FKT: Fernanda Maciel, Kaytlyn Gerbin - La Vuelta al Hielo Continental / Circo de los Altares Traverse (Chile, Argentina) - 2022-02-04

Route variation
"U" (point-to-point)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
13h 15m 0s
GPS track(s)

The traverse around el Hielo Continental, the third largest ice field in the world, takes 6 to 8 days and ends in El Chaltén, Argentina. It's a classic and old known traverse in Patagonia. We must be rope up with someone to cross the ice field, so in this case, I choose Kaytlyn Gerbin to be my partner. The traverse begins at the Rio Eléctrico bridge, and enters a forest passing through Piedra del Fraile, and then crossing the powerful Río Electrico. From there it continues to La Playita, followed by a tyrolean traverse and a climb past “Laguna de los 14” to reach the entrance of the Marconi Glacier. (You can also reach Paso Marconi for a shorter pass on the left but we choose the long and safe one). From that point it is another 20 miles on the ice field, navigating infinite crevasses along the most remote part of the route. The most imposing point is in the middle of the Hielo Continental ice field, the famous amphitheater Circo de los Altares. Circo de los Altares is located near the border of Chile and Argentina, with the famous “big walls” of Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre and Torre Egger as a backdrop. After leaving the Hielo Continental, the route ascends the famous Paso del Viento, passing along the edge of the Glacier Rio Tunel before crossing another tyrolean traverse. From there, it passes Laguna Toro and finishes at the entrance of the National Park of Glaciers, for a total of nearly 50 miles distance. We had support of two guys that came to film us on the glacier, they helped with water, gels and emergency kit (jacket/crampons). I ran with Kaytlyn during all the route.