The day after Christmas, we decided to do something none of us had ever done before – trekking on a real glacier. We booked our tour with Patagonia Aventura and were really happy with the entire experience. The boat left quite early in the morning, so we decided to spent the night right at the dock. The boat left on time and we had a really bumpy sail ahead of us. Most of the time I was on deck to enjoy the breathtaking views until the Patagonian winds picked up quite heavily. I remember being on deck when quite a big wave hit the boat. The strong winds threw the water all over the boat, leaving everybody soaking wet.
Before landing on the mainland again, the captain took a detour to show us the Viedma Glacier from the lake level – what a spectacular view! Actually, the agency is the only operator providing tours to the glacier so they build their own little harbour on the lee side of the rocks. After we hopped of the boat, Nacho – the head of the tour guides – provided us with with details about the upcoming tour and provided important security instructions. After we had learned everything about trekking and glaciers and the combination of both, we climbed the first rocks towards the glacier. It was a tremendous experience as the winds were blowing extremely strong, leaving you fighting with the elements. We had to pass some quite steep cliffs until we finally managed to set foot on the glacier after around 45 minutes. With our crampons securely tied to our shoes we trekked safely over the ice for the first time.
Nacho and the other tour guides were always concerned about our wellbeing and managed to find a safe passage over the ice. While walking we made several stops and were being explained a lot of interesting facts on the glacier – how it was formed, how it moves, why some spots are crystal blue etc… For lunch we stopped at a spot were all members of the tour were able to try ice climbing. It looks easier than it is, but it is really fun doing it.
After lunch we headed back to the boat, when on our way back the guys surprised us with shots of Tia Maria – a dark coffee liqueur and an Argentinian speciality. The ice to cool the drink was taken directly from the glacier. What an experience! After having a shot or two we continued our walk back. Since the group we were in was quite good on their feet, Nacho decided to take a special route through a beautiful canyon. The rocks we were walking on were so colourful and grounded smoothly from thousands of years glacier ice passing over. Simply spectacular!
What can we say other than this tour is a must on everybody’s itinerary when being there. It is not cheap to do it, but worth every cent. We felt completely safe all the time and Nacho and his team were amazing. Thank you so much guys for this experience!