El Chaltén ~ The Argentine Capital of Hiking:
Argentina claimed El Chaltén in 1997 after a territorial dispute with neighboring Chile. Mount Fitzroy, named for the first climber to hit the summit of this grand and majestic mountain, has beckoned climbers and hikers from the world over.
We asked several tour operators working in El Chaltén to tell us a little about their operations. The director of Mountaineering Patagonia was the very first to respond.
About Mountaineering Patagonia:
Mountaineering Patagonia was founded by Merlin Lipshitz in 2004, specializing in mountain excursions and adventure tourism in the mountainous region of El Chaltén and the National Glacier Park (Parque Nacional Los Glaciares). The company offers everything from easy hikes to full 10 day excursions, custom tours, and logistical services for businesses and film production.
Our Questions & *Answers for Mountaineering Patagonia:
Q: How long has your tour company been in business?
A: Since 2004
Q: What kind of treks and/or packages do you offer? How many days?
A: We offer hiking, trekking, mountaineering, climbing, and expeditions. We specialize in private trips.
Q: What is the physical level needed for your treks?
A: Depending on the activity it can go from very easy touring to very rigorous.
Q: What is the range of prices for your packages? What is included in the prices?
A: Prices will go from $100 USD to $2000 USD (they depend on amount of people in the group and the amount of days.
Q: Do you have bilingual guides?
A: Yes, English and Spanish.
Q: What is the best time to visit El Chaltén?
A: For trekking, will be from October to April. We also offer winter activities (snowshoeing and backcountry sky)
Q: What makes your tour company special?
A: Our professional guides and the quality of the services provided (food, transportation, hotels, etc)
*Answers provided by Merlin Lipshitz - Head Guide UIAGM/IFMGA - from Mountaineering Patagonia.
Some Treks, Hikes, and Adventures They Offer:
Mountaineering Patagonia offers a range of programs ranging in duration, difficulty, seasons, and locations. Here is some general information about what they offer. For more details, see their website.
- Hiking: Hikes range from an easy level 7 hour hike with 400 meters of elevation gain up Laguna Torre to a full day, 18 mile, intermediate trek up Glaciar Torre.
- Trekking: Treks are offered from October or November until March and range from 2 to 5 days, with nights of camping (of course) in between. These treks go through some of the amazing wilderness areas of El Chaltén such as Cerro Huemul, Poincenot, Laguna Torre, and Fitz Roy.
- Mountain Ascents & Alpine Climbs: Start training now! It may go with out saying, but all mountain ascents and alpine climbs are very physically demanding. Elevation gain ranges from 1200 meters (3937 feet) to 2400 meters (7874 feet). Some, but not all, treks offered by the company require prior glacier experience. Treks range from full days to 5 days/4 nights.
- Rock & Ice Climbing Courses: Designed for all levels, these courses are designed to improve the climbing and safety skills on glacier and rock terrains.
- Expeditions: Running from October to March, expeditions are offered for 3, 8, or 10 days. Trekkers get to see the Southern Ice Field, Gorra Blanca, Paso Marconi, and/or, Paso del Viento which are some of the most breathtaking vistas Patagonia has to offer.
- Winter Activities: Snow fiends can enjoy trekking with snowshoes (May to September)on 4 or 8 our walks, or, if they are experienced skiers, full day ski tours (June to November).
Website: http://www.mountaineeringpatagonia.com (English & Spanish)
Av. San Martin 16 (9301) El Chaltén
Santa Cruz . Patagonia Argentina
Telephone: (++54 2962) 493194