Perito Moreno Ice Climb
Known as “Big Ice”
Operated Between Mid September Through to the End of April
Subject to local weather conditions
FULL REFUND IF TRIP CANNOT BE OPERATED
Note: We offer this activity to be built into your main itinerary and not as a standalone.
We can arrange this activity as part of your larger Patagonia itinerary. Maybe you are trekking in El Chalten and / or Torres del Paine. Either way we can build in a couple of nights at El Calafate as a logistical connection between El Chalten and Torres del Paine, and this will enable you to also visit Perito Moreno Glacier, walk on its surface or ice climb its interior.
This gigantic territory of blue and white ice, and towering glacial face makes for an awe-inspiring experience.
Located approximately 80km west of El Calafate is the “Ventisquero” Perito Moreno Glacier. This is an immense frozen river that slowly moves 30km down from the Southern Andes Ice Field. At the glacial face it meets the enormous Argentino Lake, and here is the where millenial ice meets its nemesis – water, which is slightly above freezing and causes the huge towers of ice to break off into large icebergs where they slowly convet back into liquid.
The glacial face is 5km wide, with a vertical ice wall rising to heights of around 60m from the lake surface, with much more ice below the water line. This spectacle of seeing such a large area covered in frozen water is “jaw dropping”. Consequently, to actually walk on its surface or climb down its interior is even more exhilerating. In conclusion, if you are lucky enough to participate in this excursion it will be one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences to remember forever.
The Big Ice
The ice climb is part of the excursion called “Big Ice”. Therefore, as the words suggest, during this activity you will be climbing down and then up a wall of ice. This is a full-day trip from El Calafate and will require two nights at your hotel (one before and one after the activity). We will include your hotel stay and “Big Ice” as a pre, or post, add-on to the rest of your Patagonian itinerary.
Please note that to participate in this activity there are age restrictions between 18 years to 50 years, and participants must in good physical shape.
The day starts with a pick-up from your hotel in El Calafate. From here the transfer will take you to the pier located in “Bajo de las Sombras” port, which is located about 6km before the Perito Moreno Glacier viewing platforms. Here is where you embark for a 20 minute navigation across a sector of the lake called the “Rico Arm”. It will be during this boat trip when you will get stunning views of one side of the Perito Moreno glacier wall.
Upon arrival to the other side of the lake you will disembark, whereupon the bilingual guide will meet you. Once you and other participants have gathered you will be led to a small shelter and, after the guide has checked your personal details, you will be asked to join a group of not more than 20 other people.
Once this process is completed you will follow your guide on a hike along the shore line. Then, after about 1.5hrs of walking you will reach the edge of the glacier. Upon arriving to the glacier edge the guide will instruct each participant to put on a pair of crampons and a harness, as well as explain how to use them.
From the point where you gather on the glacier there will be a breathtaking view of the immense plateau of ice stretching out before you, and on to the horizon. In addition, during your ice hike you will receive an education about the forces of nature, because your guide will explain how the various glacial formations have been made, such as moulins, crevasses and caves. Then, at some point as you look around, you will get a unique feeling of wonder as you realize you are on top of a frozen river that is actually moving incredibly slowly, as it makes cracking, snapping and straining noises.
Expert, bilingual mountain guides will always lead you, because they are there to look after your safety as well as teach you the “ways of the ice”. The duration of your actual activity on the ice will be around 3.5 hours, and this will incude some time for lunch at a suitable spot.
When you get back on the rocky, glacial moraine you will start your descent back to the port. Here, you will take the boat and navigate for twenty minutes, close to the southern, glacial wall of the Perito Moreno glacier and back to the “Bajo de las Sombras” port.
Ice Climb (called Big Ice)
The “Big Ice” Requirements:
In order to participate in this activity you need to accept and abide by the following requirements and restrictions.
The Age Restrictions
The Minimum age is 18 years and the maximum age is 50 years at the time of the activity. These age limits are controlled very strictly and ID will be required.
The physical demand for this activity is high, therefore participants must be physically fit and in good shape.
There are morning departures every day with pick-up from your hotel around 08:00hrs – 08:30hrs depending on where your hotel is located.
Among the equipment included for this activity will be: the guide, crampons, harness and transportation from and back to your hotel.
Suitable clothing such as warm hay, gloves, water and windproof jacket, warm fleece top, under shirt, waterproof pants, waterproof hiking boots, lip balm, sun glases, sun block and back pack for your lunch, which you also need to bring.
Send Us Your Enquiry
Please supply us with as much information as you can. For example, about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!). How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)
VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention” such as privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry, but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.
Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.