In early1835, Charles Darwin crossed the Andes through the Piuquenes Pass from Chile to Argentina. In his journey handbooks he wrote that Nature in these places teaches you a lot about the geological processes. It was there where he finally understood and learned about the origins of the Cordillera.
1st Day: At 8 AM we leave Mendoza city at 2,460 fasl (750 masl) on our way to Tunuyán. After clearing immigration and customs at the Police Station and passing by the Manzano Histórico we move on to the Scaravelli Refuge surroundings at 10,360 fasl (3160 masl) where we spend our first night in tents and start our acclimatization.
2nd Day: Heading west, in a four wheel drive vehicle, we go up over the morraines reaching as far up as we can where we start walking to the Portillo Argentino, a pass over 14,370 fasl (4380 masl). The trekking will be slow, to adapt our rhythm to the height. The landscape viewed from this pass is spectacular but nothing compared with the way down to the Tunuyán River valley, full of glorious views.
3rd Day: Then a resting day at the Real de la Cruz Refuge and short treks in the surrounding area.
4th Day: Continuing our trekking to the west and traversing the valleys that lead us to the Piuquenes Pass, it is necessary to cross the Tunuyán River early in the morning when the water runs at its lowest level. The trekking this day is long but with not much difference in altitude.
5th Day: On the last day of the expedition, we begin with the glacier ascent to the frontier borderline always in sight. The trekking will be a pleasant challenge, viewing everything at a slow pace, even when we reach the Piuquenes Pass at 13,270 fasl (4045 masl). Back to the east and far away, we can see the chain we have already passed to enter the valleys we crossed. In a few minutes everything is out of sight when we start our steep descent to the west after several snowy turns. It will be a safe, slow and magnificent way down. The Chilean mountains have a more abrupt formation, rock folds, sheer cliffs, sharp edges, and a vast variety of rock formations. We arrive at the Plomo River in the Cajón del Maipo at 9,680 fasl (2950 masl), and we cross it before we arrive at the road where transportation will be waiting to drive us to Santiago de Chile. A hot shower and a farewell dinner with the group with which we spent five marvellous days together, will be the end of the expedition. (6 hours trekking)
6th Day: Return to origin.
1 Pair underwear polypropylene pants
Travel personal documents: passport for foreigners and DNI for argentinians.
Hotels in Mendoza and Santiago de Chile: howeaver we do not include the nights in hotels, we can make bookings and arrangements.
Weather: the expeditions are from december to march, during southern hemisphere summer, depending on the amount of snow acumulated in winter. Sometimes, the snow does not melt until end of december. The days are usually clear and warm with cold nights. Short snow storms are often but the snow melts very fast. During these situations winds will cause a sensation of lower temperature. In normal conditions, the temperature during the day can go from 68ºF to 32ºF or less, when its cloudy. During the night the temperature can get 5ºF.
Water and beverages: we will drink clear water from the springs, wine, beer and juice.
Meals: meals are chosen to recover the same amount of calories consumed during the day. Quick meals during the trekking and dinners in camps. If you are allergic, vegeterian or you are following any special diet, please let us know asap in order to reorganice the menu.
Camps: we will sleep in double base dome tents. If there is availability, we will use the Real de la Cruz refuge (in Tunuyán river valley) for dinner.
Important: the head guide can decide to change the itinerary due to weather conditions or any other situation that can endanger passengers health or integrity. Anyway, this activity carries risks that passenger declares to know and although guides are experimented, passengers are responsible to accept the decisions taken by the guide.
Low to Medium (Low: doesn´t require previous knowledge nor special skills. Medium: requires well developed motor skills coordination and previous knowledge.)
Good: person who trains systematically not more than three times a week.
Please, contact us.
Transfer Mendoza-Tunuyán-Portinari and the closest point for ascent to the Portillo Argentino. Transfer Cajón del Maipo-Santiago de Chile.
Tickets from origin to Mendoza and from Santiago de Chile to origin.
March 3, 2012
Discover the Andes, Expeditions: tel +54 -261-156571967, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org EVT Legajo 16431