Some are pets, others are ferrel. There is one thing you should be very careful with: Public announcements before you depart! SPOT offers a light weight emergency beacon that when pushing an emergency button submits a distress signal via satellite with your GPS position to a rescue centre. Garrett Martin, together with three other hikers came with the intention to create a documentary along the trail. Hyperlinks to resources in the internet are also blue but have a globe sign after the link. And when they listen Chile; they instantly think that they must eat spicy food like the Mexicans – “Come on, it’s called Chile!”. If you need to leave a gap in your line of steps don’t take it as a defeat but as adapting to this land. But also the numerous volcanoes along the route can change your plans without asking for your consent. You can cook at your tent and store all you food in your tent without fearing a visit of a hungry bear. Greater Patagonian Trail update My last day in Chile I was lucky enough to meet up with Jan Dudeck and his partner at the Santiago bus station . When we need to walk in cold rain or snow we put on our dry suite and we don't take it off until we have cooked our dinner and can slide in our sleeping bag or quilt. A healthy portion of self-doubt enables to learn and adapt while being on the trail. For this you need to study in detail the sections evaluation and trail type composition to make a smart choice that fits your capabilities and expectations. Some 2,000 kilometres south of Santiago, the thread of the Greater Patagonian Trail splashed through thunderous floodplains, wriggled through labyrinths of Antarctic beech and squeezed beneath dizzying cliffs where the world seemed to have been rolled on its side. Additionally, packrafters can cross mountain lakes, float down generally calm rivers and even paddle on the Patagonian fjords. It crosses mountains, swirls down rivers and cuts across lakes in its journey from my backdoor in … The trail around the southern side of the Laguna Dial is partly visible in Google Earth and Bing Maps and was essential to plan this part the route. Along the trail you will primarily meet people with a small and often irregular income but this does not constrain their hospitality. The southern terminus of the GPT stands at the shore of Lago Viedma on the eastern edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. The trekking map "Nevados de Chillán" issued by trekkingchile.com shows the trail from the hot spings at the volcano Chillan via Coihuería to the hot spings Los Peucos. We combined up to four sections into a long hiking stretch without getting off the trail. We opted for a solar power panel to recharge all our batteries while hiking. Estefania Chereguini and Walter Oszust initiated and developed the Huella Andina which is the recommended route for hikers in this section. Check your GPS regularly but don’t follow blindly the GPS track. One significant way hikers will encounter this is with siesta, strictly observed in almost every small and many of the larger towns throughout the region. The tracks are also uploaded to Wikiloc. Wood logging continues in more hidden parts of the “profit reserve”. What you need when packrafting is a dry suite; not only for comfort but as a life insurance. Should you still be reading and interested to hike on the GPT than the following will amaze you. We choose the model Nomad 7 from GoalZero with the Guide 10 Plus Power Pack. This may indeed cause severe damage and destruction. during the resupply stops. 4,000 km (2,500 mi). I’m impressed how they moved on even when they got in overgrown terrain and how they managed the sometimes unpredictable nature of the GPT. Since the end of the military dictatorship in 1990 a center-left government runs Chile for most of the time. The Greater Patagonian Trail (GPT), as he named it, would come to be 1,900 miles, stretching through the southern Andes from Santiago to the Argentinean climbing mecca of Mount Fitzroy. For safety reasons I have also included bad weather options and exit routes that get you out of the mountains to the next village or at least to the next road. Some volcanos show an increased seismic activity shortly before an eruption therefore series of smaller earthquakes may announce an imminent eruption. If you don't have it expect to spend at least 2000 EUR or USD to buy the full set. Therefore the actual length that someone may walk and paddle depends highly on the selected sections, the chosen route and the method of travel (hiking only, packrafting wherever possible or a balanced combination of both). In the second half of the 19th century, around 50 years after gaining independence from Spain, the Chilean and Argentine government breached the agreements with the native population and forcefully took control of Patagonia that the Spanish colonizers did not conquer during the three centuries of their rule before. By using this documentation you agree that the author is not liable for any injuries, losses and damages in connection with the use of this information. The trail we took at this time on horseback is now part of the GPT. Some best practices and habits that are key for thru-hiking in the US would be foolish in Patagonia and other skills and aptitudes are essential to truly appreciate the Greater Patagonian Trail. Once boiled the husk can be easily removed. In 2011 my girlfriend and I planned to do the hike to the Laguna las Truchas that is recommended in the "Adventure Handbook Central Chile". All hikers are encouraged to open an account on wikiexplora to enter updates to the trail in this table them self. I actually support some people that fundraise while hiking the GPT because they are excellent contributors and promote a sustainable use of this trail network. One must also consider the rhythm of Patagonia in neither rushed nor focused on efficiency. You can download the currently still incomplete version of the Hikers Manual here: Hikers Manual on Dropbox. The