C.B. Poincenot is one of those conveniently located trekking camps that accommodates early morning hikes to strategically located vistas (all without the nuisance of carrying along your gear). Lago Los Tres is about 40 steep minutes from C.B Poincenot and certainly worth the time. It’s also where I left my nice pair of wool gloves.
View from Lago Los Tres looking down toward Lake Argentino.
Looking up toward the peaks from C.B. Poincenot. From here one will head north along the Rio Blanca valley with the end goal of Peidra del Fraile (a private camp). Along the way is another short detour to Lago Piedra Blanca. Again, perfectly located to drop the bags on the main trail and boulder hop up to the glacier encrusted lake.
Glacier de Los Tres crushing it’s way down to Lago Piedra Blanco.
One of the utterly massive granite glacial rock debris on they way to Lago Piedra Blanco. There isn’t really much of a trail…one must hop the rocks while keeping eyes peeled for the odd cairn. That said, it’s not far off the trail and the general direction is fairly obvious.
Lago Piedra Blanco
From Lago Piedra Blanco, one will continue north down the Rio Blanca valley, following the west bank of the Rio Blanca and hopping across several tributaries. During the spring, the trail would probably be impassable.
About 2 hours from Lago Piedra Blanco is where the trail veers west toward Piedra del Fraile. It was not very well marked at the time, but it cuts west through the timber and leads down into the Rio Electrico valley…sort of like a by-pass. If you miss it, it is still possible to reach Piedra del Fraile from the main “W” trail that runs west from the Highway. It’s boring though and requires much more time.
The very, very welcome sight of Piedra del Fraile. A very nice and well stocked camp at the base of the 1500m ascent to Col Electrico (the base camp for many of the technical climbing community). The trail extends further up the Rio Electrico to Lago Electrico and to the massive ice sheets extending west of Fitz Roy (…yes…a guide is required for that adventure).
Tags: argentina, camping, el calafate, el chalten, glaciers, hiking, lago los tres, lago piedra blancas, mountains, mt. fitz roy, patagonia, photography, piedra del fraile, rio blanco, rio electrico, trekking