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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

laguna Torre, Patagonia, Argentina

laguna Torre, Patagonia, Argentina
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Introduction:
Cerro Torre is one of the mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America. It is located in the border between Argentina and Chile,west of Cerro Chaltén (also known as Fitz Roy). The peak is the highest in a four mountain chain: the other peaks are Torre Egger (2,685 m),Punta Herron, and Cerro Standhardt. The top of the mountain often has a mushroom of rime ice, formed by the constant strong winds, increasing the difficulty of reaching the actual summit.

laguna Torre, Patagonia, Argentina
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Fact:
If the weather is good and the wind is down, make a hike to Laguna Torre a priority. The trail is accessed from El Chaltén, either from behind Hostería Los Ñires or from the artisans' market north of the town. After a gentle initial climb, it's a fairly level walk through tranquil beech forests and along the Río Fitz Roy until a final steep climb up the lateral moraine left by the receding Glaciar del Torre.

laguna Torre, Patagonia, Argentina
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Get in:
From El Calafate : Daily buses take 2h30 hours to drive the 222 kilometers (138 miles) over a newly paved road (it's fully paved; 2012). Price for the buses is 275 pesos one way (~$23USD@black market rate; November 2014). Avoid the company Taqsa/Marga, they have old and bad buses with failing or no ventilation at all which is terrible - their price is 10 pesos less than the other two competitors, Cal-Tur and Chaltén Travel.
From Bariloche : Buses ride the half paved Ruta 40 across the desertic landscape (24 hours; 2014). On the way, they stop in El Bolson, Esquel, Perito Moreno and Los Antiguos (12 hours). Marga has a direct bus that leaves on odd numbered days, but there is a longer route that goes through Rio Gallegos and El Calafate that leaves everyday. Busses are likely 1500 pesos or more. The general rule of thumb is that the bus will cost about US $5 for every hour of travel. Beware the company Taqsa/Marga, advertise semi-cama with two meals(as of 28/03/14) for there ruta 40 route, however it was just a seat and only a crappy breakfast on the 24 hour ride.
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