Ice Trek Glaciar Neumeyer
Discover virgin terrain, climbing the rock using via ferrata and exploring a high mountain glacier with stunning views of the Fitz Roy mountain range.
Season: November to April.
Total length: 9 to 10 hours.
Start: from 07:00 a.m.
Ends: between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Ratio: 2 to 3 people per guide.
Demanding activity: you need to be in good physical condition.
Age: from 15 years old (typically).
Reservation: it is recommended to do it in advance.
Keep in mind
Due to its location, you must approach the area the day before and spend the night at the mountain refuge Puesto Cagliero, from where the activity begins early in the morning. See How to get to the Refuge.
You will have to walk in the mountains for prolonged periods, traversing rocky and unstable surfaces, steep slopes, and changing weather conditions.
You must have the appropriate equipment and footwear to face conditions such as crossing rising water courses, facing the presence of snow or ice, etc.
On this fabulous guided excursion you will explore the Neumeyer Glacier, for which you must use via ferrata to safely overcome the difficulty of the terrain until you reach a high mountain environment where you will walk with crampons on the glacier.
This is a full-day activity, lasting about 10 hours in total, which due to its remote location requires approaching the area in advance and spending the night at
the mountain refugee Puesto Cagliero, from where the excursion begins and where it ends.
This refuge is located on the edge of Laguna del Diablo -in front of the Cagliero glacier- on the northern limit of the Los Huemules Natural Reserve and the Lago Del Desierto Provincial Reserve.
The day begins with a warm breakfast at the refuge where the mountain guide will give you a brief summary and several useful tips for the journey. With all the equipment and backpacks ready, the group heads towards the path that borders the Laguna Del Diablo and slowly gains height and difficulty until reaching the elevation where the vegetation is reduced to small bushes and bushes.
In this first hour of walking you will have managed to rise about 300 meters above the lagoon, so you will have spectacular views of the Cagliero glacier and the Rio Diablo valley flanked by Loma del Diablo and the 30th Anniversary hill.
At this point the slope of the rocky terrain becomes very steep, so from here the ascent continues along a via ferrata: a system of steel cables anchored to the rock that allows each hiker to be secured to their harness using a continuous insurance, under the watchful look and permanent assistance of the guides.
The via ferrata area is the most demanding but also the most fun due to the interaction between hikers.
At the end of the via ferrata, you will have gained another 200 meters of elevation gain, so the panoramic views surround you begin to become increasingly impressive.
In the last stretch of walk to the glacier the slope is again less demanding, but sometimes also more unstable, so you must be attentive at all times.
After crossing the stream that is born from the melting of the glacier, the Neumeyer glacier and its lagoon begin to show in all their magnitude, almost always with the presence of icebergs. You then will be surrounded in a high mountain environment where the immensity is felt with all the senses, so it is the perfect time to enjoy the food!
Bordering the lagoon another 300 meters and you will reach the access area of the glacier, for which you must put crampons on to take your first steps on the ancient ice.
You will walk secured by ropes through a world of ice and small crevasses.
Exploring the glacier surface, as if it were another world, in a few minutes you will leave the everyday behind to live an unforgettable adventure.
After having lived the glacial experience, you will begin the return via the same via ferrata, and you will arrive at the refuge at approximately 5:00 p.m.
Price per person
Qualified mountain guide.
Assistant if applicable.
Necessary equipment for the via ferrata: helmet, crampons and harness.
First aid kit.
Personal accidents insurance.
Does not include
Transfers from El Chaltén to the Los Huemules reserve and vice versa.
Food and drinks not specified in the itinerary.
Trekking backpack of approximately 30 liters.
Anteojos de sol.
Trekking boots (not new) and suitable pants.
Warm jacket (duvet or synthetic).
Mid layer coat.
Waterproof jacket and pants (Goretex or similar).
Underwear thermal clothing.
1 liter water bottle.
A warm hat.
Trekking poles (2 per person).
Suggested additional equipment
"Crocs" type footwear or similar (for wading rivers and resting).
If you do not have any of the items mentioned, in El Chaltén town you will find several Equipment Rental Stores.
Cómo llegar al refugio desde El Chaltén
If you do not have your own car you must hire the transfer service -ask at your accommodation front desk- to get to Estancia Los Huemules, traveling the gravel road that runs 17 km of the scenic Provincial Route 41 through the valley of the Río De las Vueltas.
Once there you must register at the Information and Interpretation Center of the Estancia and then begin a 7 km walk along the beautiful path, well marked and of low difficulty, which heads upstream of the Diablo River to its origin in the lagoon of the same name. See Laguna Del Diablo trek.
On the shores of an old moraine of the Cagliero glacier, the silhouette of the refuge stands out, which will be waiting for you with the heat of the burning firewood, a hot shower, a good lunch or dinner, and the comforts for a restful rest. The excursion will begin very early in the morning!
All photos are courtesy of Refugios de Patagonia.