Time  2 days 3 hours 29 minutes

Coordinates 4827

Uploaded November 27, 2016

Recorded February 2014

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-
5,951 f
1,477 f
0
5.7
11
22.61 mi

Viewed 2799 times, downloaded 157 times

near El Chaltén, Santa Cruz (Argentina)

The present track covers some of the excursions that can be done in the valley of the Río Electrico, flowing from the Glaciar Marconi into the Rio de las Vueltas.
The base for excursions in this valley is the old Piedra del Fraile, so called because of a huge rock occupying the middle of the valley near the place where the Italian priest and explorer Alberto de Agostini build his shelter. Now the name has changed to Refugio los Troncos. You are expected to visit the Refugio since the whole area is private property of Estancia Ricanor. and you pay the fee for your stay at the Refugio. If you eat and/or camp at the Refugio the fee is automatically included in the price.
The walk to Glaciar Marconi is interesting, neither demanding nor tiresome, except maybe for some rocky stretches that force an uneasy walk. As usual in Patagonia, the serious difficulty may come from the fording of the side rivers, here the one flowing down from Laguna Pollone. I met a guide with his clients coming from the loop on the Hielo Sur, and he readily asked me about the condition of the river, which that day was fine.
Going past the point reached by me on the glacier without a rope and ice gear is not possible or, at least, not recommended. The glacier itself is also known for its huge crevasses.
The side tour to Laguna Pollone is short and very valuable. The site looks truly remote and is very panoramic. Pollone is the name of the village in Piemonte (the Italian region around Torino) where De Agostini was born.
The climb to Paso del Cuadrado lies totally at another level, both for the altitude gain and for the panorama. I had the luck to do it in a memorable perfect day, and from the pass I even climbed, as far as possible, the jagged north ridge, descending then, as far as possible, the scree slopes which occupy a terrace high over Valle Pollone.
The more demanding Cerro Eléctrico, which shares much of its access route with the Paso del Cuadrado, is covered in a separate track, namely N. 15628173

View more external

Bridge

Puente Río Eléctrico

Waypoint

Bicycle parking

Intersection

Fork to Piedras Blancas

Waypoint

Bosque

A nice spot on the access path.
panorama

River view

Waypoint

Piedra del Fraile

The hill giving name to the location: "stone of the priest", referring to Alberto De Agostini, who was the first to explore the valley.
Waypoint

Shore of Lago Eléctrico

Not a comfortable stretch to walk, because of potentially slippery rock.
panorama

Mirador Lago Eléctrico

Not an official mirador, but the sight on the lake is nice. The fork to Laguna Pollone follows immediately.
Lake

Laguna Pollone

There is also a little flat spot for camping here.
Camping

La Playita

Endowed with many stone shelters.
River

Glaciar Marconi 1

Marked is the point where Río Eléctrico originates from the glacier. A very hostile spot.
Waypoint

Glaciar Marconi 2

Marked is the highest point that is reached on the glacier - always remaining in its dirty section. Very unpleasant spot.
Lake

Laguna Marconi

I found this lake in rather low conditions.
Waypoint

Start of ascent

Shelter

Huge stone

Can be also used as an emergency shelter, although the comfort is seemingly very limited.
River

Water

panorama

Scenic stone

Lake

Lake

This is the bigger lake below the pass, with the glacier flowing into it.
Lake

Little lake

Hidden little above the bigger lake.
Waypoint

Glacier below pass

Mountain pass

Paso del Cuadrado

It is a magic moment when the view opens on the Glaciar Fitzroy Norte, framed by the Torre and Pollone groups.
Waypoint

Connecting ridge

Waypoint

Little saddle

panorama

Fantagonia

This is the point where I shot the "Fantagonia" 360° panorama which is given as first photo.
Waypoint

Pollone cairn

This is the name that I gave to this cairn after building it, since it lies in front of the Pollone group and glacier, and at the same time it dominates Laguna Pollone.
panorama

View on Laguna Pollone

Waypoint

Stony slopes

Coming back from the Pollone cairn I remained on the west flank.
Camping

Camping spot

Presumably Piedra Negra, although I am not sure if this is the orthodox spot, due to the presence of many shelters.
Refuge

Refugio Los Troncos

It is a pity that the staff of Estancia Ricanor, owners of the valley (yes, I know, this is unbelievable to civilized ears, but this is Argentina...) died not maintain the original name Piedra del Fraile.

4 comments

  • Photo of Alberto Pedrotti

    Alberto Pedrotti Nov 27, 2016

    Description: http://www.panorama-photo.net/panorama.php?pid=2079 https://www.wikiloc.com/outdoor-trails/marconi-pollone-cuadrado-15623353#wp-15623374/photo-9742227

  • Photo of Alberto Pedrotti

    Alberto Pedrotti Nov 27, 2016

    Larger: https://goo.gl/5uSwL2 https://www.wikiloc.com/outdoor-trails/marconi-pollone-cuadrado-15623353#wp-15623374/photo-9742227

  • Photo of RubenG1972

    RubenG1972 Nov 29, 2016

    Hi, just a question: how difficult is between laguna Pollone and Glaciar Marconi? Thank you!

  • Photo of Alberto Pedrotti

    Alberto Pedrotti Nov 29, 2016

    There are no special difficulties. Guides coming with clients from the Hielo Sur asked me if the water flowing from the Pollone valley was deep, but this was not the case... However, if they asked, this means that sometimes it is.
    In the next days I will add also a text to the track.
    Cheers, Alberto.

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