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GPT46 (Seno Ultima Esperanza)

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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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Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions

Season 2025/26

Season 2024/25

Season 2023/24

  • march-3-2024 to march-5-2024 / 2.5 days (with hitchhike) / SOBO / Oh3 - RR / Matthieu

What an amazing section. The diversity of terrain is what you're looking for here. Lakes hidden in the woods, rocky pass with blue lagoons, glaciar, broken forest, swamps, pastures, big lakes... and the fauna that comes with it ! I didn't see any human from rio serrano to estancia perales... what a relief after the parc !

I connected trek O of torres del Paine with GPT46, hitchhiked and hiked a bit from the campamiento central sur to rio serrano by the road in half a day. I had schedule obligation but otherwise OH2 on GPT45 to rio serrano would have been an amazing hike. I hitchhiked back to natales from the private road a little bit after Ea Perales, for the same schedule reason, but the minor road was really nice I would gladly have stayed on it a day more. It was an estancia worker minibus around 17h20 (so probably leave at 17h at the estancia), I expect there is one every day for them to get back home. It turns left to join the road before the cuevas de milodon.

Trecking difficulties : As previously said, the terrain after the pass is of hard progression between swamps and clambering of big tree trunks. I would say about 25kms of it, and you find the good trail 6.5 kms from the estancia perales. It is all marked with blue sticks to the end, that is actually game changing, much less GPS demanding. Between Rio serrano and the pass, the trail is clear and easy. At this time of year, the river crossings were easy and I didnt have to cross any snowfield (on Oh3).

Camps : Big arrieros flat spot at the big lake just before the pass. River going off the lake 50m after, and a little trail to go bath in the lake. All protected by the trees, amazing. - multiple flat areas after in the valley going down after the pass, along the river.

Water : everywhere on the way, no need to carry in the bag.

Resupply problems  : ¡WARNING! Rio serrano is a VERY UNCERTAIN resupply city. There are only hotels with restaurants, and no minimarkets (for probable commercial reasons...). I was very lucky to see a paper in the wall of the bus stop with the phone number of a local house unofficially selling simple minimarket things (fidellos, puree, cafe, galletas, cigarettes... but sometimes already opened or almost finished !). It saved my trek so I was very glad, but this plan is really unsure, I understood that there wasn't much left to sell. If you connect SOBO with the parc, you can buy what you need (simple minimarket things) in the campings before going on GPT46 (warning again : camping central sur only have expensive prepared sport meals, better buy in the other campings).

Notes to jan : I did a few GPS waypoints for campsites and water spot.

  • Frank 3 days 7-9 Jan 2024 Option 3 then RR SOBO

Walked in 2 half days & 2 full days:

1. I went by Uber to Estancia Puerto Consuelo (the end of the public road) & walked back easily to Puerto Natales in 4 hours. 2. I came from Torres del Paine & took a small trail marked on OSM which leads from trail Option 1 to Option 3 without going into Villa Rio Serrano. Good horse trail initially. After 3KM it's marked with blue sticks. Just above treeline the route divides into Option 3 & Option 3A. 3A soon leads to a pass @ 850 metres. Just after the pass there was a big snowfield on steep ground bordered by cliffs. It was not safe to traverse so I went above it & soon joined Option 3 which led to a pass @ 900M. I marked the passes for 2024 track file update. The blue sticks reappeared @ Pass 900M. I slid down 2 snowfields a bit to the right of the blue stick route which goes down more steeply. The slides were OK using walking pole to brake. After about 1.5 hours you near treeline again. Here the blue stick route crosses a river & starts to ascend again. It's best to leave the blue sticks here & continue on RR CC & initially unmarked. Then you have less ascent & only need to cross the river once. Went down between two small snowfields on RR, it's muddy then @ the river blue sticks reappear & you ford easily (knee deep) with a rope to help. A few minutes after the ford is a camp made by the ultra trail organizers & I camped there.

