Category Archives: Patagonia & Andes

Archives and Articles about Patagonia and the Andes

The best snow wall construction to eliminate drifting on the leeward side

Sometimes a basic snow wall is not sufficient to keep the elements at bay. The wind can drop spindrift on the leeward side thus burying the tents. Is there a solution in the way we can construct snow walls that would make them more efficient?

I asked this question on the Worldwide Expedition professional group on LinkedIn

Hastily erected snow walls

Hastily erected snow walls

Last year on the Patagonian Icecap we built snow walls as normal. In high winds spindrift gets dumped on the leeward side when the wind hits irregularities in the surface ie snow walls. This gave another problem in that we had good snow walls but the tents behind them got buried! Do you think there is any way the shape or construction of the wall can be improved to eliminate this occurrence?Read the rest

Gear Review PHD Yukon Down Jacket

We bought the Yukon Down Jackets in an online winter sale from PHD Designs in the UK in March 2010. Gore Tex outer fabric. But how did they perform and stand up in the wilds of Patagonia?

The ordering and delivery process- Easy. The website is well thought out and helpful. Sale items are identified and purchased with minimum fuss. We occasionally have problems with suppliers delivering to our home in Spain. In this case the delivery was prompt and, pleasingly, without such issues. The jacket was a “special”. This means that normally the Gore Tex option is not there.

The Yukon Jackets, oh and Cerro Torre too!

The Yukon Jackets, oh and Cerro Torre too!

The down side – Strange colours. Well for me at least. Mine is white!… Read the rest

Surviving Patagonia 2010

A report from Kiersten Rowland about her harrowing experiences on the Patagonian Icecap in November 2010. Not exactly a sparkling advertisement for joining us back there in 2012!

Two taxis arrive to take us to the trailhead at Rio Electrico. From the trailhead we walk a few hours through a forest to our camp at Los Troncos. You have to pay a small fee as you pass over private land, but on the plus side there is a small cabin where its your last chance to get food and drink. We did treat ourselves to one last bottle of wine, but I could not pursuade the others to one last pizza!

The next day we move on to camp at La Playita (the beach).

Read the rest

Advice and Recommendations for Travellers to El Chalten, Patagonia

Our own personal recommendations and help for mountaineers, trekkers and travellers visiting the town of El Chalten in southern Patagonia.

The town of El Chalten comes as a pleasant surprise. It is tucked away between some rock walls north west of the magnificent Lago Viedma in the  Santa Cruz province of Argentina. It has a clean and frontier feel to it and the people are genuinely warm, friendly and helpful.

The town of El Chalten

The town of El Chalten

El Chalten is a relatively new town. It was founded in 1985 so has just celebrated it’s 25 year anniversary. But, it is a very windy town. The winds that race across the “hielo continental” icecap from Chile batter the mountains and head down the valleys to the town and steppes beyond.… Read the rest

Rescue efforts fail to aid climbers on the Patagonian Glacier

The rescue efforts to aid 3 climbers continue on the Patagonian Icecap. 2 Argentine guides and their Mexican client are trapped on the Nunatek Viedma. The Mexican did not survive and died from hypothermia. Yesterday, the helicopter could not reach the ice cave where the two guides await. If the weather does not improve, they will have to be evacuated on foot.

Mountaineering Patagonia Guide Office in EL Chalten closed yesterday

Mountaineering Patagonia Guide Office in EL Chalten closed yesterday

If the continental ice sheet was not there then the Nunatak Viedma would be a mountain. But it’s just a rock formation in the middle of the ice. Wind gusts reach up to 100 kilometers per hour and never drop below 50. The snow gets whipped up and dropped.  And so the cycle goes on.… Read the rest