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  • Foto del escritorVanlife Chile


Actualizado: 14 sept 2023

We had found out about this trail on the recommendation of a friend, who had told us on Facebook “go to Valle Exploradores, there is a very nice viewpoint to see the glacier”. Just kidding? "A very nice viewpoint?" She was shocked by his lack of information and poor description.

And it is that the road through the Exploradores Valley was by far one of the most beautiful places I had seen in my ENTIRE life. Full of forests, giant nalcas, ferns and green everywhere, hanging glaciers, lagoons, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. One of those perfect places that are capable of giving you post-trip depression, when you return to the cement, to the smog and where the greenest thing you can see is the traffic light.

The walk on ice

The walk was not easy, because you had to cross a lot of loose stones and large rocks that were slippery because of the water. The entire first part was downhill, so we went very slowly, always careful not to fall. The good thing is that it no longer rained. Once down, the walk began on what is called "dirty ice", which is actually ice, but covered with stones. We only remembered that it was ice, when we felt the glacier creak, sounds that are normal because glaciers are masses in constant transformation, but that scared us over and over again and made our hearts shoot up.

The walk was very long and tedious, so the mood continued to decline. But little by little we began to see the ice under our feet and a little further on there were almost no stones and the ice began to shine under the first rays of sun that began to appear between the clouds. It was time to put on the crampons that they gave us as a team and that we carried in our backpacks, along with some precious snacks. The first steps with crampons were very funny. One has to walk with the legs a little apart and taking firm steps, so that the teeth of the crampons dig into the ice.

On the Glacier

The smile returned to us and also the light. The colors became fascinating: dozens of different shades of blue, white, the almost unbearable reflection (it is essential to wear sunglasses). Cracks in the ice, sinkholes that seem to have no end at the bottom of the glacier, small streams, large caves and other tiny ones. The noise of crampons breaking the ice. We walked slowly and quietly, fascinated exploring—and photographing—everything we saw. The glacier began to clear completely towards the bottom and seemed like a great white wavy mass, as if it had no end. Mount San Valentín, the highest in all of Patagonia, did not want to be fully shown, but the whole place looked imposing.

We walked for about two hours on the ice and there in the midst of all that magic, we ate our snack sitting on our backpacks and talking with a mate in hand, which was a refreshing surprise that our guide had for us. We would have stayed there for thousands of hours, but the wind began to make us numb and we had a long way to go back. After a perfect day, it didn't sound like a bad idea to go in search of a piping hot meal.

FUENTE: Blog Carretera Austral | Publicado el 21/04/2023

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