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