3. I continued past a sign that says No Pasar & then the trail is marked with blue sticks all the way. Going becomes slower with lots of fallen trees. At a junction an alternative route with blue sticks leads out left to Ea. Perales. It fords the river which was running fast & deep. I didn't ford but stayed on the RR which remains rough until 6.5KM before Ea. Perales, then goes out easily on good trails & in meadows. Just as the trail improved I saw a puma. From Ea. Perales you are on a private estancia road & it's a 5 hour walk to the start of the public road @ Ea. Puerto Consuelo. I camped in open forest a bit back from the road.

4. I continued easily along the road to Ea. Puerto Consuelo in 3.5 hours. Very little traffic on the public road, I walked out 7KM then hitched to Natales.

From 2023-11-28 to 2023-11-30 // 3 days // Hiking // NOBO // Option3 cordon cerro Chacabuco // Quentin Clavel

Another amazing section, but quite challenging as well. The conditions to pass cordon cerro Chacabuco were pretty rude, wind, snow and glacial temperature. Patagonia at its best !

Started from Puerto Natales, following the road then the gravel road, then enter in nice tracks. You enter place where there's some hotels with views on fjords. I've seen only workers there, said hello to them and continue the way.

Pass threw shelters with people. Asked for the autorisations and they nicely allowes me to pass. I camped along the beautiful fiord and the morning was epic with views, rainbows ...

Arrived at the Estencia Perales then begin the good part, your GPS will be your best friend on some parts.

That's a long walk to Rio Serrano by cerro Chacabuco. Fortunately the trail has been marked few years ago for ultra fiord. Easy to follow the blue sticks, even if on some parts the nature took control on the trail.

Passing from deep forest to wetland. The race is not passing here since few years. They even left the refueling station with whole barrels of instant noodles, cake, gas, machetes and so on. If you're really in need, you can take some, bit the expiration date is from 2019.

Cerro Chacabuco was wild ! Big amount of snow and unpredictable weather (should I mention it again ? We're in Patagonia).

Then go down to Rio Serrano ! Love this itinerary, pretty wild, and some hidden gem like waterfalls that you heard easily !

Season 2022/23

  • 9 to 12 April 2023 / Ishay / Route from Rio serrano to connect to GPT 46 RR sobo / 4 days

Overall - Beautiful and remote section with great scenery and colors. unused trails, snow, cold, wetness, mud and fallen trees slowed me down and made it a little harder. was worth the effort though. I got lucky and had good weather. would have been miserable otherwise.

I saw no one but cows until i reached Estancia Perales.

Following the post of Anna and Christopher (which i also met in el chalten!) and in order to avoid crossing Glacier Chacabuco on the RR i decided to take the OSM path that is climbing directly from Rio serrano and then reconnect with the RR on the way down.

The trail is marked with blue sticks (see pictures) throughout the whole way. I think that all of the trails in this area are built for the 'Ultra Fiord' - an annual, and apparently quite popular trail running race that takes place in the beginning of February.

from the beginning and on the pass the sticks are well placed and quite easy to follow. It seems like they put them up recently. on the way down it gets a little less clear. where i saw a lot of broken and out of place ones.

above the treeline all is covered with snow now. below the treeline it is super wet and muddy with some overgrown parts and a lot of fallen trees which makes progress slow and at times frustrating.I imagine it will be much more convenient during "high season".

From Puerto Natales i hitched a ride to the junction that leads to Rio Serrano. I then walked the 2 km on the road to the place. From my impression It's just hotels and cabins there so i wouldn't count on it if you need to resupply.

followed the osm track to the woods and started walking. Really nice and easy walk. In the beginning there are some junctions leading to different trails. I got confused so just pay attention to the GPS. Then you start climbing.

The Torres del Paine range opens up to your back as you climb. with the afternoon autumn colors it is super pretty.

soon it started snowing so i found a little spot in the trees and crawled into my sleeping bag.

woke up with bright sky and climbed towards the pass. all of this strech was covered in snow, so the blue sticks were really helpful in following the trail. in a clear day the pass has really nice views. quite windy tho. walking freely in an untouched snow in such an open terrain was super fun!! a lot of postholing but nothing dangerous really. just tiring.

