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P a t a g o n i a - P u n t a A r e n a s • P u e r t o N a t a l e s • To r r e s d e l P a i n e

October 2007

BBlack lack


Sheep Sheep

Volume 3 • Issue 2 • October 2007 •

cover image by Michelle Ernst

Patagonia’s Monthly Travel Newspaper

The big picture. Getting to know Patagonia, Torres del Paine and the gateway towns that make them tick.

Cover image: Puerto Natales from 7000m


October.07 w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m

Word from the front line - Rustyn Mesdag, editor Published by Southern Cross Ltda.

The Black Sheep

Organizing Chilean Patagonia Patagonia, Chile ph +56•61•415749

Publisher: Rustyn Mesdag Director: Pilar Irribarra Sales: Sebastian Borgwardt Isabel Chamorro Marnix Doorn

Contributors: Mauricio Cortes Ellen Mesdag Anthony Riggs Maria Nieves Baranda

Here we are in Patagonia. The most wild place I have ever been. I came here to soak in the space, the nature and, more then anything, I wanted to climb. Any serious climber has the word ‘Patagonia’ under their breath somewhere. The rock, the ice, the elements... Patagonia is not only the real thing - it sets a standard. The geography is amazing to see and to touch, but every climber I have ever known craves something beyond just the scenic beauty of crazy-wild-remote places, they also crave adventure. Adventure. That word gets used a lot down here. But the meaning of that word can be very different for different people. For climbers, the word ‘adventure’ usually has a slight ring of danger in it, or should I say defying danger, looking at it, facing it - being ready for it. Once your mind and your body are use to the challenges of big climbs, climbing can become the most soothing and comforting thing in your life... but of coarse, mixed with that inevitable danger that makes climbing what it is. Climbers love climbing, it’s a passion.

But what are the risks? Thats what every who ‘tries’ a climb wants to know. Along with every friend, mother, father and loved one. My mother is lucky enough to have two sons who climb. I now have two son. Do I want them to be climbers? I don’t know. Thats one of those loaded questions. But I know my mother would never want to take climbing away from me. She knows her sons, and she knows why they climb. (Sorry mom). Guides get this question all the time. “What are the chances, really, of something happening while out in the mountains? One in a hundred? One in a thousand? Have you ever seen an accident?!” If that were true, the accident count annually would have a massive number, not only in Patagonia but anywhere. A better comparison is the freeway, or the autobahn. Most of us have driven on large highways and freeways, yet we know their dangers. If you drive on the freeway everyday, week after week, year after year, then eventually you will witness or be a part of an accident. Some will be fatal, some will not. Some will fall fate to just running out of gas, while others get a flat tire. Most problems on the freeway are harmless, mostly just inconvenient. But

sometimes there are bigger problems. We all have at least heard of fatal accidents on the freeway, yet we still choose to drive. We face the risk. We rely on our skills and out common sense to get us where we are going. We know a semi-truck could come down on us for any number of unfortunate reasons, but we do it anyway. We prepare. We stay alert. We do our best. But sometimes people don’t come home. Guides and climbers are like those drivers. They take the risks. They prepare. They stay sharp. They do their best. Most of the time the small problems come from a broken stove or a forgotten headlamp. But sometimes they don’t come home. This last month, two climbers Marcelo Diaz and Carlos Ortiz, from Punta Arenas, never came home after climbing near Chacabuco Range. Our thoughts go out to the families of these two climbers. Whatever happened to them, in that moment that changed their trip, we know they were doing their best. They were staying sharp and they were happy to be in the mountains and not on a freeway.

- Pilar Irribarra, editor

Consultant: Bill Penhollow

The Black Sheep is an independently and locally owned paper, inspired by life abroad. The opinions within the Black Sheep, written or implied, are not necessarily those of the advertisers. We therefore reserve the right to live true to our name, and always remain the Black Sheep.

Whoops!: Lat months BS, V3-I1-pg 7, we stated that the Central tower was the highest of the three towers - which iot’s not. The highest of the three towers is the south tower at 2850m.

Llegamos a Octubre, comienza oficialmente la temporada alta en Patagonia chilena, con agrado podemos observar como locales, hoteles y servicios, abren sus puertas para recibir a los visitantes. Si tú has dejado la seguridad de tu casa y de tu entorno para aventurarte en la Patagonia y tu maleta viene cargada emociones, esperamos que en Black Sheep, encuentres la ayuda e información para poder hacer tus sueños realidad. Sin duda la Patagonia evoca en la imaginación del viajero una tierra mítica, de leyendas y exploradores. Paisajes que se pierden en el horizonte y un territorio de contrastes. Te invito a dejar de lado las expectativas y a viajar libre por estas tierras. Olvida el calendario y el reloj y ríete de los infaltables percances…y sobretodo disfruta en cada lugar que visites, no sólo contemples sus bellezas naturales, conoce a la gente de los pueblos y de las estancias, te sorprenderá su calma y ritmo de vida; el que nos sumerge a un espacio-tiempo, donde se dan las largas conversaciones acompañadas de un buen mate, porque en Magallanes no hay prisa.

torres del paine tested in patagonia

New clothing from the heart of Patagonia Baquedano 622 Pto Natales, Chile +56-61 614310

En tu paso por alguna de nuestras ciudades y pueblos de la Patagonia haz una pausa para recorrer las calles de Puerto Natales, Cerro Castillo,Villa Tehuelches, Porvenir, Cerro Sombrero o Punta Arenas. Bajo tu mirada estará la historia tejida por los años en la cual se fusionan costumbres de los colonos Alemanes e Ingleses, de los inmigrantes Croatas y de los que llegaron de la Isla Grande de Chiloé. Además, notarás una gran influencia de nuestra hermana Argentina. Sí, porque para los que vivimos en esta zona Austral beber el

“Mate”, jugar al “truco”o asistir a las jineteadas son costumbres arraigadas que no practican los “nortinos” (habitantes de Chile de Puerto Montt hasta Arica). Curiosidad despierta en los turistas chilenos que el hombre de campo en estas tierras no es el típico huaso de chupalla y poncho, sino que arriba del caballo va montado un baqueano con boina y bombachas similar al gaucho argentino, hombres que comparten el amor por la pampa, soportan el frío y el viento y su soledad es acompañada por sus ovejas y perros, fieles compañeros de trabajo. Viajar a Patagonia no es sólo visitar las Torres del Paine y los glaciares…es mucho pero mucho más, es contactarse con el espíritu de sus habitantes e intercambiar experiencias, tan diversas como las de un pescador de centolla, las de un esforzado minero del carbón o las de un ovejero. Cuando escuchas su diario vivir, su simpleza y su riqueza, es fácil cuestionarse cuantas necesidades adquiridas nos ha transmitido la sociedad actual y podemos ver en el espejo de la vida que la velocidad de las grandes ciudades es un torbellino que nos hace perder cosas esenciales. Te invito a escuchar el mensaje que trae el viento y a imaginar las etnias que recorrían este territorio…aaahh, pero sólo será posible si “apagamos el celular” y nos desconectamos del internet… Una buena estadía a los lectores de Black Sheep y los invitamos a compartir sus impresiones, enviarnos su mejor fotografía y a escribirnos a

wa s h i n g w i t h d i r t Fat. Fat and grease. We love it. Even if you don’t think you love it, you actually do. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, we all crave foods that hold some kind of fat; the grease on meat, the oils in avacados, t h e whole cream in ice cream. We not only like it, we need it. We need it for energy while trekking. A couple of facts: 1) Soaps are a threat to fresh water supplies. It´s best not to use these products at all. 2) Cold stream or lake water turns left over greases on dishes into a thick, lard-like glue (impossible to remove without soap & water)... or is it? Here’s the trick: take your dirty dinner dishes to an area of sand or small rocks, grab a fist-full of dirt, and scrub! The small granuals of dirt and pebbles will absorb all the oils from your meal and will remove almost any difficult foods. Even burnt dinner pots clean up quickly with gravel! Your pots and dishes are left with nothing more than a clean coat of dust that is easily rinsed with only a small amount of water - soap free!


Black Sheep w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m

Torres del PaineCampamento Italiano Campamento Italiano got its name long ago from an Italian climbing expedition to climb the Cuernos. After being just a climbers campsite for years, from 1980 onwards Italiano is an official free Conaf campsite. In 2002 the first park rangers where stationed there, mostly to prevent tourists from starting forest fires. They were guarding the area, but without facilities, they lived in tents. In 2004 a house was built in Italiano, all materials arrived at the place carried by humans. The number of people spending the night at Italiano has been growing ever since. In high season there are counted up to 150 tents a night at the campsite. Using this campsite is a great way to visit Valle Del Frances with less time constraints. Waking up in the morning in Italiano gives ample time to see the Valley and move on to your next camp before dark. This valley got its name from a Frenchman that used to have cattle in the area. The animals were more in the area around Pehoe and Italiano and were never really found up in the valley. The valley was named after this Frenchman who’s name was Bader and the valley between Valle del Frances and Valle Ascencio still bares his name,Valle Bader. Right now the only facilities in Italiano are outhouses or long drops. The campsite is situated in a Lenga tree forest that offers trekkers a lot of protection from wind & rain. Valle del Frances tends to attract bad weather. This together with the growing number of people staying there, a new project is planned for construction. This will feature a protected area for campers to cook and relax out of the weather. CONAF says that this project will be ready by 2008 / 2009.

New Patagonia National Park Patagonia National Park will be located in Chile’s Valle Chacabuco mostly centered on a 70,000 hectare farm that was purchased by Conservación Patagonica. Doug Tompkins, a multi-millionaire from the clothing industry, and his wife Kristine are ardent conservationists that have acquired 800,000+ hectares through their Conservation Land Trust. Kristine Tompkins developed the Land Trust Conservación Patagonica to purchase lands in Patagonia that will be restored, developed and absorbed into the current string of national parks that have been created and sustained by these land trusts. The overall plan of purchasing and protecting these lands involves revitalizing overgrazed and damaged landscape that results from the practice of unsustainable ranching. Patagonia National Park’s location protects areas from the Andean foothills, through the Chacabuco Valley’s grasslands and westward to Rio Baker. This region will provide an area for huemul deer, herds of guanaco, and the puma to roam and populate. One of the many steps upon purchase is the removal of livestock and its fencing, cleanup of former ranches and eradication of non-native plant species. A master conservation and restoration plan, run by a wildlife manager, includes construction of park infrastructure is also put into place. Patagonia National Park will showcase a healthy and intact ecosystem that has been restored through ambitious planning by ecologists who believe in their mission.

