GPT42 (Glaciar Upsala)
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* Start Date to Finish Date (use Format YYYY-MMM-DD) / Duration in Days / Hiking or Packrafting / Travel Direction (SOBO for Southbound or NOBO Northbound) / Chosen Route and/or Option Name (RR for Regular Route) / Names or Alias
Summary with remarks to route that are considered useful for other hikers and packrafters. Include alerts, suggestions and personal perception of attractiveness and difficulties.
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- 1 Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions
- 2 Resupply and Accommodation
- 3 Transport to and from Route
- 4 Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
- 5 Links to other Resources
- 6 Images
Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions
- Frank Not the RR /mostly SoBo/ 10-12 December 2023
As I could not get a permit for Ea Helsingfors-Ea Cristina - see permits section - I walked around on the road from La Leona to Calafate in 3 days as follows:
1. I got the bus to La Leona and walked 43KM SOBO. You are in the Leona river valley although you mostly walk well back from the river. Bluffs above the river make the walk a lot more sheltered than the open pampa. 11KM from La Leona is a derelict Estancia by Rio Leona, you could camp there or sleep in one of the buildings. After about 25KM you start to ascend one of the bluffs above the valley. As the road drops in a loop I went CC downhill which can cut the loop by about 2KM. As the descent flattens out there is a wadi, you could camp on the dry wadi floor. Risky if it rains but that is not so common on the pampa. At KM 43 is a mirador marked Vista a Lago Argentina on Openstreetmap, I hitched back from there to Calafate.
2. I bought a ticket to La Leona, talked to the driver and he agreed to drop me at the mirador - they usually don´t do that. From the mirador I walked about 41KM SOBO. There are two bridges and you can camp by trees below both of them. A shed about 300M before the Rio Leona bridge had rats around it so is best avoided. Between the bridges where Ruta 17 goes inland towards 2 estancias there is a small concrete hut/shrine which you could sleep in. The estancias are a long way inland, 20KM or more. I continued to the junction with the road from Rio Gallegos and stopped after about 10KM where a jeep track goes right towards Estancia Bon Accord. Then I hitched in to Calafate.
3. I walked NOBO on jeep tracks away from Calafate, easier as the wind was at my back. I went to see the cave paintings at Punta Walichu which is by the lake below Cerro Gualicho and marked on Openstreetmap. However it is quite a detour to Punta Walichu and they charge 11,000 pesos entry or about 12 euro. They gave me the student price which is 8000 pesos. In the Walichu reserve they will not allow you to walk anywhere except in and out on the main access road-I came in directly from Calafate on jeep tracks which was OK as they didnt see me but had to leave on the access road. So it seems best to avoid the site and go directly out from Calafate on jeep tracks which are marked on the track file. I rejoined the track file route but where it turns towards the lake I left it to go straight ahead on a smaller jeep track. It bisects the airport road. Cafe in the airport but I didnt go in as it is 1.7KM off the route I took. After crossing the airport road I continued on a faded jeep track which improved and led out to the main road where there is a sign for Estancia Bon Accord, then I hitched back to Calafate. This section is about 20KM if you walk directly from Calafate on jeep tracks. Including the detour to Walichu cave paintings its about 28KM.
- GPT 42: Glaciar Upsala/SoBo/ February 23/ Participant: Tobias Schorcht/ 3.5 Days/ 60 km/ Method: Hiking
I walked from EA Helsingsfors to EA Cristina. Since it is part of the Nationalpark “Los Glaciares” you need a permit. Got the permit easily in El Chaltén (park office) free of charge. They asked me for my inreach contact, I don’t know if they let you go without it. Since they removed the cows in that area, the trail is in a bad condition and some parts are overgrown with Calafate. I recommend the use of gaters. I marked the few camping spots before and after the 2 passes, which is the tough part. Reached EA Cristina after 3 days of walking and took the catamaran to Puerto Bandera (every day, 5 p.m., 100 000 CPS). Amazing views and landscape up there. Met no one.
Resupply and Accommodation
Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns
Resupply and Accommodation along the Route
Transport to and from Route
December 2023 info: In high season i.e. from 1st December there is a boat every day from Puerto Banedera to Estancia Cristina, leaving at 9AM & returning from the Estancia at 5PM. It costs about 100 euro. Inquire at the Ea. Cristina office in Calafate on Av. Libertador. Transfer from Calafate to Puerto Bandera costs an additional 25,000 pesos (about 27 euro) and leaves Calafate at 7:15 AM.
Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
Chalten park office are not giving permits for Ea Helsingfors-Ea Cristina now, they refer you to the Calafate park office. You can talk to them in person or email your request to Mesadeentradaspnlg@apn.gob.ar or Informespnlg@apn.gob.ar I did both and all answered the same: minimum group size 3 people no exceptions and they want you to have comms. also i.e. a radio or inreach. This situation may change so it is worth checking with both park offices.
Links to other Resources
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