trift wood on these shores can indicate you to what level the water may rise. But this plateau is surrounded by extremely dense Valdivian rain forest. Therefore be cautious when selecting your place to camp. In summer expect a generally hot and dry climate but be prepared for chilly nights higher up. For further information see the recommended Satellite Tracker. Someone who would need this does not need (yet) a trail like the GPT. In the following I list all relevant resources that help to understand the GPT and to get prepared for an adventure on this route network. Don't build ruins of pride by publishing your mission without having the courage to honestly write how it developed and terminated. But also the numerous volcanoes along the route can change your plans without asking for your consent. Be aware that water temperatures are often quite low. They own the forest with the road that provides access to volcanic area where 2011 a major eruption occured. In bad or instable weather do not climb a pass or venture into exposed terrain above the tree line. You may either walk the entire distance or you can bring a packraft to float down rivers and to paddle and sail over lakes and fjords. Exercise how to follow a track on your GPS if you never done it before. My intention is not to advertise the GPT but provide a candid description. We were several times surprised by heavy wind, rain and even snow during lake crossings and the dry suite was our layer of defense till we reached a suitable landing shore. Therefore the recommended preventive measures are: With this wikiexplora article I aim to provide a comprehensive introduction with a systematical description of the trail network. This work of art displays fascinating impressions from the trail and highlights their cultural experience with the settlers and the natives along the route. But settlers and herdsmen often carry mote and use it as an ingredient for stews and other meals. These men (but never woman!) Don’t just carry this stuff but use it preventively. Trails are primarily used by animals (horse, cattle). There you can take out of your box whatever you need and resend the box with the remaining stuff to the next resupply town where it will be stored again. This gives you an excellent insight into the arriero culture. You can download the GPT Hiker's Manual on Dropbox: Hikers Manual on Dropbox. I’m writing this to create a more factual understanding of the actual sequence of events that is less blurred by the romantic imagination of homestead farming. If ask explain that you are aware of the restrictions and that you carry processed food and give examples. If you have seen images of Patagonia and you are now looking to get to these places then the GPT is probably not the right choice. If you are charged by a dog or a pack of dogs, a phrase they commonly recognize is if you shout “vete pa ya” (go over there) or stoop down and pick up (or even just simulate picking up) a rock and they usually turn tail. Like Gerald Klamer they maximized their time on the trail by minimizing resupply stops, a strategy that we also apply and suggest. Hiker’s that feel uncomfortable being guided by a GPS need to learn and adapt to this form of navigation or discard the idea of hiking the Greater Patagonian Trail. When entering the fundo Las Truchas northbound you may be send back by the guard, who lives 2 km south of the Laguna Las Truchas from late spring to autumn. Therefore I did not keep the introduction as short as possible because I want to shake off readers that are not fit for this trail. We carried such a personal satellite tracker and our families and friends stayed much more relaxed because they could see us move day by day through the mountains. When going further south you will meet courageous settlers that have ventured into the challenging back-country of Patagonia. Shops rarely have posted hours and even if they do, these are not observed. The guard lives at the southern entrance to the ranch. Wild boar: Are other potentially dangerous animals. Dormant and recently active volcanoes rise into the sky and glaciers cover all higher summits. For bus schedules, ask at the kiosks or other local shops. They normally hide and avoid contact with humans. Before findings this trail on this map I considered a challanging cross-country traverse to the river Polcura because I could not find any suitable trail on the Google Earth satellite images due to the dense forest. I can recommend the following more established hiking areas in Patagonia: An other excellent option to explore parts of the GPT in a more controlled manner is a horse riding trip. Throughout our 4 month journey, we discovered the beauty of the Andes Mountain range and the incredibly generous people that call this place their home. When hiking in Chile and Argentina you will not experience begging as this is the case in the neighboring countries of Bolivia and Peru. Therefore be open-minded to change the direction of travel if favorable. Their name derives from their habit of harvesting piñones, the seeds of the Araucaria tree that is called in Mapudungun "pewen". More out of curiosity I started searching for a continuous trail in Google Earth trying to incorporate the best trails that I hiked so far. About 86% of the current trail is located on Chilean territory and 14% is on Argentine soil. We enjoy listening to them before we speak about our own adventure and trail recording project. These depressions and valleys were created by immense glaciers during past ice ages and remain partly filled by lakes. Option 1: You can take the 10 km dirt road to the regular trail section end where the next part of the Greater Patagonian Trail starts. Here you can request to join this Facebook group. The locals that regularly use these trails don't need them as they know their trails inside out and nobody else is expected to come. Minor roads are without transit traffic therefore hitch-hiking is rarely feasible. It runs south from