Mate. MATE is a yerba. It is made from the leaves and stalks of a shrub (Ilex paraguariensis). In Patagonia drinking mate is a ritual often involving a group of friends who have gathered to “matear” (drink and gossip). It is usually taken on an empty stomach in the morning or afternoon. Mate is said to be an appetite suppressant, an anti-oxidant and rich in vitamins C, B1, B2, potassium and magnesium. It is considered to be a healthier option than tea or coffee, but it is a stimulant and contains caffeine. So if you are looking for something to aid digestion that won´t keep you awake all night why not try one of the té de hierbas (herbal teas) that are very popular with Chileans. Menta (mint) and manzanilla (camomile) will be familiar to many but there are various others. These hierbas are usually taken after meals and are caffeine free, but they are also recommended for a range of other ailments. Below is a list of some of their properties and some of the conditions they may help to alleviate. BOLDO – calming, headaches, gallstones BAILAHUEN – aphrodisiac, cleanses the liver LLANTEN (plantain) – anti-inflammatory, coughs, stimulates the appetite MATÍCO – for after eating meat MENTA (mint) – nausea, wind, bad breath, colds MANZANILLA (camomile) – calming, antiinflammatory, high blood pressure PAICO – flatulence, diarrhea TILO – lowers cholesterol, fever, cramps CEDRÓN (Lemon verbena) – calming, insomnia, flatulence, cramps These teabags can be found in many shops and supermarkets. There is one that is a mix of hierbas called “ocho hierbas” which is particularly recommended for after meals. If you are interested in a more natural approach to treating ailments you should visit a Hierberia. There are several in Puerto Natales. Here you will find the above teas in leaf form, as well as many others offering a range of benefits. The leaves can be made into infusions and taken hot or cold. Even if your Spanish isn´t great you may be able to get an idea of their uses just from the amusing drawings on some of the packets. N:B: These infusions are much stronger than the teabags so if you are pregnant or suffer from any particular illness you should check before using.

Tu publicidad puede estar aquí!!

...join the rucksack


backpacker s helping backpacker s

ry Eve



a Isl


0 o -2 n i r a


We believe in backpacking and we believe in backpackers. We believe in counting experience by blisters, not by years. We believe in sleeping in tents. We believe in old fashioned adventure. We believe in real coffee. We believe in bad weather camping. We believe in river crossings. We believe in unguided adventure. We believe that reggae music can change the world.We believe in making good decisions fast. We believe in painting with bold strokes. We believe in sunrises, not just sun sets. We believe in leaving the guidebook at home. We believe in hitch hiking. We believe in recycling. We believe in nature remaining open & free for everybody. We believe in questioning authority. We believe in saftey meetings. We believe in live outdoor music. We believe in healthy living. We believe YOU can make a difference. We believe in the road less travelled. We believe in Robin Hood. We believe in killing your television. We believe in drinking straight from the rivers. We believe in travelling on a shoestring.We believe in breaking routine.We believe in word of mouth.We believe in testing the boundries.We believe in living outside of the box. We believe in organic food. We believe in helping people get out of the office. We believe in alternative power. We believe getting dirty. We believe in volunteering. We believe in picking up a piece of trash that’s not ours. We believe in the golden rule.We believe in quitting a job if they tell you to cut your hair. We believe that outside is better than inside. We believe you should love what you do, or stop. We believe what you pack in, you pack out. We believe that backpackers abroad are the best representatives of thier countries and should be united.

ve? e i l e b u o y o what d Llámanos al 09-77090141 o escríbenos a

erratic rock r aticr




(Laguna Amarga)


October.07 w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m

Gomez Ph 415700


Puerto Natales Bus Schedules (Pudeto)


(Administration) Approximate travel times from Puerto Natales (allow for border crossings and tour connections within park) JB 7.30 (Laguna Amarga) El Calafate 5 hrs TDP L. Amarga Ph 412824 Punta Arenas 3 hrs TDP Pudeto (Pudeto) Ushuaia 15 hrs TDP Admin (Administration)

13.00 15.00 2 hrs 30 3 hrs 15 14.00 3 hrs 45 13.00

Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales

Buses Fernandez Ph 411111 E. Ramírez 399

7.15 9.00 13.00 14.30 17.00 18.30 20.00 7.30 10.00 13.30 18.00

Buses Fernandez Ph. 242313 Arm. Sanhueza 745

7.00 8.30 15.00 19.00

Bus Sur Ph. 244464 José Menéndez 552

Bus Pacheco Ph 414513 Baquedano 500

Torres del Paine buses

Bus Sur Ph 411859 Baquedano 668

Bus Pacheco Ph. 242174 Colón 900

8.00 9.00 13.00 14.30 17.00 18.30 20.00 8.30 14.00 18.30 19.30

9.00 15.00 17.00 19.00

Torres del Paine – Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales




Laguna Amarga




Laguna Amarga


Puerto Natales






Gomez -Arturo Prat 234 - Ph 411971

Torres del Paine – Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales




Laguna Amarga






Laguna Amarga




Puerto Natales


Buses JB - Arturo Prat 258 - Ph 410242 Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine – Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales




Laguna Amarga






Laguna Amarga




Puerto Natales


Three days or more of serious trekking

through whatever means available, to a Park ranger

can take its toll on any body not accustomed to

or any of the concessions within the Park. Every

such endurance, so it’s likely that you’ll leave the

Park ranger station and concession has a radio and

Park with an aching muscle or two at the least. And

will alert CONAF Administration, who will im-

unfortunately, there’s always a chance of more se-

plement the necessary measures depending on the

rious injury. Here are some tips on reducing that

sector and terrain you are in and the nature of the

possibility and what to do if you’re not so lucky...

incident. Assistance will be provided to anyone in

How can I avoid getting injured in the Park?

of the Park (ie on a marked pathway or recognised

The most common injury of walkers in the Park is

public area), so keep to the permitted routes at all

pulled or strained muscles, so the best advice is to

times unless you have specific permission (available

be aware of your fitness level and your limits and

for climbers only).

don’t try to do too much. Stretching well at the end

of a day of walking and first thing in the morning

get you out of the mountain area to a point from

should help loosen taut muscles and reduce the risk

where transport can be arranged to Puerto Natales

of strains. Blisters are a common complaint too, so

or Punta Arenas if necessary. Very often guides or

make sure you have the right footwear. Taping the

others in the Park work with the Park rangers to

areas of your feet prone to friction injuries with

help people in difficulties. If you need an ambulan-

zinc oxide or fabric surgical tape before you start

ce or other special transport out of the Park, you

can also help to avoid blisters developing in the first

will need to pay for this yourself.

place. Insect bites can be bothersome as well.

Remember that it may take some time for help to

Take a small first aid kit with you containing at

arrive, as the Park is large and many areas can only

the minimum, pain killers/ anti-inflammatories,

be reached on foot or by horse.

Wherever possible, the Park rangers will

friction injuries on your feet), insect repellent and

What about helicopter assistance?

anti-histamine cream.

CONAF can arrange helicopter assistance if it is considered necessary and appropriate. Every sector

What if I don’t have the treatment I need with

of the Park has a designated helicopter landing area.


However, the availability of helicopter assistance de-

Every Park ranger station has a first aid kit and can

pends largely on the weather conditions within the

deal with minor injuries such as cuts, blisters and

Park. If the wind is too strong, the cloud too thick

strains. Whilst the Park rangers have first aid trai-

or the rain too heavy, a helicopter cannot be deplo-

ning, they are not allowed to administer medicines,

yed. Again, it may take a few hours for assistance to

so they cannot perform miracles. Depending on the

arrive depending on the conditions and where the

severity of the injury, you may have to consider mo-

injured person is. If a helicopter is deployed, the

difying or abandoning your trek rather than carry

injured person will need to cover this cost.

on and risk exacerbating the problem. And if someone is seriously injured? The first thing you should do is report the incident,

Torres del Paine Refugio Information Refugio Dickson & Grey are undergoing managment changes and will have updated info after October 1st. Inquire locally. The below costs are approximations. +56-61 412592

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Full board

by Sarah Rutter

plasters/ blister treatment (Second Skin is ideal for

Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine

A quick saftey meeting...

difficulties, as long as you are in an authorised area

Via Paine / Andescape - Eberhard 599 - Ph 412877 Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine

First Aid Questions

$8.50 $13.00 $15.00 $59.00

Dorm bed Camping Sleeping bag 2 person Tent Mattress

$25.00 $7.00 $7.50 $13.00 $3.50

These prices are in US dollars. Paying in Chilean pesos adds tax.

