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Seven Friends, Two Days, and One Beautiful Trail-less Valley

Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue are cartographers in the field creating maps for the Future Patagonia National Park in the Aysén Region of Chile. For more information about their project, visit Maps for Good. For more about the Patagonia National Park Project, visit Conservación Patagónica.

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The view that hooked us: El Hunco as seen from our first drive through Valle Chacabuco back in early January. Photo by Marty Schnure & Ross Donihue.

The first time we drove through Valle Chacabuco a month ago, we were instantly enchanted by one particularly beautiful valley reaching north up to a row of steep, jagged, glaciated peaks. El Hunco, we learned it was called, had no real trail, but used to have a horse trail that might still be visible.

This past weekend, we ventured up El Hunco for an ambitious overnight with five other friends from the estancia. Six hours of bushwhacking led us to a wide open, mossy upper valley with a stiff Patagonian breeze. We camped at tree line and set off exploring in the morning. After climbing up to a saddle between two jagged peaks, we were stunned by a completely new view: the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. Here is a glimpse of what we found.

Zapatilla de la Virgen or Maiden’s Slipper (Calceodaria uniflora). Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.

 

Looking down at one of three glacial alpine (very cold) lakes. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.
Looking down at one of three glacial alpine (very cold) lakes. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.

 

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Five photos in one: Marty climbs to the top of the saddle. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.

 

A view of Monte San Lorenzo, the highest peak in Chilean Patagonia. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.
A view of Monte San Lorenzo, the second highest peak in Chilean Patagonia. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.

 

Monte San Valentín rises up far in the distance from the Northern Ice Field. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.
Monte San Valentín, the highest peak in Chilean Patagonia, rises up far in the distance from the Northern Ice Field. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.

 

Marty takes a moment to relax and enjoy the view. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.
Marty takes a moment to relax and enjoy the view. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.

 

Click on the photo below for a 360˚ view, including the edge of the Northern Ice Field!

 EJ-logo-white.jpg     News Watch Home     Explorers Journal     Ocean Views     Water Currents     Weird & Wild     Radio Show Seven Friends, Two Days, and One Beautiful Trail-less Valley Posted by Marty Schnure of NG Young Explorers in Explorers Journal on February 15, 2013 Edit (0) Share on email More » Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue are cartographers in the field creating maps for the Future Patagonia National Park in the Aysén Region of Chile. For more information about their project, visit Maps for Good. For more about the Patagonia National Park Project, visit Conservación Patagónica. —– The view that hooked us: El Hunco as seen from our first drive through Valle Chacabuco back in early January. Photo by Marty Schnure & Ross Donihue. The first time we drove through Valle Chacabuco a month ago, we were instantly enchanted by one particularly beautiful valley reaching north up to a row of steep, jagged, glaciated peaks. El Hunco, we learned it was called, had no real trail, but used to have a horse trail that might still be visible. This past weekend, we ventured up El Hunco for an ambitious overnight with five other friends from the estancia. Six hours of bushwhacking led us to a wide open, mossy upper valley with a stiff Patagonian breeze. We camped at tree line and set off exploring in the morning. After climbing up to a saddle between two jagged peaks, we were stunned by a completely new view: the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. Here is a glimpse of what we found. Zapatilla de la Virgen or Maiden’s Slipper (Calceodaria uniflora). Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.   Looking down at one of three glacial alpine (very cold) lakes. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure. Looking down at one of three glacial alpine (very cold) lakes. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.   sdf Five photos in one: Marty climbs to the top of the saddle. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.   A view of Monte San Lorenzo, the highest peak in Chilean Patagonia. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure. A view of Monte San Lorenzo, the highest peak in Chilean Patagonia. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.   Monte San Valentín rises up far in the distance from the Northern Ice Field. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure. Monte San Valentín rises up far in the distance from the Northern Ice Field. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.   Marty takes a moment to relax and enjoy the view. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure. Marty takes a moment to relax and enjoy the view. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.   Click on the photo below for a 360˚ view, including the edge of the Northern Ice Field! Click on the image to get a full 360˚ view from the saddle we climbed to. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure. Click on the image to get a full 360˚ view from the saddle we climbed to. Photo by Ross Donihue & Marty Schnure.
Click on the photo below for a 360˚ view from the saddle we climbed to. Photo by Ross Donihue and Marty Schnure.

 

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Comments

  1. Quick Comment
    May 31, 2013, 3:03 pm

    Isn’t San Lorenzo actually the second highest peak, behind San Valentin?

    • Marty Schnure
      May 31, 2013, 3:03 pm

      Yes, you’re absolutely correct, that is a type-o. I have just corrected it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. Carlos Guzman
    Oxnard, CA 93030
    February 21, 2013, 4:16 am

    Excellent Pictures, I will love to see more of your pictures