Santiago, Chile. This requires questioning yourself and scrutinizing your best practices that served you so well on other trails in other regions. The smallest quantity for sale is typically half an animal ("medio canal"). Many of these settlers are proud of their heritage and enjoy sharing their history. Some short cuts and many optional side trip i.e. If you have questions that are not answered in this trail descriptions then you may send me an email. That’s essential to better understand the landscape and the nature of this trail network. For more information see: Hantavirus on wikipedia. He loved the idea to be the first to investigate and record them and so he did! When challenged on the trail explain friendly that you are just a hiker and that you do not want anything else than passage to the next road or town. These citizens receive a tourist permit that allows them to stay up to 90 days in Chile. Just a few kilometers up the same road is the “Piedra del Indio”. Starting from section GPT09 to about GPT15 you will meet the Pehuenche. Try to surprise your counterpart with with good Spanish skills and knowledge about his country! And in between these two unlike areas – in between the dry plains in the east and the humid fjords in the west - tower the Patagonian Andes. Become an expert in setting up the GPS trail files on your GPS devise and your backup systems i.e. Thankfully, I have a basic understanding which has grown over our trek and my hiking partner is fluent in cultural sensitivities as well as the Spanish language. Also the southern limit is fuzzy. An access permit may be requested in advance but no specific information are available where this can be done. Most of this section was planned using Google Earth and Bing Maps. Several years ago we did an impressive 6 day tour which was for us an essential eyeopener to pay more attention to the region north of Patagonia. When he purchased this ranch he first kept it open for public access to the attractive Laguna Las Truchas. The learning and adopting applies to other aspects of your hike i.e. If a reader does not make it to the end of this introduction than he better don’t start with the GPT. Christian sects have caused deep divisions within their communities and even within families. Here you can request to join this Facebook group. From today’s perspective this is a brute violation of the native nations and their homeland. Route that passes through overgrown terrain. What you do not see much more is extreme poverty. You need to ask also for direction, organize your resupply by either figuring out what is available on the route or taking public transportation to resupply towns off the trail. There won't always be what you may want in town to eat or even a place to stay with hot water. The majority was absolutely amazed by the land and the people and their experience on the trail. Combine: If you want to spend more time on the trail and less time in buses and towns than add several sections into longer hiking legs without leaving the trail to resupply. I want to outline the ambivalent history that permits you now to personally discover this land on trails that these settlers created and that are now part of the GPT. The tragedy of Antuco is one example. Be aware that small streams and rivers that origin at the flanks of a volcano often rise immediately and become instantly impassable during an eruption. On section 1, 5, 7 and 10 it can be used for smaller side trips on lakes that are located next to the trail. But their expertise often reaches only to certain point. Some milk their cows and make cheese. For the younger generation moving into a town seems more promising than the burden of making a living on the “campo” (English: cultivated land). Summits rarely exceed 4000 m but most passes are still above 2000 m. Here the Andes are much more suitable for hiking. A good part of the trails we took at this time on horseback are now part of section GPT06. See also Wikipedia: Settlement of the Americas. In these blogs you find a much more personal account that shows the individual perception of the trail. Therefore most hikers that set themselves the goal to cross Chile or Argentina took primarily roads and this is what cautions me. If the children of these settlers move out than sooner or later the land will be sold to the biter with the highest offer. A best practice of contributors is to keep notes as you go. I coined the term "Greater Patagonia" to combine Patagonia in its traditional limits with the adjacent regions like "Greater London" includes the city of London and the surroundings. Insist if necessary! A packraft does not carry only your backpack but it carries you! Once we stepped by accident into their annual religious gathering called "Guillatún". And that’s a pity because Argentines and Chileans are normal open and interested people that treat guests with honest geniality. a few short stretches of bush bashing through thick growth. You hurry up to cross into Argentina on section 16 within 90 days counted from your arrival in Chile. Do not expect anyone to know what you are doing or why you just walked down their driveway/out of their shrub/over their fence/through their gate (which you closed behind you, right?). Unfortunately this service is only available in larger cities. Here we found in example well-seasoned couscous imported from Canada, potato fritters that comes as a powder imported from Germany and dehydrated deserts that you just need to mix with cold water and milk powder to make in example a very tasty chocolate cream after your dinner. This diversity is what makes the GPT so authentic but also so inconsistent and, in some sections, challenging. Be aware that a landslide into a lake may cause a tsunami on a lake shore. If your expectation of Patagonia is based on a brief Google search and a few articles about Patagonia than you probably have seen primarily these three heavily hyped tourist magnets: These are three truly amazing spots on the eastern edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and are internationally known highlights of Patagonia. 