Fantastico Sur - Las Torres, Chileno, Los Cuernos

+56-61 360360

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Full board

Dorm bed Camping Sleeping bag 2 person Tent Mattress

$8.00 $12.00 $14.00 $63.00

$33.00 $7.00 $7.00 $11.00 $3.00

Vertice - Paine Grande Mountain Lodge +56-61 412742 Breakfast Lunch Dinner Full board

$9.00 $12.00 $15.00 $65.00

Dorm bed Camping Sleeping bag 2 person Tent Mattress

$35.00 $7.00 $9.00 $14.00 $3.00


Black Sheep w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m

Torres del Paine, Chile - Q&A What’s the weather going to be like for the next few days? That’s the forbidden question. But we put this one in just for fun! .... No, really, what’s the weather going to be like? I need to know what to pack! Plan for everything, but mostly cold. The weather changes constantly. How far is it to the park from here? From Natales, by bus, it takes about 2 to 2.5 hours. What time do the buses leave in the morning? In April and May, �������������������������� most of the buses pick-up between 7 to 8am. What’s up with all the dogs? Half of them are street dogs, half of them are owned but run free anyway. Together they make more street dogs. It’s a circle of life thing... Can the buses to the park pick me up from my hostel? Some do. It depends if your hostel is friendly with the bus company. How can I book a refugio? In town, go to Pathgone or Comapa. How much does camping cost in the park? Camping costs 3500 pesos per person, not per tent, at the privately run sites. The CONAF sites are free. In the off-season closed campsites are free. So, I pay an entrance fee AND pay to camp? Yep, and don’t forget your bus ticket, mini shuttle or catamaran, as well. Which campsites are free? Los Guardas, Italiano, Británico, Japones, Camp Las Torres, Paso, Pingo and Las Carretas. At what time do the stores open in the morning? Don’t count on the stores being open before 9:30am. What about midday? Between 12 and 3 everything is pretty locked down, except for the supermarkets. Where can I buy camping food in town? There are three bigger supermarkets in town, the Magno located one block south from the Santiago Santander bank. The Don Bosco and Super Mix are both on the main streets of Baquedano and Bulnes. How do I contact the park’s Search and Rescue if something happens? There is no official Search and Rescue in the park, but any of the CONAF Ranger stations will help you. What are the winters like around here? Calm, blue, clear, freezing and beautiful. How cold does it get in the park at night? April to September, pretty damn cold. Can I rent a tent, sleeping bag and matress at the refugios? If they are open in the off-season then yes, but you can’t take them with you as you trek. How much does the catamaran to Pehoe cost in the park? The Catamaran costs 11.000 pesos per person one way. 17.000 round trip. But it shuts down in the off-season. Is there food sold in the park? You can buy hot meals in the refugios. As far as buying camp food, you can find some staples at refugios. Why do all the girls here wear those uniform mini skirts to school in such a cold and

windy place? Another big mystery, but we are pretty sure it was a man’s idea. How much do the taxis cost? From 6am to 1am it’s 800 pesos. From 1am to 6am it’s 1.000 pesos. (Within city limits.) How long does the trekking season last? Roughly from October to April, but it’s growing more every year. The truth is that it’s beautiful here all the time, the park is great in winter.

Why is there so much garbage on the beach? That is a very good question... but you could always help and pick some up. Do I have to worry about making a reservation for the bus on my way back from Torres del Paine? No. There is almost always room, and they never leave anyone behind. They always work it out for you. ...and all the buses and all the boats meet up with each other perfectly, crazy I know.

What time is sunrise and sunset? It changes of course, but the map you receive when you enter the park has some of that info on the back. What’s up with me not being able to flush my toilet paper down the toilet? Do I really have to throw it in the waste basket?! It depends on where you are. Sometimes it’s fine to flush it, but if it says not to, DON’T! A bit gross and bizarre, I know, but the pipes from yester-year just can’t handle it. If the weather is nice on the first day, should I go see the towers first? Any experienced climber, trekker or hiker will tell you to make a plan and stick to it, but as long as your logistics all work out there is nothing wrong in a little improv. Are the times on the trail maps accurate? The times are pretty good on the CONAF map, depending on your physical condition. Some of the books seem to be a bit off though. Is it worth renting a car to get around instead of using the buses? Depends on your budget and your destination. Public transportation is always a good ideas when possible, but there is a lot of Patagonia out there that has no public buses. To see those places, getting a few people to pitch in for a car can make for a unique experience.

Need More?

A free information talk is given at erratic rock everyday at 3pm. It includes information about the Park, logistics, food prep, programs, clothing and any questions you might have. Need a trekking partner? The 3 o’clock talk is a great place to meet other solo trekkers! Bring pen & paper, sit with some real coffee and figure out what you need and who’s going where.

568 Eberhard, Puerto Natales, Chile 56-61 412766 • Downtown Puerto Natales, located a half block from the main square.


Oct 1 to 15, 2007 October 16 to 31, 2007



12:00pm 12:00pm

12:30pm 12:30pm



Do I get a map when I enter the park? Yes.You can buy a nicer wall map in town.

November 1 to March 15, 2008





Do I need sunscreen in the park? Absolutely! The hole in the ozone hovers right over us this time of year. It can and will cause you problems after a multi-day trek in the park. The UV rays come through the clouds too, so don’t go light on the sun protection.

March 16 to 31, 2008

18:00pm 12:00pm

18:30pm 12:30pm

April 2008

18:00pm 12:00pm

18:30pm 12:30pm

Where can I buy white gas? The pharmacies carry clean white gas.You can start finding them in some of the outdoor and building material stores too.

One way ticket $11.000 per person (one backpack is allowed) Round trip ticket $17.000 per person Los arrieros 1517. Puerto Natales. Phone 61-411380. Mail:

What’s up with all the military guys walking around town? There is a military base located right outside of town. Why do I get given a piece of little receipt paper every time I buy something? It´s the law, no joke. Everyone takes it very seriously. Do I need to tie up my food in the park? Not really. But mice and/or a fox might get into your vestabule. It’s best to sleep with your food in the tent, with you. Can you drink the water in the park? You bet! Best water in the world. Just make sure it’s fresh run off, no lake water or anything down stream from a camp or refugio. Why do I seem to understand LESS Spanish in Chile than anywhere else? Chileans down here talk really fast and with a lot of slang.

A comfortable & secure voyage across Lake Pehoe...



w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m

Aqua Nativa Sea Kayak Patagonia


79% Water & Ice. You´ll need a kayak.

tours y l k We e no! a r r e Rio S

Eberhar d 161 Pto. Natales, Chile

Rucksack Report from the Front:

F u e l Eff i c i e n c y

While trying to pack light, taking your fuel into consideration helps. Bringing more fuel then you really need just means more weight to carry. On the other side of the coin, not enough fuel can cause problems. Here are a few ideas to make the most of your fuel. 1. Don´t over boil your water, it can only get so hot. Leaving the water boiling after its first moment is a waste. Lighting the stove before you are ready to start a boil is also only heating the fresh air. 2. Use a lid on your pot. It holds the heat in and makes for a faster boil. 3. Use a wind screen. Wind will carry your heat from under your pot and redirect it from your food. Using a wind shield will aim the heat up and under your pot. If you don´t have an aluminum wind screen, rocks from your campsite will also help protect your heat. 4. Many outdoor manufactures (such as MSR) now make heat exchangers that fit around your pot as an insulation. Between this and a wind screen, you can cook in almost any conditions.

New ¨Overland¨ Route, El Chalten to Villa O´Higgins We´ve received the good word from a trusted backpacking scout roaming the wild Patagonian lands. The intelligence indicates new information about an ¨overland¨ route from El Chalten, Argentina, to Villa O´Higgins, Chile - the enchanting southern tip of Carretera Austral. Here’s a splendid idea for an alternative trip and how you can do it: If you take a bus from El Chalten to El Lago Del Desierto (its cost is 35 Argentine pesos,) hike 12 hours to catch the ferry crossing, or break up the hike into two days. It’s also possible to take a boat across El Lago Del Desierto, which reduces hiking time to about seven hours. But if you’re hiking inclined, you could also skip the bus entirely, and basically hike the road to the lake. Ferries arrive on Saturdays and Wednesdays and cost 35 US dollars. Our scout also reports that Saturdays are the most reliable option; during the down season (May through October) Wednesday ferries don’t operate.Want To Go deeper? A bus operates every Tuesday from Villa O´Higgins to Cochrane. Enjoy.

Off the beaten path in Puerto Natales In just a half day of biking, you can

have a “so close, but so far” view of Puerto Natales and its surroundings. All you need is a bike, a picnic, and your camera! If you follow the road by the sea, going in the exact opposite direction of everyone else (who will all be going to the park), you will pass the main dock. Keep pedalling until the pavement turns into dirt. When you get to where all the fishing boats are, you will have to turn down some streets, but always try to keep closest to the sea (if you get lost, just ask anyone how to get to “el camino a Dumestre”).You will reach a dirt road out of town, and as you get farther away from the town, all of the mountains will start to show you how tremendous they really are, and how endless they seem by the sea. The farther you get, the greater your view of the different mountains will be. You’ll see Tenerife, Prat, Chacabuco, Ballena, Cordillera Moore, and even the Caín Mountains of the beautiful Roca Península.


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Finding the Patagonia 5 by bill penhollow

Most of us are familiar with Africa’s famous “big five”: the buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, lion and leopard. However, few are familiar with the Patagonian Five (probably because I just came up with it to get published). Though they are not as big or dangerous as their counterparts in Africa, the P5 prove to be just as unique and even harder to observe (except for the guanacos!). A lot of luck is needed to observe all five in the park. Hopefully, the descriptions that follow will help trekkers in Torres del Paine be aware of what to look for and where to look for them. GUANACO: A South American cameloid relative of the llama and the alpaca. Sleek and strong, with brownish-white bodies and long necks. They are found in the steppe areas of Laguna Amarga, Laguna Azul, on the drive from the entrance to Lago Pehoe, and Laguna Verde. Guanacos feed on grasses, lichen, and shrubs. They breed once a year and give birth to their “chulengos” between November and February. In the winter months they congragate in herds of up to 400 animals grazing in the Lago Pehoe area of the park. HUEMUL: The Huemul or Andean deer is a small, compact deer, that measures on average just 1.5 meters in length. They can be found on the road between the Administration and Hostería Grey, near Western Bountries, around Lago Grey, and along the Pingo tram. The Huemul is on the brink of extinc-

tion. Due to man’s forest fires and encroachment on its habitat now they are strictly protected. They are very shy and difficult to observe. In 1834 it was incorporated into the Chilean coat of arms. PUMA: The largest of Patagonia’s predators, pumas are closely related to the North American mountain lion. Pumas thrive in a variety of habitats from Alaska to the bottom of Tierra del Fuego. It has the largest range of any of the big cats. It can be found both inside and outside of the park, from steppe to dense forest.The puma’s only enemy is man, they are protected by law, but are still hunted by ranchers. Trekkers will be lucky to see more than a track. ÑANDU: Also known as the Rhea, the ñandu is a member of the ostrich family.They are found on the main entrance drive to the park, and along the road towards Laguna Verde. There is no visual difference between male and female ñandus. The Hareem of females lay all of their eggs in one nest and the male sits on the eggs and watches over the 30 to 40 “charitas” (chicks). They are noted for their speed and zig-zag escape patterns. The Ñandu is recognized as the Chilean symbol of the Magellan region. CONDOR: The condor is the largest member of the Vultrine family. It nests on high cliff faces and soars over the entire park. The black “fingers” at the tips of the 2.5-meter wings, plus its bright white collar, are the trademarks of this symbol of Chile. They produce only one chick every other year. The Condor appears with the huemul on the Chilean national emblem.

