Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Patagonia 2012 = French Valley

The third adventure on the EcoCamp list was an active 13 mile trek from the comfort of our EcoCamp dome to Valle Del Francés (French Valley). (The trek is named Navigation Pehoe Lake and hike French Valley)

We were very excited to visit the French Valley!

After breakfast, we started our day driving towards Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. We board the catamaran that takes us to the North-Western sector of the lake where we’ll begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif.

Our trek crosses in front of Cerro Paine Grande peak
(tallest in the park) and up the valley to the right

An active walk led us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south-eastern face of the Massif, where there is a truly wonderful view.

View from the French River hanging bridge

Here we had lunch, took some fun photos and rested for a while. Then we continued up the trail to the upper section of the valley where we admired the valley's entire group of geological formations. The head of French Valley is a cirque formed by impressive cliffs. The colossal walls of Cerro Cota 2000 and Cerro Catedral punctuate the western region of the Valley. Cerro Cota 2000 is named for its elevation; its highest contour line is about 2,000 m (6,562 ft). Cerro Catedral is named so because its east face resembles a cathedral's facade. To the north stands the granite arête called Aleta de Tiburón (English: Shark's Fin). To the east, from north to south, lie the peaks Fortaleza (Fortress), La Espada (The Sword), La Hoja (The Blade), La Máscara (The Mummer), Cuerno Norte (North Horn), and Cuerno Principal (Main Horn). The weather was some of the best the guides had seen in quite a while. Blue skies and you could see for miles.

Some of the amazing peaks in the French Valley

After enjoying the view, we descended back through the rippling terrain of grassland and light forest until reaching the Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. While waiting for the rest of the crew, we enjoyed a local brew and rested our sore legs.

A much deserved beer after an amazing day!

From there the catamaran took us back to Pudeto and we're driven back to EcoCamp.

We spent the last evening enjoying the amazing food, wine and company before heading to bed. It was an early rise for us to catch the group bus back into Argentina and up to El Calafate for our second stay in the adventure town.

We really did not want to leave EcoCamp Patagonia. It was by far the best part of our trip, we would highly recommend it to anyone, hope we can visitin again and want to thank our EcoCamp guides and staff for an adventure of a lifetime!

To view photos from EcoCamp French Valley,
click HERE

1 comment:

Rama Thapa said...

Very nice bloging yours so, I like to great appreciated. My blog is about the trekking in mustang Nepal.upper mustang trekking is the restriction areas trekking in Nepal. Just for the entry fee it cost $500 usd for the 10 days. Because of the unique cultures, custom of the Tibetan outside the boundary of the Tibet it is very famous trekking in Nepal.