Time  2 days 3 hours 29 minutes

Coordinates 4827

Uploaded November 27, 2016

Recorded February 2014

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5,951 ft
1,477 ft
22.61 mi

Viewed 6165 times, downloaded 241 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

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Puente Río Eléctrico


Bicycle parking


Fork to Piedras Blancas



A nice spot on the access path.

River view


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.

Shore of Lago Eléctrico

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

Mirador Lago Eléctrico

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

Laguna Pollone

There is also a little flat spot for camping here.

La Playita

Endowed with many stone shelters.

Glaciar Marconi 1

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

Glaciar Marconi 2

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

Laguna Marconi

I found this lake in rather low conditions.

Start of ascent

Wilderness hut

Huge stone

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



Scenic stone



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

Little lake

Hidden little above the bigger lake.

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.

Connecting ridge


Little saddle



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

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.

View on Laguna Pollone


Stony slopes

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

Camping spot

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

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.


  • 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.

  • Photo of Dany Vargas

    Dany Vargas Feb 3, 2020

    Hola Alberto.. A demás de piedra de fraile, que otros puntos para acampar hay? Me parece que en la playita por lo que vi en tus fotos. Saludos

  • Photo of RubenG1972

    RubenG1972 Feb 3, 2020

    El viento corre muy fuerte en esa playa y el lugar no es publico, no se puede acampar en cualquier lado

  • Photo of mehdi.tabibvand

    mehdi.tabibvand Feb 27, 2020

    Hi dear friend
    You have recorded a wonderful path
    Please also visit my page and comment
    Thanks a lot

  • peraltadd Jan 26, 2021

    Hola Alberto! Increibles las fotos que mostras! En una semana voy a estar en el Chalten y uno de los recorridos que me gustaria realizar se parece mucho a lo que hiciste. Cuantos días tardaste en completar este circuito?

    Muchas gracias por compartirlo!

  • Photo of Alberto Pedrotti

    Alberto Pedrotti Jan 27, 2021

    Tres días para Marconi y Cuadrado:
    1) Chaltén - Laguna Pollone
    2) Laguna Pollone - Glaciar Marconi - Piedra del Fraile
    3) Paso del Cuadrado
    Después otro día para
    4) Cerro Eléctrico, http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15628173

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