Interns needed in Patagonia

Erratic Rock Hostel in Puerto Natales,

For more information contact Erratic

Chile is now taking applications for volenteer in-

Rock at +56-61 410355 or through their web site

terns for the 07/08 season. Volunteers exchange

room and board for living and working in Patagonia.

Minimum time slots begin at 2 week stays.

trend. There are organizations around Chile that are

The volunteer program was started three

woking with internationals to help facilitate this type

years ago and has had travellers from all over the

of travelling. For more information about interning

world. Now, in it’s fourth year, the volunteer pro-

or working holidays in Chile check out

gram has starting working with universities to trans- or

form work experience in a Patagonian hostel into college credits.

Volunteering and interning is not a new

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Punta Arenas Helping the Perros and Gatos

La Protectora - by Bruce Willett

photo by Diego Araya

One of the things many tourists notice when arriving in Chile is the large quantity of stray dogs especially in Punta Arenas. Maybe less noticeable are the many feral cats. I noted this immediately when arriving in 1999. It appears a little chaotic to have all these animals wandering around, and if people here are not outwardly cruel they are often very neglectful. Many of these animals in fact have owners but are left to their own devices. In addition when people tire of the grown puppy they acquired, they dump them on a street far from home or out in the country. This is the circumstance of the un-spayed, pregnant bitches we often pick up in the streets or countryside. Though many of street dogs appear accustomed and healthy, maybe a little shaggy, numerous cases exist of horrible injuries, poisoning, neglect, sickness and starvation. Many dumped dogs don’t know how survive on the streets. Does anybody really care about these animals and are they always left to their own devices. Sometimes! No! The Chilean federal and local governments do not regularly provide animal control services. In cases of a dangerous animal the police will take action. Injuries and neglect sometimes will be dealt with by a caring Carabinero. But in most cases these are left to individuals, kindhearted veterinarians and non profit organizations. Some years the municipality and health department will

basically do a round up and most will be put to sleep, usually before the tourist season. Rumor has it that there are poisonings but this is illegal in Chile. Several small scale spay/neuter programs are financed by the government but are too small to make a difference. For many years, the over-population problem has been exhaustively discussed at all levels with no long term solution. And Yes! There are many concerned people who are privately assisting animals in need. Additionally, in Punta Arenas we have a humane society operating with an animal shelter. Commonly refered to as “La Protectora de Punta Arenas” or officially , “Corporación de Defensa de los Derechos de los Animales” (CODDA). We are the southernmost animal shelter in the world and a legal Chilean nonprofit and run several programs along with our shelter. Education and a sterilization program are our two other priorities. Our leader saint, Señora Elia Tagle founded the organization in 1990 to stop the cruel and flagrant poisoning of street dogs in the early morning hours. To curb the population, the local and federal health department used strychnine. There were example situations like kids waiting for the bus in the morning watching the last agonizing spasms of dogs after ingesting poison. From there the organization grew into spay/neuters and a shelter to house unwanted animals. But we can’t do it all! We are a very small organization with literally a handful of supporters and volunteers operating in a human population of 120,000 and a stray population as high as 15,000. Though we perform a very public service, we receive no public funding. Our work varies from sterilizations, low cost veterinary care, taking in unwanted owned/stray animals, neglect cases, etc. Though our operating budget is less then $20,000 US a year, we are able to stretch this pretty far. With this money we operate a shelter with somewhere between 100 – 140 dogs and 2 -15 cats. Though we have problems with mud when it rains, most of our animals are not locked in cages. Most run around free in several pens, playing and sometimes fighting. Several of our friends have lived here many years. And they eat twice a day, home cooked by our helper Cristina. The cooperation of several veterinarians provides low cost medical services, discounted spay/neuter and dignified euthanasia. With the help of the

police (Carabineros) we can respond to cruelty and neglect cases. In addition we receive outdated and slightly spoiled meat, rice and pet food to feed our friends. Our work also extends to several pilot education projects. One provides education curriculum on the responsibility of pet ownership. In the other, we host a group of high school students from the local British School who are obligated to volunteer in order to graduate. Sterilization is another under funded priority. Many people in Punta Arenas cannot afford to sterilize their pets. In a country where a normal low monthly salary can be as low as $120, the cost to spay a female dog runs about $40 $60. Every year we work with the Municipalidad and local veterinarians to provide this service at low cost. We would like to greatly expand this program. As a passing tourist is there anything you can do? Yes, of course! Help us with a donation! Though we are never short of animals we are always short of cash, sometimes to the point of closing. We receive very little public money. You are welcome to call, email, visit or go to our Paypal account listed on our web site. Make a visit to our shelter and see our work. We are located on the outskirts of Punta Arenas on the road to Club Andino, next to the new prison. We are always looking for volunteers. Help is always needed with cleaning, feeding, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, bringing in donations, publicity, etc Make it known that animal neglect is an eyesore for tourism. This region depends on tourism and the government has invested a lot of money to make tourists comfortable and happy. This problem has never been correctly addressed because very few tourists express concern. If more tourists speak up the politicians and population will take notice. The local paper (La Prensa Austral), tourist offices, your hostel, etc are just a few places to bring this up. We have been seeing an increase of letters to the editor on this subject. If you see a case of neglect, please report it to the local Municipalidad or police. It IS against the law in Chile to intentionally abuse or neglect an animal. If they don’t help, call or email us. If this is in Punta Arenas we can investigate. We would like to collaborate with other organizations doing similar work. Contact us if you are interested. When you visit other parts of Chile or Argentina, check out the local la protectora. Actually there are quite a few with programs and shelters. Temuco, Valdivia and Villarica each have one. Santiago has a bunch. A Google search will bring up many. This website lists a few: http://

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Torres del Paine Climbing Permits - by Sarah Rutter

As well as its stunning scenery and magical atmosphere, the Torres del Paine National Park also offers some outstanding climbing opportunities and for any discerning climber it has to be up there on the “one day” list of climbing expeditions. The most popular climbs in the Park are the three granite peaks that make up the Torres del Paine – the Towers of Paine, ie Torre Norte at 2,600m, Torre Central (2,800m), and Torre Sur (2,850m). Cerro Fortaleza at 2,688m presents a different

challenge as the granite gives way to sedimentary rock from around 2,000m. You can also climb Los Cuernos – the Horns of Paine – the other bestknown image of the Park, whose formation is similar to Cerro Fortaleza: Cuerno Norte (2,400m), Cuerno Principal (2,600m) and Cuerno Este (2,200m). In addition, the impressively formed Aleta de Tiburón (the Shark’s Fin) at 1,717m presents another challenge. Monte Almirante Nieto (2,640m) offers a potentially less technical climb,

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if the weather is good, though you still need some climbing experience to attempt it. In poor weather, the climb is technically considerably more difficult. Paine Grande, which comprises Punta Bariloche, Cumbre Central, Cumbre Norte and Cumbre Principal, the highest peak in the Park at 3,050m, involves a combination of ice and rock climbing and is very susceptible to the vagaries of the Patagonian weather. Depending on your level of skill and appetite for a challenge, all the peaks in the park can be climbed, so there is no danger of running out of options. For any climbing expeditions in the Park you need to fulfil all the necessary conditions set not only by CONAF (the Chilean National Forestry Corporation which administers the Park) but also by DIFROL (Dirrección de Fronteras y Limites del Estado), the national body which controls and monitors any scientific, climbing or mountaineering expedition by foreigners along Chile’s frontiers. Torres del Paine National Park is right on the border with Argentina and so any such expeditions in the Park are monitored by DIFROL. To ensure that your climbing expedition runs as smoothly as possible, here’s what you need to do... Get DIFROL approval. This is obligatory for any non-national wishing to climb or mountaineer in any frontier zone of Chile (it does not include trekking or walking) and you can obtain it even before you leave home. DIFROL authorisation is free of charge. Check the DIFROL website ( for its conditions and recommendations. Download the application form for your expedition from the DIFROL website. Once on the Home Page, click on “Autorización de Expediciones” to get to the form. You can apply for DIFROL permission either directly to a regional government office in Chile or via the Chilean Consulate in your own country. If you arrive in Puerto Natales without DIFROL permission, you’ll need to visit the Regional Government offices in town, which are on C. Eberhard and C. Tomas Rogers. Telephone: 411423. Once in the area in which you want to climb, you need to report to the Carabineros de Chile (the National Police). For climbing in the Park, there are Carabineros either at Cerro Castillo or at the Administration Centre, so that they can check your authorisation and that you are adequately equipped for your expedition. Then you will need CONAF permission, which is granted by the Park Administrator, so when you

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leave for the Park, make sure you take with you: • Your DIFROL approval • The passport of every member of your group • Insurance policy details, including name and address of the insurer, policy number and a contact telephone number, of every member of your group or for the expedition as a whole. • Details of your route(s) and intended timescale. To obtain permission from CONAF, you have to visit the Administration Centre in the Park. The permit is free of charge and given willingly by CONAF, provided that you have all the necessary documentation with you. Plan a trip to the Administration Centre into your timetable to avoid frustration, and be aware of the bus times – if you’re planning to climb Las Torres you’ll start from Laguna Amarga which is up to 2 hours from the Administration Centre and the buses run just twice a day, or you can hitch. At the Administration Centre, you will need to provide the name of your Expedition (so if you don’t have a name already, think up something impressive before you arrive!) and all the documentation mentioned above. The insurance documents are vital - you will not get your permit without them. The permit is required for your own protection in the case of an emergency – if you have an accident CONAF needs to know firstly where you are, and also that you have the insurance cover in place to meet the costs of any rescue operation needed. Whilst CONAF Park rangers will assist anyone who is injured or otherwise incapacitated on the marked trails without charge, it does not have the resources to rescue those who undertake dangerous sports off the marked trails – you do that at your own risk and expense. You will be given a copy of the CONAF permit, which you need to take to the Ranger station of the first sector in which you are planning to climb (if you’re heading first to the Torres, you’ll have to present yourself at the Laguna Amarga Ranger station, if you are climbing Los Cuernos, Aleta de Tiburón or any of the central peaks, you’ll need to visit the Ranger station at Pehoé). CONAF will nominate a Park ranger as the main contact for your expedition with whom you should stay in contact through the duration of your climbing, so that they can monitor your safety and know when you leave.

