El Chaltén, trekking capital of Argentina

Province of Santa Cruz • Argentina

Piedra del Fraile & Pollone glacier

Description: A walk without great difficulty that will take you to a place from where you can admire the imposing north face of the Fitz Roy mount. If you have extra time and enough energy you can visit the Pollone glacier in a breathtaking landscape of rock and ice.

Jurisdiction: Private property (Estancia Ricanor).
Duration: 2 hours from Provincial Route 41 until Piedra del Fraile (one way) + 2 hours until Pollone glacier (one way).
Difficulty: easy until Piedra del Fraile, medium until Pollone glacier.
Elevation: 80 meters until Piedra del Fraile + 190 meters until Pollone glacier.
Season: November to April.

Itinerary: This walk starts from the intersection of the Provincial Route Nº 41 and the bridge over the Eléctrico river, 16 Km. from El Chaltén. (*). The trail begins just before crossing the bridge and follows the river upstream. At first the trail moves away from the river, but after 40 min. it follows alongside the river westward, entering a beautiful lenga forest. After two hours of walking you will find a private campsite at Piedra del Fraile, where you have the option of staying overnight in your own tent, or in dorms. If you plan to sleep in dorms you should book in advance.

The trail continues to the Eléctrico lake, and from there on your left, you will find the trail-head to the Pollone river. After half an hour walk you take a detour to the left and go up the river towards the glaciers that can be seen on top (on your right it is the Pollone glacier and on your left is the Fitz Roy North glacier). The path leads to the birth of the Pollone river in an area of huge rock blocks. It is not recommended to continue from this point due to the instability of the large moraine blocks.

* To get to the bridge over the Eléctrico river you can hire a transfer service. More information in Transport companies in El Chaltén.

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