GPT41 (Lago Viedma)
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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
From 2023-12-15 to 2023-12-21 //6,5 days // Hiking // NOBO // Quentin Clavel
Not exactly the track who's in the GPT guide, because, as I mentionned in the previous section, the National Parc didn't allowed you to pass threw between estancia Cristina and estencia Helsingfors if you're not a group of, at least, 3 people.
So I just walked from El Calafate to El Chaltén. It took me 6,5 days, and that was, as you can imagine not the most exciting section of the GPT !
I begun by following the GPT43 Option 3 (Lago Argentino Costa Sur), then I mostly followed the road to El Chaltén.
I was alternating between the side of the road and the pampa few hundred meters from it. I discovered some surprisingly great landscapes, following wild animals tracks (especially along Rio La Leona), but I somehow came back regularly on the road as the pampa is pretty sandy (especially along the Lago Viedma), and not so easy to walk on.
Pampa is definitely not funny, wind was crazy, and sun very intense. I had to be creative to find shadow and the pipes from dry rivers were pretty good for lunch breaks !
That was pretty desolating to see the very low level of rivers and lakes. But even at this level, it was good to find them to try to stay hydrated (even if the water was mixed with tierra, and so brown and crispy aha)
hotel de campo la Leona". You can camp and resupply (sandwiches, salads, fruits, snacks, cakes, drinks, coffee). It's just on the road, before passing threw the bridge on Rio La Leona.
11 kilometers before if you go NOBO, or after if you go SOBO, you can find the ex restaurant "Luz la divina", an abandonned pink house, which is an inspiring obligatory passage, even a museum for our fellow cyclists friends, with a lot of signatures on the walls since 2013. (49°53′26.45″S 72°02′37.1″W).
The arrival to Chaltén is long but exciting as the mountains and the amazing Fitz Roy reveals itself at every step.
- November 2023 / Regular Route / mostly SOBO / 3 days / Frank
Although you are on tar there are no facilities for 108KM. The route is featureless pampa & you will often go 20KM or more before finding a boulder or calafate bush to shelter from the relentless wind. Only recommended for hikers who are fanatical about connecting footsteps.
I walked Chalten-La Leona in 3 days: 2 half days and 2 full days as follows
1. Arrived in Chalten, walked out 15KM SOBO and hitched back. 2. Hitched out 55KM from Chalten, walked 40KM NOBO and hitched in the last 15KM. I regretted it as NOBO the wind is in your face. It is far easier to walk SOBO with the wind at your back. 3. I got the bus to La Leona, set up tent there and hitched back to 55KM from Chalten. Then I walked 17KM on the road SOBO. The road climbs about 350 metres giving distant views of Viedma Glacier. I hitched back to La Leona. From KM55 you can go down to the lake and walk along it but the nearer you are to the lake the more windy and exposed it is. 4. From KM72 on the road just before a big boulder there is a small jeep track going towards the lake, it is marked on Openstreetmap. I followed the jeep track which runs towards Estancia Punta del Lago. About 2KM before the Estancia I turned left where the jeep track turns towards the Estancia and went along small trails to join another jeep track that led out to the road. Then I walked in the road to La Leona.
The above strategy is a bit risky with a daypack as if you do not get a lift you are snookered. However I was lucky with lifts and never had to wait more than an hour. Vehicles will not stop much near Chalten and Calafate but on the open pampa they often do stop. There is quite a bit of traffic between Calafate and Chalten and also from Rio Gallegos.
Resupply and Accommodation
No facilities for 108KM after you leave El Chalten. 89KM from Chalten where the road joins Ruta 40 there is a big bus shelter, you could sleep in it. However the route via the shelter is about 7KM longer than the inland route on dirt tracks,
The pampa is semi desert & there is no water along the route apart from the points marked Bridge on the track file. Water is very silty, you will need a filter.
Possible campsites: A few widely spaced estancias but most are well back from the road (often several kilometres) Estancia Santa Margarita (marked on Openstreetmap) is by the road & you could ask if you can camp there.
15KM from Chalten just after the bridge is a building with no roof. You could sleep in it or camp behind it. 55KM from Chalten just before another bridge is another building with no roof, another possible refuge or campsite.
It will probably be too windy & exposed to camp by the lake. Going along the lake SOBO on dirt tracks about 6KM before you reach the road is Punta del Lago Estancia, you may be able to camp there behind trees or buildings. There are no trees & no shelter on the pampa. Trees only grow at the estancias.
After 108KM (or 102KM if you take the jeep tracks) you reach La Leona. Camping for $10 US or 9000 pesos (nov. 2023 price) Expensive accomodation (about $100) but rooms were closed in November. They said rooms open in high season (beginning in December) Restaurant open for hot food 8AM=4PM & for snacks, pizza & beer until 8PM. Pick the most sheltered spot in the campsite, it gets very windy & can knock tents which are not well sheltered.
11 kilometers before La Leona if you go NOBO, or after if you go SOBO, you can find the ex restaurant "Luz la divina", an abandonned pink house, which is an inspiring obligatory passage, even a museum for our fellow cyclists friends, with a lot of signatures on the walls since 2013. (49°53′26.45″S 72°02′37.1″W).
Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns
Lots of shops & bakeries in Chalten. Hiking shops also & you can get camping gas.
La Anonamia supermarket in Calafate.
Resupply and Accommodation along the Route
Transport to and from Route
Dec 2023 info
5 buses a day El Chalten to Calafate & Calafate to Chalten, 14000 pesos or about 15 euro. They pass by La Leona.
If they have spare seats Chalten Travel and Caltur will drop you in La Leona for 7000 pesos. Caltur normally stop there for a break. Taqsa will not stop at La Leona.
Buses normally won't drop you at any locations along the route apart from La Leona & are unlikely to pick you up along the route either. Hitching is fairly easy.
Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
Links to other Resources
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