Black Sheep


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Discounts for Travelers e all th veler s k n p tha eing a tra e e h ack St make b r. l B e a ie Th es th little eas s s e a busin Eberhard 161 - Puerto Natales, Chile - ph 99302997 This coupon is redeemable for a 10% discount on a 1 hour massage. Valid season 2007-08.

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I l l e g a l f i s h i n g p o s i n g n e w t h re at by G.B. Knecht
 On the evening of August 6, 2003, an Australian patrol boat spotted an unidentified vessel near Heard Island, an uninhabited scrap of land halfway between Australia and South Africa, 900 miles north of Antarctica. Stephen Duffy, the Australian customs officer who was leading the patrol, knew what he was up against: a pirate vessel – loaded not with gold doubloons but fish. More specifically Patagonian toothfish, a prehistoric gray-black creature that can live for 50 years and grow to six feet in length.

For most of their existence, toothfish had thrived in nearfrozen obscurity.That was before a little-known fish merchant in Los Angeles gave them an inaccurate but much more appealing name – Chilean sea bass – and chefs fell in love with a white flesh that seemed to accept every spice and hold up to every method of cooking. As toothfish became the topselling fish at restaurants across America, fleets of industrialized fishing vessels – many of them pirates – set out to meet the burgeoning demand.

Duffy knew the waters surrounding Heard Island, 2,500 miles southwest of Australia, holds one of the world’s largest remaining populations of toothfish. The Australian government has given two vessels permits to fish there, but many other vessels operate illegally. Using “longlines” that can stretch for a dozen miles and hold 15,000 baited hooks, a single vessel can harvest 20 or more tons of fish a day: the marine equivalent of strip-mining. 

Toothfish, of course, are not the only species that has been decimated by industrialized fishing. Indeed, over the past 50 years, the populations of many of the most desirable fish have been reduced by more than 90 percent. It’s an

environmental calamity so great that it’s difficult to accept, in part because supermarkets seem to have lots of fish and also because the dwindling stocks of fish from the Northern Hemisphere have been replaced by toothfish and other species that live in faraway places. “Everyone sees that there are plenty of fish in the market, and they don’t remember what used to be there,” says Daniel Pauly, one of the world’s leading fish scientists, “so they say things can’t be all that bad. But they’re wrong. We are in a crisis! It’s not coming – it’s already here. Actually, the 90-percent population decrease understates the problem because fish populations are not just declining – they’re disappearing. The Hudson River used to have shad. It used to have huge sturgeon. They’re not there anymore. But when the government counts the number of fisheries that are in trouble, does it include the Hudson River shad and sturgeon fisheries? No! It only counts what there is to count and forgets what’s already gone.”

Stephen Duffy’s patrol boat was in silent mode as it closed in on its target overnight. It had been almost stationary for several hours, probably, Duffy thought, because it was retrieving a longline. At 5 a.m., Duffy instructed the helmsman to head toward the target at top speed.At 6:57 a.m., an officer monitoring the radar screen had bad news: “The contact is altering course to the south and picking up speed rapidly.” Now that the target had fled, Duffy’s job had become infinitely more challenging. He had hoped to catch the pirate in the act. Once the fish was processed in the onboard
factory and frozen, it would be almost impossible to prove its origin. The pirates would undoubtedly say the

fish came from somewhere else.

Duffy chased the pirate ship around half of Antarctica, passing through building-sized waves, hurricane-force winds and an obstacle course of icebergs. His chase became one of the longest pursuits in nautical history. While the quarry was a single fishing vessel, the stakes were not only the fate of a species but the control of the world’s oceans.

The fishing vessel’s officers were eventually arrested and put on trial – twice – but the evidence was not strong enough to produce convictions. The toothfish hunters were free to return to their grim work. 

But there are other

strategies to put pirates out of business even if they can’t always be put behind bars. We can eliminate piracy by not buying stolen fish. The “Take a Pass on Chilean Sea Bass” campaign has gathered more than 1,000 chefs who have pledged not to serve Chilean sea bass until the problem of illegal fishing is eliminated. The campaign is sponsored by the National Environmental Trust ( Most of the Chilean sea bass sold in fish markets and restaurants was caught illegally. Please don’t buy it! Go to for more information and other related enviromental issues.


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Conmemoración de los 100 años de la creación de la primera área silvestre protegida en Chile Pablo Cunazza M. Ingeniero Forestal Dpto. Patrimonio Silvestre

La Oficina Provincial Última Esperanza de la Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF), es la institución del Estado encargada de administrar el patrimonio forestal, dentro y fuera de las áreas silvestres protegidas. Esta Oficina Provincial está ubicada en el extremo norte de la Región de Magallanes y Antártica Chilena, con jurisdicción en 2 comunas; Natales y Torres del Paine, las que conforman un vasto territorio, el mayor entre las demás provincias de la región, con aproximadamente 5 millones 600 mil hectáreas. A su territorio se le debe asociar una extensa porción de mar existente entre lo desmembrado de la costa, conocida como “Canales Patagónicos” en la porción Oeste del continente. Los territorios de la Provincia de Última Esperanza, poseen un importante valor natural, donde destaca la riqueza de sus ecosistemas terrestres y marinos, junto a su impresionante belleza, destacando entre ellos extensas masas de bosque, siendo las más abundantes de la región, con algo

más de 1 millón 300 mil hectáreas; una proporción importante del Campo de Hielo Patagónico Sur, compartida con la Región de Aysén; un sinnúmero de cuerpos de agua dulces y salobres ricas en fauna marina; montañas cuyo prestigio ha traspasado las fronteras nacionales, como las míticas Torres del Paine, al interior del parque nacional homónimo, junto a la presencia de fauna carismática como los guanacos, huemules y cóndores, que le dan vida al paisaje natural, algunas de las cuales han llegado a formar parte de nuestro escudo nacional. La Oficina Provincial Última Esperanza cuenta con una oficina en la ciudad de Puerto Natales, ubicada a 250 Km al norte de la capital regional Punta Arenas, lugar donde se coordinan a un nivel provincial un conjunto de actuaciones que la ley nacional le encomienda a CONAF. Entre ellas destaca la Unidad de Administración y Fiscalización de la Legislación Forestal, encargada de normar el aprovechamiento sustentable del bosque y fomentar su uso, también la administración de las áreas silvestres protegidas del Estado existentes en la provincia, en beneficio de su conservación

y aprovechamiento local, que para el caso de esta provincia representa cerca del 75% de su superficie, en 4 unidades, con algo más de 4 millones de hectáreas, conformadas por el Parque Nacional

Araucanía, motivo que nos permite hacer un alto y reafirmar nuestra función, junto con prolongar por mucho tiempo más la labor de conservación de los recursos naturales que se ejerce.

Torres del Paine, el Monumento Natural Cueva del Milodón, el Parque Nacional Bernardo O´Higgins y la Reserva Nacional Alacalufes, cada una de ellas según sus aptitudes, destinadas a mantener muestras

CONAF los insta a celebrar junto tan memorable acontecimiento de relevar todo el año la importancia conservación que efectúa el Estado,

representativas de la diversidad biológica regional y favorecer el disfrute y aprovechamiento tanto local como nacional e internacional de sus recursos, entre otras funciones. Adicionalmente existe la Unidad

demás formas de conservación in situ, y así ayudar a su posicionamiento y beneficio en los diferentes niveles de la sociedad.

de Manejo del Fuego, encargada de velar por una importante función de la institución, cual es la prevención y el combate de los incendios forestales, por representar la principal amenaza de deterioro

¡CONAF, a la cabeza de un legado de 100 años de historia conservando nuestro patrimonio silvestre!

del medio natural en la provincia. El día 30 de septiembre del 2007 se conmemoraron 100 años del primer espacio

Oficina Provincial Última Esperanza Puerto Natales, Chile

natural protegido por el Estado de Chile, la Reserva Nacional Malleco, ubicada en la Región de la

a nosotros modo de del rol de junto a las


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The Province of Last Hope

by Cristina Yañez Covering a beautiful and varied landscape filled with valleys, rivers, lakes and the high mountainous peaks of Torres del Paine, the territory of this province extends between approximately 50 and 53 degrees of southern latitude and between 72,15 and 73,30 of occidental longitude. There were many events that shaped the progress of its occupation and settlement, the first being the expedition of Captain Juan Fernández de Ladrillero, who in 1557 navigated a large part of the maritime area, including the fjord called “Last Hope.” After more than three centuries had passed, a colony was started for the purposes of raising sheep in early 1892, thanks to the pioneering activities of Captain Hermann Eberhard and other hardworking landowners. Without a doubt there were three important moments in the first years of the twentieth century that had an important effect on Natales’ history: the so called “Laudo Arbitral” that defined the border with Argentina in 1902, the acquisition of lands at the beginning of 1905 and the construction of the infrastructure in order to industrialize the exportation of sheep livestock by the Operating Society of Tierra del Fuego and finally, the foundation of the city of Puerto Natales in 1911. From the time of Ladrillero until the first two decades of the twentieth century, the period to which a great part of the province’s buildings

originate, it was only possible to enter by horse or boat from Punta Arenas to the eastern coast of the Almirante Montt Gulf through the Señoret Canal or Last Hope Sound. Even this didn’t prevent the precarious formation of sheep herding that extended to the Sierra Baguales in the north, to the mountainous hills in the west and occupying towards the east the lands that after the Laudo of 1902 remained in Argentinian territory. This area, however, owing to the distant coastal Atlantic, maintained strong commercial and social links with the province of Last Hope until the advance of the twentieth century. In the beginning of 1905, the Operating Society of Tierra del Fuego (SETF), bought the better part of the 500,000 hectares designated for sheepherding in the province, taking the place of the first landowners that had occupied those lands. In one decade, the SETF planned and brought about the construction of the origins of towns like Cerro Castillo, Cerro Guido, and the Bories Estate as well as a new network of roads and a train that transported its workers to and from Puerto Natales. The industrial establishment of Port Bories, today partly demolished, was one of the best hierarchies constructed in Chile at the beginning of the twentieth century, with a mixed architectural style of brick, wood and corrugated iron and a productive technology comparable to the industrial projects in Europe at that time. The old parts of Cerro Castillo and the

