Fitz Roy Circuit & Ice Cap Traverse

Fitz Roy Circuit & Ice Cap Traverse information and booking

  • Duration
    11 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
    Entry level Mountaineering or Exploratory Treks
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Schedule Details

  • 11 day trip
  • 8 day trek
  • 3 nights lodge
  • 7 nights camping
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include comfortable leather mountaineering boots (such as Boreal Latok boots with full shank), good quality 75-85 litre backpack with crampon attachment, a pair of skipoles, 4 season sleeping bag and thermarest. (A comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).


  • Challenging trek in Los Glaciares National Park
  • Unsurpassed views of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy
  • Remote wilderness traverse of the Continental Ice Cap
  • Two contingency days in case of bad weather
  • 1:2 ratio of guides to participants

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

A challenging circumnavigation of the towers of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre via the continental ice cap. Our self sufficient expedition will appeal to those looking for the ultimate Patagonian adventure with spectacular and rarely seen views of the dramatic granite spires of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. The Patagonian ice-field is one of the biggest fresh water reservoirs left in the world. This is probably one of the wildest trekking experiences that does not involve high altitudes and climbing. Very few people have undertaken this traverse and it is very unlikely that we shall meet anyone else. Whilst not technical, this trip involves long trekking days carrying a full pack whilst using snow shoes at times. In the truest sense of exploratory trekking, this trip is weather dependent and the full circuit cannot be guaranteed. However we have included spare contingency days to give us the best opportunity to achieve our goal in case of poor weather. Whether we complete the circuit or not, one thing is guaranteed - pure adventure in a remote wilderness.

What's included

  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches (includes box lunches) and 10 dinners
  • Expert uiagm/aagm certified mountain guide
  • Assistant guides (number dependent upon group size) from days 3 to 10
  • Basic lodge accommodation in calafate & chalten
  • Group camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags and mats)
  • Group mountain equipment (ropes, harnesses, carabiners, maps, compass, crampons and technical equipment)
  • Internal transportation
  • Park entrance fees
  • Group medical kit
  • Gps and radio communication with base in el chalten


Day 1 Arrive El Calafate
Arrive in El Calafate. Our mountain guide will be waiting for the group and we will be transferred to our hotel in El Calafate. You will have dinner with the guide so he can explain the details of the following days.
Day 2 Transfer to El Chalten and prepare for expedition
This morning we will take the public tourist bus across the Patagonian pampa to El Chaltén, a small mountain village situated at 450m above sea level. Chalten is the main entry point into Los Glaciares National Park, and is the base camp for numerous climbing expeditions to Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre as well as expeditions to the Patagonian ice field. Once in El Chalten, our guide will explain the adventures that await us in the days ahead, and instructions on how to use the camping and technical gear.
Day 3 Commence trek to base of Marconi Glacier
This morning we transfer to the “Rio Electrico” bridge, 15 km northwest from El Chaltén, and the starting point for our first day's trekking towards the base of the Marconi Glacier. The first two hours of the walk follows a well marked footpath along the river and a fording of the river on foot. We will then enter an area of moraine and rocky terrain until we reach our first camp. Approximately 6 hours walking/12km/50m ascent.
Day 4 Trek across the Marconi Pass
We ascend onto the Marconi Glacier and undertake a glacier trek up to the Marconi Pass (1450m above sea level) This trek will require the use of crampons and depending on the glacier's conditions, we'll use climbing ropes and harnesses. Today will be truly out of this world and into a remote wilderness of stunning mountain scenery and impressive views of the ice field and the granite towers that make Los Glaciares world famous. Camp on the ice field. Approximately 7-9 hours walking/10km/800m ascent.
Day 5 Traversing the Continental Ice Field on Viedma Glacier
Continue trekking on the ice field southbound to the "Circo de los Altares" at the foot of the mythic west face of Cerro Torre. The narrow granite pinnacle of Cerro Torre is unmistakable in this glacial wonderland. For many decades Cerro Torre was considered impossible to climb due to its extreme vertical faces in an extreme environment, but eventually it was first climbed in the 70's by an Italian team, and many mountaineers consider this one of the greatest feats in mountaineering history. As we pitch camp under the mile high vertical spire we truly realise how extraordinary this mountain range is. Camp on the ice field. Approximately 6-7 hours walking/12km/50-100m descent.
Day 6 Complete Ice Cap Traverse
Another tough but rewarding trek on the ice field from Circo de los Altares to Los Esquies Lagoon. Today, weather permitting we should get great views of the Mariano Moreno range, Cerro Luca and Southern Ice Cap. We exit the ice field across the lateral moraine of the Viedma Glacier to our camp. If the weather and the physical condition of the participants permit, we will continue up to Paso Del Viento Hut. Approximately 8 hours walking/14km/250m ascent/250m descent
Day 7 Contingency day
Today has been set aside as a contingency day in case of bad weather. If it is not used, the group will spend an extra day at one of the beautiful campsites at either Circo de los Altares or Paso del Viento.
Day 8 Paso del Viento Hut - rest day
Rest day in the campsite near the hut.
Day 9 Cross Huemul Pass
Today we will cross the Huemel Pass with magnificent views of Cerro Huemul, the Andean steppe and glacial lakes. Spectacular aerial views of Viedma Glacier’s snout as it carves into Lake Viedma will reward us. Approximately 6-7 hours walking/8 km
Day 10 Conclude trek and return to El Chalten
Trek down the steep descent to Lake Viedma and Cabo de Hornos Bay, for our rendez-vous with the boat Jose Luis Fonrouge to Bahía Túnel, 30 minutes away by minibus from El Chaltén. After the rigours of the last week, we stay at a comfortable lodge and enjoy a farewell dinner. Approximately 2-3 hours walking/5 km/600m steep descent
Day 11 Return to El Calafate, where trip concludes
This morning we will take the public tourist bus back to El Calafate, where your trip arrangements conclude. We do not recommend leaving El Calafate until after 4pm, just in case there are any delays.