After our 4-day hike in Cerro Castillo I was so glad to be done with steep declines, that I was doubting to join activities we were planning with Berend that included steep heights. Thus I was reconsidering the glacier hike, which was one of two reasons to go to Puerto Rio Tranquilo. The tour agency that organizes the hike convinced me to join because the tour would mostly be flat.
The Exploradores Glacier
The tour to the Exploradores Glacier took a full day and included all neccessary equipment. Priced 100 euro per person, it seemed a little expensive but in hindsight it was well worth it. Glaciers are very unpredictable and are constantly changing, therefore most glaciers can’t be crossed by the unexperienced without a guide. Our group was accompanied by two very experienced guides (who visit the glacier 6 days a week) that still needed to check for new paths every few meters.
Hiking up the mountain
When we arrived at the national park that leads to the glacier, we had to walk for a steady 1,5 hours. The diversity of the scenery we witnessed in such a short time reminded me a bit of the sights of Cerro Castillo. Dense forest at the foot of the park, rocky mountain passages after the tree line and an almost moonlike landscape with a combination of sand, rocks and ice where the glacier started. At the foot of the glacier we had to put on the crampons that they supplied us with.
Reversed ice skating on a glacier
The amazing different views of the glacier, it’s cracks and caves combined with getting acquinted to the grip the crampons provide, made this an experience of a lifetime! Ice colored in several shades of blue melts away, creating spectacular shapes. It creates the purest water that apparently doesn’t even contain electrolytes yet. You get used to the strange feeling of grip on slippery ice surprisingly fast. Enabling you to run and jump from one ice slope to another.
Obviously the tour wasn’t mostly flat. Yes, it was pretty steep at times and I had to conquer my demons more than once. I also didn’t go through the slippery passages that you had to climb through. Still, I would definitely recommend it to anyone with the opportunity to do such a glacier hike!