2.1 Statements about the GPT by Hikers and Packrafters; 2.2 Information to the GPT; 2.3 The GPT Wikiexplora Article. Here the packraft carries you on up to 40% of the distance and this makes it a brilliant deal. To draw the right conclusions for your hike read my comments to this film either before or better after watching. This choice frees me to not aim to maximal publicity but to also discourage potential hikers that might not visit this area with the appropriate attitude. Therefore be always prepared and equipped for sudden weather changes. Recommendable "visa trips" with public transportation are: Alternatively you can request a tourist visa extension in Chile. In this rugged region hardly any road or trail was built along the coast. This change of plan turned out to be an excellent choice. The municipal administration of Cochamo published a hiking map showing the horse trail that are used and maintained by the local population that lives in the remote back-country. If someone intents to make a documentary or film along the trail then I will strongly recommend to first come one season without much camera gear to simply get to know the trail, the region and in particular the people. Chile and Argentina are not developing countries like their neighbor Bolivia. Region (Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena with the provinces Magallanes, Tierra del Fuego, Última Esperanza and Antártica Chilena), Section 9: From Curarrehue in Chile to Junin de Los Andes or San Martin de Los Andes in Argentina, Section 13: From Osorno in Chile to San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina. Hiked on the GPT: GPT06 (partly), GPT07, GPT10-GPT12, GPT17, GPT18 (partly), GPT19, GPT22 (partly). There a couple of questions that quickly indicate if the GPT is a suitable choice for you or not. Along the entire trail you will encounter again and again anoying Cenchrus plants with spine-covered seeds, that use bypassing animals to spread their seeds (and now also hikers). Especially in this early stage of the development of this trail even an occasional inappropriate behavior by an individual hiker can cause lasting damage. Due to this geography the GPT crosses on section GPT22 into Argentina and does not return to Chile until section GPT26. Anyone who feels uncomfortable preparing his hike with such an unfinished documentation should rethink if he wants to travel on an unfinished and informal route network. This tours helped us to define the route along the river Melado to the Laguna Dial. Especially experienced hikers may struggle to do this. On this trail your willingness and capability to immerse yourself in this culture will be more relevant than the weight of your backpack. Therefore be cautious when selecting your place to camp. of the trail files without sufficiently emphasizing the Code of Conduct and Best Practices jeopardizes the protection and preservation of this region and endangers the currently generally positive relationship between the residents along this trail and hiking guests. The regular packrafting route was planned with Google Earth and Bing Maps. To the knowledge of the author of this article no full GPS record nor detailed hiking maps are published yet for the Huella Andina but trail descriptions are available on Wikiexplora. walk more on gravel roads instead of hiking on horse trails. Therefore I did not keep the introduction as short as possible because I want to shake off readers that are not fit for this trail. Patients with suspected hantavirus are usually admitted to the hospital and given oxygen and mechanical ventilation support to help them breathe during the acute pulmonary stage. Therefore, this Hiker’s Manual is not expected to be completed in the foreseeable future and will remain a growing and evolving document. Also the period of normally suitable hiking weather is in parts quite short. They inflict painful bites but do not leave an itching stitch. If arranging your tour with an international travel agency than you pay a substantial premium but you have a more predictable travel experience based on a standard offer. They lost one of our packages and were incredible poorly organized and ignorant to give us at least the legally required minimum refund (which was far less than the actual value). Read about Chile and Argentina and learn more about Patagonia. This included terrain as well as​ culture. Santiago de Chile is a suitable northern start (or finish) point and I’m not contemplating a further northern extension. In one camp site a fellow hiker missed one of his shoes in the morning. And when numbers are available or when information can be structured into tables or charts than this is always preferred over well phrased verbal descriptions. I mainly focus on a few trail specific aspects that you probably will not find in guide books. The GPT is much more than this. Four months of hiking and packrafting the rough, desolate, and intense environment … His fate and future is in the hands of the hikers that walk it in the coming years. Before personally focusing on it I wish to consolidate the GPT between Santiago and Lago Viedma by investigating relevant optional routes and updating the trail documentation. On many of these trails a customary right-of-way applies but some routes cross private land and you often can’t know what is where the case. Therefore be a humble guest that admires the endurance of these settlers. (...) For these reasons it is advisable to carry at least an extra day worth of food on many sections of the GPT. Only passionate and highly experienced packrafters may try the very challenging investigation routes GPT30P, GPT76P and GPT77P that provide a water connection through the fjords and channels on the Chilean side. A Facebook group was created for past, current and future GPT hikers. 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