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Follow our reports here during our Explore Southern
Patagonia Trek's this fall/winter. John, Steve and Scott will be meeting in Punta Arenas, Chile to
start this amazing trip in November. We plan to do the Torres del Paine Circuit, a very
challenging trek around the entire Torres del Paine group. Following this we
will travel to the famous Los Glacieres Park of southern Argentina, seeing the
Fitzroy and Cerro Torre region. Always an amazing trip! In December Ray and
Scott will be traveling the same region before their Mt. Vinson, Antarctica
expedition. Their Patagonia reports will also be posted here with the most
recent reports at the top. We will be posting reports
here daily following our progress on both trips.
Live from Patagonia! Most recent
reports at top!
Happy News Years from
Dec 30th, 2004
More Serious Weather This Morning!
After a very pleasant evening in the Hosteria, we again woke to heavy rains and
flooding in the park. At least a foot of fresh snow up higher on the lower
peaks. So plans again have changed. With only today and part of tomorrow for
trekking we decided to head back to Calafate a day early. So leaving Fitzroy
behind we headed out into the plains of Patagonia and the desert. A huge
churning black mass of clouds covered the whole of the Fitzroy and Cerro Torre
Range behind us! This is what can happen in Patagonia! Always good to stay a bit
flexable with the schedule.
We decided to drive all the way out to the Atlantic coast and the town of Rio
Gallegoes, Argentina. Just to see something differnt. Interesting place with a
recent history of being the closest of the Argentine bases during the Falklands
Tonight, New Years Eve, we are in Calafate and may go out to the Perito Moreno
Glacier for the celebration. Its a local custom to go out to the glacier to see
in the New Years!
Happy New Years, Scott Woolums reporting from Calate, Patagonia!
Stormed Out of Los Glacieres Park!
Dec 29th, 2004
Yesterday we had a great day trekking up to the Laguna
Torre, unfortunatly it was very cloudy up higher so no views of Cerro Torre this
morning. After waiting for awhile at Laguna Torre, we continued onto Poincienot
Campground, followed by a shorter trek into Laguna Sucia. Again, very cloudy up
Fortunatly the day before yesterday, as we arrived in El Chalten, we could see
the whole range, so that was good! Also visited the Laguna Huemul and Lago del
Desierto the day we arrived.
This morning we woke to a serious snow storm! Raining extremely hard all night.
All the lower peaks are completly covered with snow. Sheets of rain and snow are
blowing through camp here. So we packed up and descended along the Rio Blanco to
the Hosteria El Pilar where we are now. Quite serious weather, all the trails
are flooded with high winds and clouds down to the valley floor!
Comfortable here in the Hosteria at least. Some time to relax by the fire, so
far we have been hard at it... travelling and trekking hard. So a break is nice.
Tomorrow we hope to trek up the Rio Electrico to Piedra de Fralie, in better
Scott Woolums Reporting from Hosteria El Pilar, Argentina
Merry Christmas from Patagonia!
Dec 26th, 2004
We just came out from sharing a great Christmas at the
new Vertice Lodge on the shores of Lago Pehoe! Very Nice dinner! Of the many
groups here from all over the world. We all sang Silent Night together in each
countries language. A very good Christmas here, far away from all the worlds
problems. Yesterday we crossed Lago Pehoe on the catamaran. Last night spending
the night in a very old and beautifully restored Estancia in the small village
of Cerro Castillo. This morning we have driven the several hundred kilometers to
Calafate here in Argentina. Were staying in the fantastic Kauyatun Lodge here.
This has been our frist chance to get a report out as we have been trekking up
till now. Later today we plan to go out to the Perito Moreno Glacier. Tomorrow
its off to El Chalten and 4 days of trkking in the Fitzroy area, yahoo!
Scott Woolums reporting from Calafate, Argentina.
Fantastic Weather Today!
Dec 24th, 2004
Just back from the Torres viewpoint up in the Ascencio
Valley. Super day today, waking up to crystal clear blue skys. We covered a lot
of ground, seeing the Torres at sunrise, then trekking up into the remarkable
and seldom visited Valle Silencio. Tonight were staying in the very nice
Hosteria Las Torres, about as comfortable as life can be between trekking days!
Tomorrow were off to the Valle Frances and the Cuernos (horns).
Scott Woolums reporting from Hosteria Las Torres, Patagonia, Chile.
Just arrived in Puerto Natales, Chile!
Dec, 21st, 2004
Just arrived this afternoon here in Puerto Natales.
Always feels good arriving with no lost baggage. We are off to the Torres Del
Paine National Park tomorrow morning. Starting to rain tonight, hopefully weŽll
see clear skys in the morning. We have plans to hike into the Valley Ascencio to
the Camp Torres below the main towers.
Scott Woolums reporting from Puerto Natales, Chile.
Our Second Explore Southern Patagonia Trek Starts!
December 14th, 2004
Hey All! We will be posting more reports following our
second trip (actually our fourth this year!) to the far south of Patagonia.
Really a lot of fun seeing all there is here, exploring some of the world's best
trekking, and unwinding in some very nice lodges along the way. We will meet in
Punta Arenas December 20th then off to Puerto Natales for our first night.
Reports will be posted here along the way.
Scott Woolums reporting from Hood River, Oregon.
Back to Civilization!
December 4th, 2004
Back to Puerto Natales, then onto Punta Arenas for our
flights back north. Fortunatly the trip is still not quite over. We flew to
Santiago, Chile, then headed directly over to the coast and Vina Del Mar! The
perfect way to end a trip down to Patagonia, at the beach! Now for the next
trip. Follow the reports here for our next trip down to Patagonia. I will again
be leading the same trip starting December 20th right before our Antarctica
Scott Woolums Reporting from Vina Del Mar, Chile.
The Fitzroy Trek
Just down tonight from Fitzroy. A very good day in all. Mixed weather allowed us
fleeting glimpses of Fitzroy itself, but Poincinot and St. Exuprey were both in
full view this morning. We stayed at the Poincienot Campground last night, then
went up to Laguna Sucio this morning. This lake sits near the very base of the
Blanco Glancier and Poincienot. A beautiful area and trek.
We started this section of our trek in (Los Glacieres National Park)
yesterday in El Chalten trekking into Laguna Torre for views of Cerro Torre.
Intense winds and cloud only let us see parts of Cerro Torre. Very dramatic
weather all day. We followed the Rio Blanco down to the wonderful Hosteria El
Pilar tonight. Really the perfect place to end a great trek. 8 days in a row of
some very good trekking!
Tomorrow we are off to Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier in the afternoon.
Always a fascinating place to watch huge chunks of ice calving off the glacier!
Should be exciting. So basically we are on our way back to Punta Arenas now.
Tomorrow Calafate, Argentina, then the next day Puerto Natales before flying
back north to Santiago. We have a couple nights planned at the coast near
Santiago before our flights back to the USA.
Scott Woolums Reporting from El Pilar, near Fitzroy in Argentina.
Just Finished with the
What an Adventure! Just back after doing the Torres Del Paine Circuit, a tough
trek around the whole Torres group. John, Steve and I did the loop over the last
5 days, a very good time. We had mixed conditions, some rain some sunshine and
lots of wind! Overall fairly good weather for the Torres here in Chile. The John
Gardner Pass went really well with only 60-70 mph winds on the summit! The views
around the back side of Torres are always spectacular and the best part is there
are very few people on the trail.
Our first day in the Torres Del Paine, we hiked up to the main towers in the Rio
Ascension Valley in great weather. The next day we started our trek around the
Torres starting at the Las Torres Hosteria. We stopped a Lago Paine our first
night, then Laguna Los Perros our second night, our third day took us over the
main pass with amazing views of the Grey Glacier. From here we stopped at the
very nice Refugio Grey along the shores of the iceberg filled Lago Grey for our
last night on the circuit. Four tough days of hiking saw us arrive yesterday at
the shores of Lago Pehoe and then caught the catarmaran back to our car.
Yesterday afternoon we drove to Calafate here in Argentina, almost 5 hours
mostly on gravel roads.
Were staying at the very nice Posada Los Alamos, one of Calafates best hotels
and really enjoying a little break now. Huge Argentine seaks and Mendozian wine
last night! Later today we are planning to drive out to the small town of El
Chalten in the Los Glacieres National Park and the Fitzroy/Cerro Torre treks!
The drive today takes us another 300 kms out to the end of the road, again
mostly on gravel. You really feel like you are out there on this next section. A
few more days trekking in the Fitzroy group. Watch here for more reports from El
Scott Woolums reporting from Calafate, Argentina.
We're all here in Puerto
John and Steve arrived yesterday. We enjoyed a good day checking out Punta
Arenas, having some great seafood for lunch before leaving for Puerto Natales.
We stopped along the Seno Ottoway on our way to see the Penguin Colony there.
Really fascinating watching these guys! They say this is the only Penguin Colony
on the SOuth American Mainland. QUite interesting! We are now in Puerto Natales
about to head for Torres Del Paine National Park for the next 5 days. We will be
mostly out of touch then as we are planning to hike the circuit of the Torres, a
quite sporting 5 day trek! Everyone is jazzed to be here and we all are looking
forward to getting out onto the trail today.
Scott Woolums Reporting from Puerto Natales
Off to Patagonia!
Hi all! Were off to Patagonia November 21st for our Explore Southern Patagonia
trip. This is always a blast seeing the Torres Del Paine area of southern Chile
and also the Los Glacieres (Cerro Torre/Fitzroy) area of Argentina. Along the
way we also stop at the Perito Moreno Glacier. Up close for some very real ice
collapses! Penguins, fox, Guanacos, Nandus are all part of this trip also. This
is our second of three trips here this year! Stay tuned right here for reports
following our adventures and misadventures starting November!
Scott Woolums Reporting