Bories Estate (today involved in other activities) are also an important inheritance given that they conserve with great measure their spatial organization and distant warehouses for living, dining, offices and storage etc., with an esthetic austerity that remains united as a whole. Although dispersed in rural Last Hope, and of small proportions, there are many older parts such as those of Amarga Lagoon, Cerro Guido, Tres Pasos and what remains of Port Consuelo which all form the predecessors of the architectural inheritance of Last Hope. In the Señoret Canal, in the vicinity of the Natales River (where the city of Puerto Natales got its name), some corrals, homes and scattered warehouses were gradually constructed at the end of the nineteenth century. A hotel with a general store was built by the businessman Rudolfo Stubenrauch and another was constructed by the Spaniard José Iglesias. In order to regulate this spontaneous settlement, in 1900 the government established a 200 hectares reserve and then assumed a planned design for a new village with 77 sites, finally being decreed in 1911 by the Supreme Court that officially founded the city. From this time and from an amplification of the original nucleus that was carried out in 1935, this infrastructure is in its original form with its principal streets that head towards the water and that frequently head off the wind and rain. As testimony to the violent protests of 1919 and until the 1950́s, the majority of the

workers were sheepherders from the meat packing plants of Port Bories and Port Natales and those with temporary work in the Argentine and Chilean estates. The urban landscape was therefore of a city with apple trees surrounding the plaza and buildings bordering it with a modest architecture made of wood and corrugated iron, similar to the peripheral neighborhoods of Punta Arenas, where they had in some areas buildings made up of two floors, such as that of the Municipal building in Puerto Natales. The parochial church was the only brick building of its time and it was the work of the Salesian priest Juan Bernabé (1930). However, the artistic capacity of its settlers coming from Chiloé succeeding in setting up social meeting places and commercial establishments with distinctive characteristics that are to this day maintained as a valuable inheritance that was extended and renovated in the last few years. Despite the fiscal investments in service and equipment brought about through the creation of the Department of New Hope (1928), with architecture different from the regional traditions, Natales recovered its urban dynamics only two decades ago as a result of the fishing and tourism industries. Because of the natural beauty that Father D’agostini discovered in this area in 1917, the Torres del Paine National Park was formed and made popular in 1961.


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Road scholar by Thomas S Daly

N a lg e n e B ot t l e s If you’re not sure what a Nalgene bottle is, just find yourself a Yank; they will probably have one. These Lexan bottles are quickly becoming industry standard for trekkers and climbers. They are bullet proof, won´t leak and are guaranteed for life. The little bottles are a must while trekking. The large mouth type makes for easier filling at a water source, and for harvesting snow in an alpine environment, but it’s a little more difficult to drink out of while walking. Here are a few good tricks... 1. While making your nightly boil for dinner on the trail, boil an extra liter to make your Nalgene a great hot water bottle for your sleeping bag. This will raise the average temperature of your bag, and will do wonders for sore trekking feet. Throw your wet socks or gloves down there with the hot water bottle and it will dry everything like an oven in your sleeping bag. 2. Want eggs on the trail? Break a few eggs into a Nalgene for omelettes on that first morning out. This is a mess-free way of creating a breakfast upgrade. 3. Using a large mouth Nalgene to carry and protect dry and powdered goods is another great use. Whether it’s oatmeal or powdered soup mix for the long haul, a Nalgene can give you a hard, waterproof case.


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Arturo Prat 258 local A Puerto Natales, Chile 061-412824

As you pass from street to street, be it in Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas, navigating with your trusty street-map, do you ever wonder why most of the street names are surnames and who these people actually are? Well, names of past Chilean Presidents have provided some, but as well as these guys they also honour people and places with great significance in their historic development. Here are a few principal street names from Puerto Natales. . . LADRILLEROS Juan Ladrilleros was a Spanish sailor who in 1557 was sent by the Spanish government to find a sea exit from the Magellan Straits, west to the Pacific. Due to lack of food, energy and the loss of many men he decided that the voyage into the body of water that surrounds Puerto Natales would be their last hope in reaching their goal; hence the name Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope). Incidentally the Spanish government kept this blunder a secret for over 300 years! O´HIGGINS The Liberator Bernardo O´Higgins together with Jose de San Martin crossed from Argentina with a Chile-Argentine army and finally drove out the Spanish. He restored Chile´s independence and became Chile´s first President in 1818. BLANCO ENCALADA The first Commander of the Chilean Navy, Manuel Blanco Encalada was born in Buenos Aires (1790), but later chose the land of his Chilean mother as his home. A great political figure who was President of the Republic for a mere two months in 1826.

BULNES Manuel Bulnes, His military victory over the Bolivian-Peruvian confederation in 1839, secured his personal victory of becoming President of the Republic (1841-1851). ARTURO PRATT A valiant naval captain who died at the Battle of Iquique (1879), when he boarded a Peruvian Ironclad ship (THE HUASCAR), accompanied by only one sergeant. ESMERALDA The name of Capt Arturo Pratt´s ship in the Battle of Iquique. TOMAS ROGERS Juan Tomas Rogers, an English Captain serving in the Chilean Navy, was the first visitor to arrive at Perito Moreno Glaciar. On arrival he named it Francisco Gomaz in honour of the expedition patron. Many years later the Argentineans renamed it in honour of Perito Francisco P. Moreno, an Argentine hydrographer. BAQUEDANO General Manuel Baquedano, defeated Peru at the Battle of Los Angeles (March 1880), captured Arica (May 1880), and later captured Lima (Jan 1881). CHORRILLOS The site of the first battle in the wave to take Lima, Peru (Jan 1881). BALMACEDA José Balmaceda, leader of a liberal anticlerical group prevented Argentina entering the war of the Pacific in 1878. As President of the Republic (1886-91), he introduced a wide reform program which led to civil war. He later fled to Argentina where he committed suicide.

What & Where is Cabo Froward? The Strait of Magellan, the channel, scene of countless shipwrecks, the oldest cemetery in Patagonia, historical bays and we have never seen anyone else on the trail. The bottom of Africa and the bottom of Australia are easy to find. They’re just spots on a map that you drive your car to, get out, take a photo next to the sign and drive off. Not the case for the bottom point of South America. This journey is only for those ready to get completely away from the masses and willing to put themselves in a place where the words ‘self reliance’ cannot be taken lightly. Be prepared for an agonizingly rough trail, relentless wind and two neck-high river crossings carrying your pack over your head. There is no going back, mi amigo. The trek begins where the dirt road ends. Old deep forests of Nothofagus: huge coigues that seem never before seen or touched. The views are incredible, not only the Strait itself, but the mountains surrounding it. Mt. Sarmiento is impressive, reaching more than 7,000 feet after rising out of the sea. And then there is the Darwin Range, part of Alberto de Agostini National Park. There is also a good chance of being saturated at least once a day. The hike covers sand, rainforest and rock, plus two large river crossings and multiple small ones.The

trail is not always clearly marked. Finding a reliable map is next to impossible. Trails are only marked by the few that try their luck reaching the bottom of the continent. This is what will be a section of the Sendero de Chile project, which aims to create roads and paths and ferries that span the length of Chile, eliminating the need to cross into Argentina. This project is expected to be completed in 2010. The final goal is to reach the crucifix that overlooks the end of the American continent. The view from the lookout provides a true sense of history. At that moment you realize where in the world you are. This trek is not for everyone. There is no help, or contact with the world for days in any direction.The weather can be equally beautiful and unforgiving. This completely self supported trip can be called nothing less then extreme trekking. The trek is only really possible January - March. Other times of the year you will possibly run into river problems. Deep winter makes for frozen conditions. This route boasts two large, cold, strip down and hold your pack over your head river crossings. If you have successfully trekked and camped the Torres del Paine ‘W’ circuit, then you might be ready for Cabo Froward. This trek is about the location itself, the bottom of the continent and the history. Very few trekkers have ever been to Cabo Froward.

EBERHARD Captain Hermann Eberhard was an explorer and first settler of the Province of Ultima Esperanza. He named the hill that overlooks Puerto Natales after his first daughter, DOROTEA; And from his second daughter Sofia, he named Lago SOFIA. In 1892 was it was actually one of his workers who discovered the famous Milodon Cave, where remains of prehistoric animals were found including sabertoothed tigres, camels, deer and of course the Milodon. Today the Eberhard family still live on their estancia at Puerto Consuelo. KRUGER Ricardo Kruger was a government official posted at Puerto Consuelo when the Argentinian warship (The Azopardo) arrived in 1896 to claim the area in the name of Argentina. Kruger declined to lower the Chilean flag and the Argentineans left without fuss. Due to this event the Chilean government populated Puerto Pratt as a warning station for future attempts by the Argentine navy. PILOTO PARDO Captain Luis Pardo was a sailor who risked his life, and those of his men to rescue the 22 castaways from the ENDURANCE (Shackleton Expedition 1915-16). His tugboat “The Yelcho”, had no double hull, no heating, no electric light and no radio. Despite the courageous acts of this man and his crew, Shackleton mentioned Pardo´s name only once in his 386 page book, in the preface! PEDRO MONTT Son of the President Manuel Montt Towers. He himself became President of the Republic between 1906-1910.


