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Explore the incredible World of the ice with us. Austral Ice Expedition III it is an expedition to the millenary austral ice cap. During 3 days we will get deep into those austral awesome mountains getting wild tops, visiting surprising colorful lagoons with huge floating icebergs. Will walk through mountain trails at the edge of stunning cliffs finishing into green and hidden forests of incomparable beauty.During the expedition will walk and camp over the blue ice of the ice cap, ice caves or igloos. A unique and intense experience awaits for you…
Day 1 Ushuaia – Trekking to the top of Tres Mujeres Mountain, camping over Albino Glacier.
Arrival time in Ushuaia. Reception, paper work, informative talk about the expedition and check the equipment. Transfer to the starting point, a trail that takes us to Albino Glacier (950 m.a.s.l.) located in Tierra Mayor Valley, between Sorondo and Alvear picks in the middle of the Andes. The trail, barely draw in the forest; start nearby a Nordics sled dogs kennel used for winterseason expeditions, then we have time to explore the place and get to know how the people of the place prepare the dogs. We cross through a wet land called “turbal”, then through an old typical forest until to reach the high valley of Laguna Esmeralda (500 m.a.s.l.), old glacier valley between Cerro Bonete(1064 masl), Cerro Pelado(987 masl) and Domo Blanco(1213 masl) picks, this last one with a typical shape of an ice fungus. Our way surrouns Esmeralda River until gets to the homonym lagoon, created by the Albino Glacier, with an intense emerald color. After a break, keep our way to the east where we can spot beaver damps along the way. From here we make our way to the north to start our climb up the Tre Mujeres pick (1087 masl) amountain of a medium technical difficulty, where sometimes we have to use safety equipment and also our hands. This mountain falls over Albino Glacier that its plato rest at 900 m.a.s.l. For this we have to pass through different areas with moraines with different kind of cliffs, live rocks etc. The terrain chang slowly getting into a high mountain landscape, where there is nothing but rocks, snow and ice. Looking down hill the emerald lagoon looks tiny in the middle of the green forest. From the top will have a great view of the glacier and its lagoon, the Albino`s Eye (Ojo del Albino).
After recover ourselves and charge our batteries, we descend until the millenary ice where previous instructions, we put or crampons to prepare our campsite into an awesome scenery similar to Antarctica.
Our campsite it is located on the ice itself, for this Mater we have to prepare the place where we
will spend the next 2 nights, for this, we use shovels and ice picks, working in a comfortable and
To live and sleep in these conditions will be an experience difficult to describe with words. We will be surrounded by the glacier and its cracks and icebergs, also a group of sharp picks that makes us insignificants. Sometimes the wind is too strong and we have to find a good place behind the snow walls to prepare our campsite, another times there is no wind at all and the scenery becomes unbelievable with a gorgeous dark sky full of brilliant stars. In this environment will sleep absolutely safe preparing our minds for the next day, a full day ice.
Distance walked 14km. Representative’s highs: Start trekking 300 masl, Main Top Cerro Tres Mujeres 1087 masl, Albino Glacier campsite 900 masl.
Day 2 – Albino Glacier – Albino´s Eye Lagoon – Ice/Snow Caves During the day we will have enough time to
explore the glacier in all its extension. After our safety instructions and our safety equipment we start to explore this massive block ice with its cracks, caves, etc. Also will practice vertical ice climbing and once back we will build an ice cave or an igloo to spend the night and live a unique experience.
Distance walked 3km. Representative’s highs: not important levels exceeded, due to we will be over a hanging glacier practically flat.
Day 3 – Albino Glacier - Ushuaia
During the morning we will practice on the cracks of the glacier, will have lunch at the campsite, and after 2 intense days into the wild we start our way back to the civilization, to the city of Ushuaia.
Distance walked 12km. Representative’s highs: Start trekking 900 masl. Mountain shelter 300 masl.
From November to march due to weather conditions
The daily walks will be approx of 5 hours with several stops and hour and half for lunch.
This expedition it is of a medium difficulty, a minimum of fitness and good health is required. No previous mountain experience needed. The terrain of the mountain is diverse, crossing through dense wet lands, slippery rocky ground, solid ground, different snow levels and the pure and naked ice. There are also areas of close forest where we have go up and down hill to cross over, due to there are no trails in some parts. Campsites times will be subject to the group time or to safety matters decided by the leader guide of the expedition.
This place is isolated and out of the conventional sanitary services.
Due to this matter we have a satellite phone for any kind of emergencies. The local guides are certified guides by SAN-WFR
(Wilderness First Responder) and for the Argentinean School of Mountain rescue and First Aids, and the keep wit them a complete first aids kit and a complete technical degree. The water is drinkable in the whole expedition.
Weather conditions are really unpredictable in this area of Tierra del Fuego, and during the austral summer days use to be larges (13 to 15 hours). We can start with a snowy morning, with rains and strong winds and finish with a shiny day; for this reason people say that here we have the four year seasons in one day.
However, the extreme weather conditions are not commons, the passenger have to be well prepared for this conditions, as it is explained as follow:
Average temperature: 2Cº to 12 Cº (35Fº to 54Fº) but for the strong winds and rain those temperatures can be lowers.
Winds will varies all the time and the weather is not too hard, keeping in mind we are at 1.100 km away from Antarctica.
Clothes and other required stuff
According the details above the clothes have to be warm and waterproof, mainly, for a comfortable stay. The best system is the poncho rain to get use to the unpredictable weather conditions.
We suggest taking the following:
- - Backpack (ideal 70 to 80 lts.) with cover (absolutely necessary)
- - Camera and film
- - Reading/writing material
- - Binoculars
- - Fair sized daypack
- - Wool hat, mitts or gloves (preferably water proof)
- - Strong plastic bags to help keep gear dry
- - Sleeping bag (for -10Cº - this can also be hired locally for approximately $8USD/day-these are high quality and warm)
- - Thermal underwear.
- - 5 pair of socks.
- - Fleece top.
- - Windproof/waterproof jacket and pants.
- - 3 shirts/t-shirts
- - Sun hat
- - A pair hiking pants/track pants
- - Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- - Sun block
- - Sunglasses
- - Toiletries (biodegradable)
- - Watch or alarm clock
- - Small flashlight.
This would be the ideal equipment, but it does not mean that if you do not have it you can not do the expedition. The most important point here is to be dry, however, the “ponchos” are not the best because the wind, the poor waterproof and sometimes you can not see the way.
If you would like to take with you more stuff than we suggest to carry, you will need a personal porter at an extra cost, so please,
let us know in advance.
-Bilingual local guide
-Porter services for campsite stuff
-Technical equipment (crampons, ice axes, etc.)
-Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and additional)
-Emergencies Satellite Phone
-Safety elements and radio communications
-Insurance against personal accidents with a limited amount (**).-Double tents with mattress, communitarian elements (cook elements, etc.)
-Transfers according the details on the program.