Laguna Torre Trek

Day 8 – Monday 15th October 2018
El Chaltén; Laguna Torre Trek
Distance travelled:-
By plane – 0
By foot – 31.9kms/ 19.84 miles
By public transport – 0
Steps taken – 46,497


It’s spring time here in Patagonia, with the 1st November being classed as the first day of summer…

…Today it snowed.

We came here with our eyes wide open in terms of the weather and time of year we would visit Patagonia. On planning our trip we weighed up the pros and cons, possible extreme weather versus hoards of people. We went with the possible extreme weather and felt we could cope better with the weather extremities than the extremities of too many people on the trails.

Even in Patagonia’s ‘summer months’ it can still experience snow and high winds, there are no guarantees here.

We had read that the weather is notoriously unpredictable and you can experience high winds, heavy rain, snow and beautiful sunshine…all in one day!

At this time of year though it is much quieter on the trails and in general to enjoy nature for what it is. There is also something quite appealing to me about being up against extremities. Mother nature of course is always winning, but I can take that.

Being from Scotland we are used to cold, wind and snow, we’re a tough kind of breed! Although I must remember Andy is not and being Irish can be a little sensitive…I’ll need to keep my eye on him!!!

Today’s plan was to hike to Laguna Torre.

So from here we should have got a view of the Cerro Solo, Adela range, and Cerro Torro….we saw none of these!

But what we did see was a huge glacier – Glacier Grande!

So we started of our hike from the town, in the wind, with slight snow blowing through. Today’s wind was colder than yesterday’s, pretty biting actually. But we were here for the hiking and hiking we would do!

We knew looking at the forecast and purely just being outside that it would take a miracle to get views of the mountains today, but we knew other views were to be had and we would take what came our way.

So the trail entered the Fitz Roy river valley and continued following the river upstream.

The water coming off the glacier was so milky looking

Massive meandering waterfall from top of photo all the way to the bottom

After 15 minutes we should have had a view. What we got was a full on snow storm!

Me looking at ‘artists interpretation’ of view we should have seen…and sulking at what I was actually seeing!!

But there was something pretty cool about just being here in this weather if I’m being honest.

It gave us a slight taste as to the conditions, and so much worse, that these people deal with daily…very hardy people!

The walk was stunning and took several hours, just over 8hrs covering 26km in total…taking into account a pit stop for lunch and 50 million stops for photo opportunities!

It was tough conditions. It was windy, cold, and snowing and the snow got heavier and heavier…we battled on.

Biting winds howled across the landscape. View point after view point came and went, we saw a continuous whiteout.

On eventually reaching Laguna Torre we should have saw Glacier Gray at the far side but again we were restricted by the weather.

It was slightly frustrating knowing these giant mountains were all around us, you could feel their presence but could not see them and also knowing this huge glacier sat before u but again we could not see it.

So we decided to do a slight ridge walk to get a better view.

I should point out here that being in the valley the wind had slightly died down so we were good to go….and we did!

It was well worth the effort. By the time we got to the other end of the lagoon we could see the glaciers beauty.

There was something special about this one, maybe it was because we had worked so hard to get here, she looked rugged in the middle of no-where; maybe it was the conditions we had today made it feel like we were seeing her in her natural surroundings; maybe it was because we had her all to ourselves, there was not a soul around, no-one but us on the whole trek!

This was one huge glacier and one of many scintillating glaciers found in the Park and here she was at the base of Mt Fitz Roy, who was just behind her! Did I tell you we couldn’t see it though!!!

Patagonia is packed with natural beauty, a host to some of the most breathtaking glaciers. These glaciers are dramatically set between jagged rocks sweeping down into lagoons…it’s special.

After a lot of photo taking, which could not capture this glaciers glory due to the weather conditions, we reluctantly left as we had a long walk back and were aware that the light was fading!