When getting towards the downhill to the valley the trail is merging with the RR.

to go down the sticks are leading you to the right which looked like they went up and down again going over another small laguna and then to the woods.

The RR seemed shorter but i didn't find any signage.. better off follow the sticks. I spent as much time figuring out the best and safest way to go down then i would've spend following the longer signed route.

Back to the woods on the RR.. the trail roughly follows the river all the way down. from here on the trail is little more harder to follow. many cow tracks that seem like the trail but lead you nowhere. the annoying part was the mud and ponds on the trail that leave you constantly wet without any opportunity to dry because of the low temperatures.

Rather then that the forest is nice and change its face as you walk. every now and then you go out of the woods and get a nice look to the surrounding mountains to keep your morals high. saw some stations of trail crews along the way. many freaked out cows as well (;

10 km before estancia perales there is a junction. two trails following the river from both sides. The RR is staying on the west side of the river but it might be worth checking out the other one that also take a turn and go over Paso Victor Álvarez and down directly to ruta Y-290 which gives some interesting hiking options.

Arrived at Estancia Perales around 13:00. really nice people there, spoke with them a little and they invited me to eat a delicious soup and bread with the workers in the backroom. awesome stuff.

They were preparing the tables for a group that is coming back from a boat tour of glaciers balmaceda and serrano and stop for lunch in the estancia on the way back to town. You can hop on the boat for 20k clp. 45 minutes. no other transporte to town from there as far as I'm concerned. since it was a beautiful day i opted for walking on the dirt road. was nice walking along the lake. cars didn't pass me. The day after i arrived to ruta Y-290 and hitched back to Puerto Natales.

  • SoBo/January 22/Tobias Schorcht and Caterina Bormioli/7 Days/Method: Hiking

One of the most challenging Trails for me on the GPT so far (Crossing Glaciar Chacabuco is dangerous by now). Probably have to change the main route. The trail from Río Serrano to Puerto Toro is good visible, because they use the trail for horseback riding. Some parts of were very muddy even though we went in dry conditions. The estancia puerto toro has been abounded since 2 years. They use to have a ultra trail race to estancia perales. Last time when the race took place was 4 years ago.

All the trails around are mostly marked with blue sticks. It seems that the cows are chewing on them. Crossed glacier Chacabuco in perfect conditions. BUT: It is very difficult by now. The Glaciar shrinked so much much, that the original access is the ice can not be used by now (very steep morain). Took us 1.5hours to find an alternative, which was not safe as as well. I spotted a alternative and discuss it with Jan. The glaciar was still partly covered with snow (20/01/23). Most of the glacier columns were good visible. I recommend crampons and a rope. From how the glaciar has been changed, I guess it has been much easier to cross some years ago. Arrived at Estancia Perales after 5 days and had the best Coca Cola of our life. Took the Catamaran back to Puerto Natales (20 000 CPS, 3p.m. every day in high season). I returned 2 days later by bus (10 000 CLP, “Tourismo 21 de Mayo”, every day 12a.m.) and completed by by gravel road walking. Packrafting might be possible (SoBo). There are many camping spots among the coast. Wind is getting stronger towards Natales and appears usually from the north.

Comment Jan Dudeck November 2023: With the glacier changed it might be better to take GPT46 Option 3 (Cordon Cerro Chacabuco) that avoids the glacier crossing and goes directly to the Settlement Rio Serrano.

Comment Jan Dudeck December 2023: For the Track Files 2024 if have re-routed the Regular Route along Option 3 and Option 3 becomes the demanding glacier traverse.

Season 2021/22

Season 2020/21

Season 2019/20

Season 2018/19

Season 2017/18

Season 2016/17

Resupply and Accommodation

Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns

Resupply and Accommodation along the Route

Beginning and end of the section (Rio Serrano and Puerto ?tales) between them, nothing, just nourish yourself with the beauty of mother nature !

Transport to and from Route

Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues

Links to other Resources


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