Nahuel Huapi Traverse – day 2

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles 

Cascada to Refugio San Martin (Jakob)

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | video | info page

Seems I forgot to take many photos on day 2. My first priority was video.

Oops.

As I’d camped at Cascada rather than Frey I counted myself ahead of schedule. No rush today.

I enjoyed the morning. Wandered the boggy grasslands.

In the afternoon I was surprised by the difficult, steep climb to reach Brecha Negra pass.

The descent was even worse. Dangerous.

But arriving at the alpine lake was wonderful. It’s a lovely spot.

Here is the old Refugio San Martin (Jakob). It burned down in 2017.

The replacement was well underway when I was there February 2018.

Hikers without tents slept and ate in temporary structures.

The highlight of the day was scrambling up to Laguna Los Tempanos, a glacial meltwater lake. It reminded me of places in the Rockies.

Surprisingly, I had the place to myself at dusk.

Tomorrow’s route climbs up this impossibly steep face. I had no idea how it could possibly be done.

This evening I hung out at camp enjoying the stars with 4 other Canadians. Two wanted to continue with me on the difficult day 3 ahead. Two wanted to exit down the valley, worried because they’d already found the easier days very difficult.

In the end, they decided to end their hike next day. Safety first.


day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | video | info page

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Elfin Lakes hike, Squamish B.C.

22km round trip to Elfin Lakes campground (600m gain) + Gargoyles side trip
• LOTS of snow at the end of July
• be prepared for very wet trails
• BUGGY !
• registration online or by phone required to stay overnight

From the start I had problems. First finding the trailhead out of Squamish, B.C. – street signage is not all that clear. I asked different mountain bikers to find the right gravel road.

Elfin Lakes is popular. The parking lot was full. I squeezed my rent-a-car in on the side of the approach.

The first 5km to Red Heather Meadows campground is a road.

You share most of this trail with mountain bikers. And chipmunks.

Breaking out of the trees first vista is impressive Diamond Head. Actually, that’s Atwell Peak. Many make the same mistake I did.

We’d enjoyed dry sunny weather for weeks at this point. Still many parts of the trail were wet with snow melt. Some sections have been improved.

On a hot day like this, walking snow fields was fun.

I’d read the hike was on Paul Ridge. True. But it’s not a ridge walk. Normally you are on one side of the ridge or the other, not the top.

Elfin Lakes campground. A beautiful scene.

You can sleep in a large shelter or tent on one of these side slope platforms.

Elfin Lakes are not lakes, they are meltwater ponds. One for drinking water. One for … swimming.

Earlier in the week a mouse had somehow gotten into my Ursack food bag while up on the line, so I switched to a dry bag.

I enjoyed a siesta in my tent (escaping the voracious bugs) and was sluggish getting going for the recommended side trip to the Gargoyles.

Here’s the trail from Camp leading to the Gargoyles. More interesting but wetter than the Elfin Lakes approach.

Climbing up to the Pass was easy but long. Snow conditions good, you simply walked in footprints or kicked in your own steps.

Looking over to the other side.

A trail runner came down recommending I scramble the Gargoyles.

Instead I listened to my audiobook and relaxed.

The next 3 hikers arrived keen to climb. One had been here before. I climbed up the first Gargoyle to take some photos. Wow.

Suddenly inspired I scrambled the ridge myself to the end to get to this view – scenery reminding me of the Himalayas.

That’s the 11.5km trail continuing to the new Rampart Ponds Campground (Mamquam Lake Campground is permanently closed).

Tempting.

See all my high resolution photos.

Guidebook – 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia

 

 

 

trek Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra

Sabbalot Photography:

… the largest wilderness area in South-East Asia and an UNESCO world heritage area since 2004. It is further part of the tropical rain forest heritage of Sumatra, allowing for spectacular experiences in this fortunately still widely untouched nature.

The hike itself is a unique experience for several reasons:

  • No trails are available and one totally has to rely on the guide to find the way through the jungle (mainly following former rebel trails).

  • 4-6 porters accompany you and provide you with the most delicious hiking food you’ll ever get to taste (don’t forget to tip).

  • You will not see ANYONE other than your party during the whole hike.

  • The wilderness of the jungle and its inhabitants is just breathtaking.

  • The river crossings are an adventure itself.

Gunung Leuser National Park
An amazing adventure. Click through for details.

They recommend local guides Expedition Jungle.

Backpacking Across Isle Royale National Park

…  Spoiler alert: Isle Royale is a babe. The island is wild; there are many moose, two wolves, foxes, rabbits, and several species of birds throughout the chain of islands. The island is also wild; there was more mud than I’ve ever seen in my life, swarming mosquitos, and very primitive campgrounds.

Ups and downs aside, hiking the length of Isle Royale was a huge accomplishment. We want to share …

If you don’t have your own boat, you’ll be taking a ferry from one of three ports: Grand Portage, Minnesota, Houghton, Michigan, or Copper Harbor, Michigan. …

SWITCHBACK KIDS – Three Days and 42 Miles Backpacking Across Isle Royale National Park

hiking & paddling Gates of the Arctic, Alaska

… to Anaktuvuk, float southwest on the John River, hike west to the Alatna River, float southeast on the Alatna to access the Arrigetch, cross the Arrigetch, float northwest on the Noatak River, hike southwest to the Ambler River, and float west to Ambler. 400 miles in 19 days. …

Gates of the Arctic Traverse, Anaktuvuk to Ambler

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Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.