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Inspiring change If you’re here in Puerto Natales to visit the Torres del Paine National Park, you might be here just because it’s on the “must do” list of places to visit in South America. But it is more likely that you’re here to experience the natural beauty of the place – the breathtaking view of the Los Cuernos towering above the turquoise waters of Lake Nordenskjöld, the simple majesty of Las Torres viewed from the Lookout point Las Torres, the imposing presence of Paine Grande crowned by an impossibly white glacier. And if you have that appreciation for the natural world, then maybe to a greater or lesser extent you share a concern for its well-being. The Torres del Paine National Park, like all National Parks around the world, is an ambassador for our planet, a reminder of the untameable power and the raw beauty of nature; multi-faceted, simple yet at the same time impossibly complex and well beyond the ken of mankind. Parks such as this one also offer sanctuary to the natural world from the steady, unstoppable advance of man. Pause for a minute and compare this place with your own hometown. If you’re a city dweller, your thoughts may well be of paved streets, tall buildings, traffic jams, rush and bustle – a life a world away from the clear, pristine landscapes of this enchanted Park, but part of the same planet, a planet in need of the care and protection of every one of us. It is easy to look at the frightening pace of technological progress in the West and the newly awakening, insatiable appetite for development in the East, and throw our hands up in resignation. What can we do? What impact can any one individual have? True, there are overwhelming forces at work which seriously threaten our natural world and over which we have little if any influence. But if the actions of each individual are combined with those of other individuals, they really can make a difference. This doesn’t mean changing your life – being conscious of the environmental impact of your day-to-day activities and making small changes to reduce that impact is a good place to start. Here are some ideas for while you’re travelling as well as for the longer term: 1…If the water supply is drinkable, refill your water bottle from the tap (or in the Park from any of the fast-flowing mountain streams), rather than buy new plastic bottles of mineral water each time. Plastics are derived from non-renewable resources, processed using extensive chemical treatments, so as well as being non- biodegradable, they are very environmentally-damaging to produce. Every plastic bottle you throw away is a waste of precious

by S. Betty

resources. 2…Dispose of used batteries responsibly. Discarded batteries, once they start to break down, leak metals and poisons which can enter watercourses and kill plants and wildlife. Even throwing your batteries in the bin means they end up in a landfill site or worse, disposed of offshore, and will have the same damaging effect there. Look for battery collection schemes, like the one run by Fundación Patagonia ( in Puerto Natales. 3…Avoid buying pre-packaged food in the supermarket, buy loose fruit, vegetables and meat to cut down on the packaging you consume. Packaging uses a lot of natural resources and generally goes straight into the bin once you get home. 4…Take your own bag to the supermarket so you don’t need to use the plastic bags provided. Plastic bags cannot be recycled and take hundreds of years to biodegrade, so every one you use is adding to the millions that exist already and are filling our landfill sites or worse, littering the countryside. And every one will still be here long after your lifetime. And once you get back home… 1…Investigate insulating your home as efficiently as possible. This will not only save you money in reduced heating bills but means you will also use less of the planet’s resources. It’s worth checking to see if your government offers grants for home insulation and upgrades to boilers/ heating systems to help meet the emissions targets set by the Kyoto agreement and others. 2…Energy-saving light bulbs are a good step too, but admittedly rather ugly. You could always hide them with a funky lampshade… 3…Look into available sources of “green” energy for your home. The vast majority of household electricity-generation still uses scarce fossil fuels and generates harmful greenhouse gases. Other options include solar or wind power, which on a small, domestic scale can be very expensive. Alternatively in some countries “green” electricity providers, which generate some if not all of their power through renewable sources, are now entering the market. 4…Ideally the fewer resources you use the better, but obviously we all use some. So whatever you do use and throw out each week, try to recycle as much as possible, be it paper, glass, plastic, tin or any other material. Look for recycling services in your area, which will give you advice on how to incorporate recycling in your home. 5…Unfortunately one of the biggest culprits of environmental damage is travel, especially air travel. As most of us here are far from home and will need to take at least one flight to get back to family and

friends, we’ll avoid the guilt trip here. One way to make amends is to join a “carbon neutralisation” or “carbon-sink” scheme, in which you can pay for trees to be planted on your behalf to absorb carbon released into the environment as a result of your action. Have a look at or for more information. There are many ways to live a more environmentally aware life; the aim here is to simply to provide a good starting point, or at least to get you thinking. So as you continue on to your next destination, may you take with you vivid memories of all you have experienced in this magical place and may they inspire you to care for our fragile planet, on whose well-being this Park, the natural world and our own future depend.

Trail Etiquette On the trail, you need to be aware of others. Instead of taking your break in the middle of the trail, try to move well off to the side, so others can pass by easily, without compromising the vegetation. If I am taking a substantial break to eat lunch, fix a blister, etc., I will try to move out of sight as well. Then others can pass me by without even knowing I´m there. We both keep our sense of solitude, which is important to the wilderness experience.

Puerto Williams, Isla Navarino by Marieke den Nijs

Finding tourist information on Chile’s most Southern town, Puerto Williams, is not an easy job. Especially information on the Internet is scarce. This is a pity, since Puerto Williams and its surroundings have much to offer for nature loving tourists. Enviu, a Chilean/ Dutch N.G.O., has currently been working on improving the information supply. Through a project directed towards the local entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, Enviu has facilitated the creation of various websites. During a two-month period Enviu carried out practical workshops, in which the entrepreneurs learned how to make and maintain a website.The result of this project is that recently, in addition to the websites that yet existed, four new websites have been put online. For anyone interested, please check out the new websites and learn more about the various tourism products that Puerto Williams has to offer: - guiding & tours - Accomodation - Accomodation - Food For more information on the work of Enviu, visit

While trekking in a team, try to spread out by 20 full paces (or more) to avoid a bumper to bumper if you come head on with another group. With heavy packs, you might not have a chance to avoid a collision. Spread out and look around at the views. You don´t need to be staring at the backside of the person in front of you all the time. Sticking to the trails is important. Stepping off the trail to avoid a muddy patch or puddle only widens the trail, or creates a second, or sometimes third trail. In time, these side trails will become muddy as well. The same holds true while in Torres del Paine or on the Dientes Circuit (Patagonia.) Remember, boots are meant to get dirty.

Rest & Re v italiz e in Patagonia

Relaxation Therapies Outdoor Tubs Massages Natural Bar Outdoor Center Handmade Crafts

Eb er hard 161 - Puer to Natales, Chile 99302997 mandalaandino@yaho


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Invisible fear

The Isla Navarino Dientes Circuit

by V Irribarra

Everyone who has gotten ready to set off on a trip has, before leaving, run through a checklist either mentally or physically. We don’t want to forget anything that will be necessary during those days, weeks or months in which we are away, especially once we have crossed foreign borders. Despite our best efforts to remember everything, there exists an “invisible fear” to which we don’t generally pay much attention. At the moment of departure, we are bound intimately to our luggage. I have a friend who always reminds me that the most danger that we may face on a trip is related to our own expectations and what we “hope to find,” “hope to see,” “hope to make” and “hope to experience” on our trip, and that it can become, in a way, our worst companion. We move with big packs on our backs. We have images of National Geographic and prejudices of every kind in our minds, and we hear other voices from other visitors ringing in our ears, saying, “do this,” “don’t do this,” “this activity is a waste of time,” and “this place isn’t worth it, but this other place is.” With all of these warnings in our minds, we don’t

by J Williams

allow ourselves to really connect with the reality of the place, preventing the experience from touching and transforming us, with respect and humility to those who are around us. This kills the chance to enrich ourselves with the experience of what we find in our steps. A destination is never just a place. It is a new way to see new things and to see the world. If we really want to cross the border, we must be aware of this fear and allow ourselves to be open, free, and flexible. In this way, maybe at the end of our journey, we can answer questions about our journey by saying that we walked in the town, stayed longer than we planned, played with children, spoke with older people, had coffee alone, spent hours sitting on a train thinking about how life goes by, found love, thought about settling down, and dreamed about coming back. In this way, we will have converted the “invisible fear” into visible experiences, real and unforgettable.

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Billed as the southernmost trekking opportunity in the world, the rugged Dientes circuit on the Isla Navarino is miles beyond an ordinary trekking experience. For 53 km the route winds through an other worldly landscape of mountains broken from the floor of the ocean, where the andes crumble into the antarctic plate, where tenuous passes from one valley to the next defy truly staggering winds and where spartan vegetation clings to a precarious existence between the punishing climate and the persistent manipulations of the introduced beaver. For the serious trekker, the five day Dientes circuit is a chance to experience a unique terrain at what is literally the last scrap of land before the legendary Cape Horn and Antarctic sea. And while the route offers many worthy experiences, like awesome views that stretch as far as the Cape Horn straits, it is also impressive for what it lacks, like crowded trails, clearly defined paths and over crowded refugios. In fact, there are no refugios on the route. there is no entrance fee to pay, trekkers are only required to check in with the carabineros in Puerto Williams. Then it is just 3 kms of road from the tiny village of Puerto Williams and a good possibility you will see no one else in the course of the circuit. The dientes circuit is relatively new, developed in the early 90´s by lonely planet trekking guide author Clem Lindemayer. For his efforts a few of the more prominent peaks along the circuit have been named after him. Cierro Clem in particular makes an impressive profile and serves as an important landmark. No doubt because of the difficulty of the route and the distance of Isla Navarino from the beaten path, the dientes circuit receives a fraction of the annual visitors of Chile´s better known treks. The route was marked with the Chilean numbered trail marker system in early 2001, but it is still far from a well marked path. The dientes trekker needs to be self reliant and good at route finding. The 38 trail points are spread over a 53 km route, with four significant passes to cross and a myriad maze of beaver ponds and dams to negotiate in the valleys between. It is also strongly advised to follow the route from Puerto Williams, as the markers are only painted on one side. Since the markers are cairns, or rock piles, individual trail

markers are often difficult to distinguish from their surroundings without the red signage painted on to mark the route. Weather is also a strong factor, particulary the strength of the winds that sweep up from the white continent and make the passes, especially the final pass to surmoun, Paso Virginia, very dangerous. Blasts of wind strong enough to knock a heavily loaded trekker from their feet are not uncommon and come without warning. The dientes circuit is broken into five stages, each stage requiring around five hours to complete. With the long daylight hours of the southern hemisphere summer, some trekkers might be tempted to combine two stages into one day. While it is possible to do the circuit in four days, it would involve a day with two passes to surmount or a very long final day, descending from the nearly 900 meter Paso Virginia back to sea level over a distance of 23 kms. The route markers end more than 300 meters above sea level, looking down on Bahia Virginia, and from there the trekker must negotiate through the cow pastures and calafate bushes to the coastal road and final 8 km´s of pavement back to Puerto Williams. Passing trucks will often stop for trekkers on the final stretch, otherwise it is about a two hour walk back to Puerto Williams. Getting to Isla Navarino is part of the adventure itself. The patagonian airline company DAP flies a 20 odd seat twin otter from Punta Areanas to Puerto Williams daily in summer. The flight over Tierra del Fuego and the Strait of Magellan is incredibly scenic and oddly enough, the least expensive option. There are now however other options. Though more expensive than flying it is possible to travel by boat from Ushuaia across the Beagle channel to Puerto Navarino and then travel the 50 odd km´s of coastal road east to Puerto Williams. For the truly intrepid traveller, the Punta Arenas based Transbordadora Austral Broom operates a once a week passenger ferry to Puerto Williams, a 30 hour trip through the Straits of Magellan and along the Beagle Channel. Though spartan in accomodations and service, the passing scenery of hanging glaciers and mountains that float on water truly convey an end of the world sensation.