So even although we once again have not witnessed those peaks we did witness unspoilt wilderness.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Alice Reid says:

    Well you did climb Benarty during The Beast from the East…good preparation😀 hope you leave word at Base camp as to your whereabouts!!! NOTICED SOME ORANGE rocks in the water is that a phenomena of the region ? Now we’ve seen Andy ‘s back so we are getting somewhere. Hope the weather improves for you but still beautiful views. Take care😞.Love/God Bless. AUNTIE Alice xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…yes and the snow was much deeper then…see there’s sometimes method to my madness in doing these things! Yes those orange rocks where on the trail yesterday quite a bit especially around the water’s edge… beautiful and bright…will need to check up on them. Weather forecast for our time here is looking tricky…when we first arrived it was looking like Wednesday was the day to do the biggest hike we’ve woke up today with the ground covered in snow with more snow forecast. Its to be expected here so we have to take what were given…watch this space! Lots of love x

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  2. Helena Brogan says:

    Fantastic photos …must’ve been a shock to wake up to snow. I thought I spotted a bit of blue sky in one photo and did we see a bit of Mount Fitzroy in another?. I’d never ever heard of this mountain before..now I’m waiting with baited breath hoping you’ll see it!! I imagine you were pleased to get back to your little pink house at the end of your hike. What type of food are you eating to keep up all that energy…Lots of steaks?? I’m noting the steps you’ve walked…I’ll never keep up with that! Hope tomorrow brings the sun out again.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. More of a shock today waking up to see the ground totally covered in snow! Yes there was blue sky in one of those photos…away at the other side of the valley, nowhere near us or the mountain tops we were trying to see…it looked promising but nothing materialised! Yes I’ve looked at photographs of that mountain many a time back home, so a glimpse for me in real life would be something, I’d take that! Yesterday was a relief to see that pink house for sure. So yes I was going to mention the food, I may leave it for today’s blog but let me tell you, meat, coffee and wine AMAZING…so far everything we have ate, spot on! It’s amazing when you watch those steps how much you are actually doing isn’t it! We shall see what today brings! X

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      1. I should have also said that the mountains ‘just’ visible were the smaller mountains not the big ones! X

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  3. Jane boyd says:

    Hi guy’s, great pics again, hope you are wearing your thermals,how has your shoulder been? Weather looks very cold, hope you have kept a wee bottle of red wine in your wee house for dinner to toast your safe return . Hope your weather doesn’t get any worse, don’t want it to spoil your all your planned walks. All well back home,weather Good, on holiday now for a week. Say hi to Andy xx l❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We have plenty layers on us and carry more in the rucksack so all good! Shoulder has played up a few times but all good really. Yesterday at points in the valley it got warm out of the wind but as soon as you hit that wind freezing😮! House is nice and cozy and it was great to get back yesterday, there’s always that bottle of red waiting on our return 😁. Woke up today with the ground covered in snow and more forecast but things here change so drastically…I hope they change drastically enough so we can get the big walk in to see the mountains which are all still huffed from view! Great weather has picked up for you guys back home, especially for holidays. Enjoy whatever you get up to….Andy says hi also x

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  4. Theresa Skelhorn says:

    Hi Still amazing views looks quite magical in the snow, as you say no guarantees weather wise and it changes so quickly. You just need a little break in the weather to get on with what you hoped to see. Just had a look at the weather forecast for El Calafate area looks as if it is improving as the week goes on.Take care xx

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    1. Hi there….that’s what we thought….it somehow felt quite magical and dramatic seeing it in that weather yesterday 😍. Weather is so unpredictable here, I thought north of Scotland was unpredictable, things have hit a whole new level 😲! Cloudy today again! Thing is that mountain is sitting literally right to the back of town and you should see it from anywhere in town…it’s slightly frustrating 😩! So yes starting to feel like a weather girl here checking every weather site….it looks like we are going to have to do the hike before leaving in Thursday appears to be best day…Friday guess what is full sunshine 🙈…it’s a 10 hour hike our bus leaves at 6pm…yip do the maths….it’s going to be an early rise….. Himalayas all over again 😂😁 x

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