We’re back with another post about trekking…woooo! Our third trek in under three weeks after arriving in Patagonia and one we were still very excited about, despite beginning to feel the effects of so many miles under foot. Some amigos we had met on the O Circuit told us about this trek near El Chaltén. They claimed it was free, challenging, had glacial lakes, snowcapped peaks, views of the Southern Ice Field, and was much less popular than other Patagonia hikes, it seemed almost too good to be true. We had never heard about the Huemul Circuit but we were instantly intrigued, even before our friends added that the trek had not one, but two, zipline river crossings.
It’s a bold assumption that there are more than zero people who have read our last two blog posts, but I’m assuming that if that person exists they are growing tired of my attempts at poetically describing the landscapes we’ve been hiking through. As a matter of fact I am also growing tired of trying to accurately describe these scenes, and coming up far short, so for this post I’m going to let the pictures do the talking.
A quick background to set the stage. The Huemul Circuit is a 4 day trek that takes you to Lago Toro, up and over two mountain passes, skirts the edges of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and then traverses the shores of Lago Viedma before returning to El Chaltén where empanadas eagerly await our return.
All said and done the Huemul Circuit lived up to the hype. The Southern Ice Field was one of the coolest things we’ve seen in Patagonia (mind the glacier pun, last one I promise) and there’s something to be said for the feeling of remoteness that we had been missing on the previous two treks. Originally we had wanted to do some climbing around El Chaltén before making our way to Cerro Castillo in Chile for another trek but our bodies were begging for some rest so we packed up our tent and boarded another night bus to the Argentinian town of Esquel. From here we’d enjoy slightly cheaper groceries from properly stocked grocery stores for a few days before setting off for a climbing trip to Piedra Parada.