Pliegue Tumbado – Mar 2005
My first visit to Chaltén was in 2005 with a friend. In town we camped at El Relincho camp site. This is a nice organized camp located aside the river “De las Vueltas” (this river comes from Laguna del Desierto). It also offered several fireplaces, a basic shelter for cooking, hot water 24 hs long, a dining room and small cabins for rent with tiny beds (for those who do not want to camp). Im March we were very few people in the camp. But I think during high season (December to February) this camp site would be overcrowded as.
Originally we never thought about doing the hike to Pliegue Tumbado. It was the kind of visits you leave for the last day just in case there is some time left. But on our first day in Chaltén it was sunny and there were also no clouds to be seen (which is very unusual). That´s why we decided to do this hike on the first day. It took us the entire day and it was also very tiring as we had no training. But it was really worth to try.
We suggest starting early in the morning and take some snacks or box lunch.
The trail starts close to the entrance to the town and it is mostly well marked. At first it is the same trail that leads to Laguna del Toro camp, and at a certain point the trail drifts right to Pliegue Tumbado. At the beginning we walked through an arid region. There were no forests (sunblock and sun hat are suggested). The hills Fitz Roy and Torre could be seen all the time to our right. Although the trail ran along a stream we could not reach it because it was separated by a high Cliff. It is suggested to carry your water from town as there are no streams on the way to refill.
After a while we reached a thick forest (it was hot that day so this forest was like an oasis in the dessert!). After leaving the forest behind we came to a flat ground like a pampa, where we could see the signs indicating that the trail split: to the left for Laguna Toro and to the right for Pliegue Tumbado. We took right and had to walk up a big slope. Having reached the top we could see a wonderful view of the Viedma glacier and its lake.
We continued our walk up and down several slopes with lose stones which made it a bit difficult. The trail is not so well marked at this part. There are some Trail Ducks to indicate the way . Finally we got to the last slope. This was the steepest one and all covered with lose stones. So we ascended very slowly. Once we reached the top we had an impressive vie won the hills Fitz Roy and Torre with its lakes and glaciers. We could also see the Capri lagoon, the river De las Vueltas and the Viedma lake.
After taking hundreds of pictures and our lunch we returned to El Chalten.
This hike is not the most popular one and it is not the most offered one either. But in my opinion it is really worth. The only condition is to have a sunny day and without clouds. So you will get astonishing views like this: