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Glaciar Alto del Plomo (english)

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Glaciar Alto del Plomo



Season

The season for this trek is between the months of November and April.

Vehicle Access and State of the Road

Map of access to the Alto del Plomo Glacier. Imagen: Dirección de Vialidad

From Los Andes, you should take the international road to Mendoza CH-60. Continue on this road for approximately 50 km and exit immediately before the 20-curve slope that ends in Portillo, here begins a dirt road that penetrates the same valley that the railroad used to travel to Mendoza, you can still find traces of its tracks and installations. This road, is generally in good shape. After approximately 8 km you will see the camping and administrative offices of Parque Andino Juncal. The trek begins here.


Public Transportation and Hitchhiking

Route Description

Ruta en Google Earth
Alto del Plomo Glacier
This trek shares the first stretch of the route with the trek Glaciar del Juncal, follow it until crossing the river Monos de Agua. Once at the south river bank, you must follow the course of its waters towards the east. Depending on the start time, the area right before the crossing of the river can be a very good camping place, this way you will be sure to cross the river first time in the morning, when the river should be carrying less volumes of water. Starting here, the path gets somewhat lost. As a general rule, always keep on the south river bank. After about 45 minutes of crossing it, the hillside and the river practically get together leaving a very small space for the path, at times you will have to use the river rocks to make your way. This narrowing of the path does not last for more than 1 km. Once the river gets farther from the hillside again the trek continues for about 2,5 hours (approximately 3 km) until a slope gives an end to the valley. Ascend part of this slope
Estimated Route
and cross to the north of the river, once you have crossed you go up a narrow pass towards the east for approximately 1,5 hrs where you will reach the valley of the Alto del Plomo glacier. Here is a good place for your second camp. From this point on you will no longer be able to distinguish the path, but the direction is clear since it is possible to see the glacier at a distance of 3 km. It is recommended to look well at you camping place and check for references so that you don't get lost on your way back from the glacier. From the tent penetrate
Route to the Glacier
the valley, after approximately 30 minutes you will reach the glacier's river, cross its north bank and follow its course for about 1,5 hours until reaching a spot
Second crossing to the Monos de Agua river
where it is more convenient to get to its ice on a straight line rather than going around. After about an hour you will reach the Alto del Plomo Glacier.

Take the same route back to the campsite and parking lot. It takes about 3 hours to the former, and an entire day to the later.

Estimated Time

4 day Trek considering a first easy day of a walking for 3 hours. It is possible to do it in 3 days starting early on the first day. In this case the first and only camp site would be at the before the slope at the end of the Monos de Agua Valley.

View from the glacier to the valley

Permits / Fees

Register with park rangers at Los Hornitos entrance. Entrance fee is 5.000 CLP, and camping is 2.500 CLP per night.

Recommendations

It is possible to mount Alto del Plomo Glacier to get a global vision of this gigantic glacier or small ice field, that also hangs to Argentina to the river Plomo. Once high at the glacier, with mountain equipment (harness, rope, ice axe, crampons) and mountain knowledge, it is possible to transit on the glacier with direction north and ascend one of these beautiful mountains like Leon Negro, Leon Blanco, Alto del Rio Blanco, Central, among others. Consider two additional days to ascend one of these mountains.


Waypoints on Google Earth

To download the file right-click and then select "Save file as" (IE) or "Save link as" (Firefox, Chrome). By trying to open it directly, some browsers will show the raw code with the coordinates.