphere. The answers were yes, yes, and no.
    The hut was a spacious palace, though not in regal order, and we enjoyed a huge stew of surprise ingredients found there, cooked over the giant propane stove and shared with the other group. Our food had to be hung, who knows how the mice arrived (perhaps by helicopter?), but we did hear them at work that night. Our companions had been carefully charting the weather and barometric trends the past week, and decided the next morning was time to move out with all their gear to cross the icecap.
    It was already our seventh day, and we were only twelve hours walk from the road, if you knew the way and the weather were good. By noon things seemed to be clearing so Erik and I headed out for a ski tour up Gorra Blanca. We gained 3000' in warm, calm conditions, and then a few hundred feet later reached a very windy col. Storm clouds were covering the summit of Gorra Blanca and headed down toward our level, so we "carved beautiful turns" back to the hut. That night a strong breeze blew snow through the few small cracks in the hut floor and covered Erik and his bag.
    The next morning the wind had died and the sun was melting the clouds. The temperature in the hut had risen ten degrees, pressure was high and slightly rising. By noon the sky was clear and winds were calm. We lounged away the afternoon enjoying spectacular views, and even caught a glimpse of the Germans marching across the ice three miles from us. Sundown and twilight provide hours of beautiful mountain light and we enjoyed another full dinner. I was concerned about wasting a perfect day, but Wolf and Erik were confident that the best was yet to come.
   Silas

Continued in the following gallery: to the summit of Gorra Blanca.

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Photos ©2004 Erik Berg and Silas Wild  (copyright info here)
Photos used with permission
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