From February 17 to March 4 of 2012, my husband John and I travelled with two long-time friends Rex and Lynne McCullough to the southernmost reaches of Argentine and Chilean Patagonia to experience this amazing ecosystem and trek in two National Parks:  Parque Nationale de Los Glaciares in Argentina (where we explored Perito Moreno glacier and all sides of the FitzRoy massif) and Parque Nationale Torres del Paine in Chile (where we hiked the famed W circuit including the Paine Towers, Valle Frances and the trail along Lago Grey).   We experienced the best two weeks of weather that many of the locals had seen all winter, arriving as the clouds moved out and leaving as the showers moved back in two weeks later.

Through this trip I was inspired by the vast open steppe, the unique Nothofagus forests, the endemic wildlife, the steep rise of the Andes, and in particular the Heilo Sur, the South Patagonia Ice Sheet, fourth largest in the world.  We were also struck by the pride and care that the Argentines and Chileans have taken to make their parks safe, clean and accessible.  On this page I will share stories and historical-science facts from this fascinating area.

Here is a link to the first of a series of articles from our Patagonia trip in Seattle Backpackers Magazine, “Sunrise on the Smoking Mountain”, sharing the dawn on Cerro Chalten (Monte FitzRoy).

and the second article in the same magazine, “The People’s Ice Sheet”, about our day in the face of Perito Moreno Glacier and the South Patagonian Ice Sheet.  Amazing!

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