Hosteria Tunkelen Cerro Sombrero, Tierra del Fuego The only real rest stop between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia.

Arturo Prat 101, Cerro Sombrero, TdF, Chile - Phone 56+61 296696 or 56+61 212757 -


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ADVENTURES OF SHIPOOPOI I arrived in Puerto Natales for the first time in January of 1997. I came by bus from Argentina, and was greeted by a wall of rain as we entered town. My three huge haulbags and I huddled under a tiny roof, contemplating our future. I didn’t know anybody in town, didn’t know where I was going to sleep that night, and was distinctly starving. I was approached by a local lady, who asked me in broken English if I needed lodging, and handed me a little flier that advertised a “casa familia”, which promised bunks, breakfast, and hot showers. She also said she had a car. And I’m thinking CAR, yeah, let’s go, let’s check out this familia place. (This was before I knew that $1.50 would pretty much get you a cab ride anywhere in town.) So it it turns out that the place is a family’s home converted to be a quaint dorm for travelers. Instantly I had my own bunk, a closet for my elaborate climbing paraphernalia, kitchen privileges, and even a TV. There were movies on the tube, some in English, and with Spanish subtitles. And thus began my education in the Spanish language. There was Steven Seagal going man to man (mano a mano), and my own governator proclaiming “I’ll be back”(HELP how do you say I’ll be back in Spanish-insert here). There were a couple of other travelers staying as well, a girl from germany who spoke good English, and a fellow blonde from Missouri that spent almost an entire week coaching me how to say izqueirda (the left) in Spanish. Anyway, since the three of us did not know anybody in town, we strolled around together, exploring, finding restaurants, checking the place out. I was waiting for a friend to show up so we could go climbing in the famed Torres del Paine National Park, and had a few days to kill. I searched for fellow climbers, so I could get some beta on who was climbing what in the park, but I couldn’t find a single climber in town. I found natales to be quite beautiful, nestled against the water, with tantalizing mountains in every direction. After a few days, my good friend Christian Santileces showed up and we headed off to climb in the French Valley. While not as well known as the Towers, this valley has a majestic and tranquil feeling to it as there are few visitors that stay overnight. At the head of the valley, La Catedral is the centerpiece, a nearly 3000 foot

vertical monolith. Three climbing routes soared up its flanks, pioneered by American, Italian, and Spanish teams that had taken months to complete their climbs in the notoriously vicious weather. For about a week we threw ourselves at Fortaleza, a huge peak that offered a relatively easy route to the summit. We got totally bouted by the weather, and we were continually advancing and retreating like a glacier on roids. We finally figured that Fortaleza’s bulk and height was a magnet for bad weather, and changed our objective to Caveman, a stunning arête on Cuerno Norte. The climb had only been done once, by a British couple, who had bivouacked in one of the many huge huecos that characterize the middle section of the climb. A couple of Christian’s friend’s from the States showed up and joined our expedition. This was especially great for playing hearts through the rainy days. Good times. We made minimal progress over the next week until time ran out for Christian and Brad. That left me with Ted Bonetti, who claimed he was on the same lineage as the great Italian climber Walter Bonatti. Yeah, sure you are bud. Ted and I waited a couple a days for a “weather window” and we left Campamento Britannico under headlamp. We ascended our fixed ropes (ropes left in place) up to a point about 600 feet up the wall. The climbing had been excellent up to here, with abundant cracks and faceholds on orange, sun baked granite. Then I began one of the strangest ropelengths of my life. For two hundred feet the route wandered upwards in and out of the huge mansized huecos(or caves) we had viewed from afar. One overhanging move was followed by a sitting perch in the wall, and the scenario kept repeating itself. The protection consisted entirely of threadthroughs (holes in the arêtes or fins of the rock), and horns that were slung with webbing. About 10PM that night, Ted and I hit the summit, or actually just the top of the granite layer. What remained was an unknown quantity of climbing the rotten shale layer above us. We opted to call it a climb and go down when, as if a light had been turned on, the wind started howling. With darkness coming, we decided to spend the night where we where, and descend in the morning. The wind screamed all night, blowing in different diections, freezing our water bottles solid. And that was how I came to be spooning a guy a barely

-by Steve Schneider

knew. The descent was a nightmare as the winds remained steady at around 60mph throughout the day. It was a big fight down, and we had to go slow, take our time, and make life and death decisions constantly. When we finally reached terra firma after an 11 hour battering, we both collapsed on the ground in relief. It had been a great first climb in Patagonia, full of adventure and challenge, but ultimately lacked the true summit that, at least for me, marks the true terminus to a climb. I think I knew right then that I would be back, to test myself and grow from within on these amazing spires of rock. Now, with ten climbing expeditions to Patagonia under my chalkbag, I’ve come to intimately know the trails, camps, valleys, and spires of the Torres del Paine national park. I think I keep returning not just because the climbing is so superb, or that I have so many great friends in natales now, but because the Paine is not so much a place on

the map for me, but a place in my heart, and that being there just feels right, rejuvenating my spirit and giving me a chance to turns dreams into reality. I was absolutely gobsmacked to view these peaks in person, but didn’t realize at the time how my life would be changed with this first trip to the Paine.

Steve Schneider, 47, hails from Oakland, California. He works as a rigger, electrician, and mountain guide. Check out his website at to find out more about his guided trips to Towers of Paine National Park, and other exciting worldwide destinations.


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Baguales - Latitude: 50° 37’ 60 S Longitude: 72° 46’ 60 W The Land of Wild Horses by Marjan Alkema & Robbie ruyters

In many places one can still observe Patagonia as it has been for hundreds of years; without paved roads, electricity cables, urbanization or organized tourism. Sierra Baguales is one of these places where it is still possible to wander around for days without seeing any signs of human activity. Countless times on my way to Torres del Paine, when all other eyes were focused on getting the first views of the Paine massif, mine wandered to the opposite direction. In the distance, the mysterious peaks of the Baguales mountain range “the land of wild horses”, come into focus. Close to Torres del Paine geografically, but contrasting in geology, these Marlboro country mountains were calling for exploration. On a sunny February day I decided with some friends to rent a car for the weekend to unravel the secrets of Baguales. Heading there, ignoring the side roads to the national park, we soon entered a totally different world. Although located so close to the Paine Massif, Baguales is different in almost every aspect. Thousands of years of glacial erosion have left a unique and impressive landscape, full of big rock pillars that look like giants guarding the mountains. We decided to drive down until Estancia La Cumbre, where we started our exploration on foot by crossing an icy cold river. Being only an hour on our way, we had already crossed paths with a group of wild horses.They gave an even better impression of the enormousness of the mountains.That night we camped at the shores of a little lake fed by a

spring coming right out of a mountain. With the total silence, the moonlight and the giants overlooking us, this campsite had a magical beauty. The next day we spent ascending one of the mountains. Climbing up to the cathedral-like pillars, the mountain range revealed more and more of its secrets; bright yellow and red colored formations and a labyrinth of dead end valleys. Arriving at the top of the mountain the breathtaking 360° view of the surroundings was our reward. On one side a totally different view of the Paine massif and by just turning our head we could see Fitz Roy in Argentina, the peaks of the southern ice field and stunning U-shaped valleys in between. Without any doubt one of the most spectacular look-out points Patagonia has to offer. How to get there: To get to Sierra Baguales you need your own vehicle, since regular tours to the area don’t exist. From Puerto Natales you follow the road towards Torres del Paine. After an hour you will get to the tiny village Cerro Castillo, from where you will keep following the direction of the National Park. Continue on this road, and ignore the side roads to Laguna Amarga and Sarmiento. You will keep following direction ‘La Cumbre’. After passing Estancia/Lodge Cerro Guido you will get to a trisection, where you continue towards ‘Los Leones - 3R – La Cumbre’. After about 20 minutes you will reach the fence of Estancia ‘La Cumbre’. If you want to explore the area a bit more, park your car there and walk down to the river that you follow till the fence, where you cross it and continue on the other side.

A true Chilean estancia... inside the city limits.

-Seriously. Cauquenes de Nimes - Manzana 363 Calafate, Arg Tel 492306

Alma Gaucha Hostel Puerto Natales, Chile phone 56-61 415243

History Archaeological studies carried out, have confirmed that approximately 5500 years ago there were humans dwelling in Ultima Esperanza. These first inhabitants belonged to a culture of hunters; Aonikenk (people of the south), Tehuelches or Patagones, who lived off guanaco, small rodents and birds. At the beginning of the 20th century, large groups of wild horses settled in the green valleys of the rivers flowing from the Sierra Baguales. Their presence gave the indigenous people reason to frequent the district of Ultima Esperanza, with the intention of increasing their herds. The Baqueanos arrived in the south west of Patagonia in the middle of the 19th century. These horsemen learned their trade in a harsh apprenticeship with raw experience and Mother Nature being their principal teachers. This huge territory was previously unknown to the white man and in their travels the baqueanos revealed the mystery of the undiscovered interior of south western Patagonia, an area which formerly had been the sole preserve of the feral horses (baguales) According to the Argentinian Explorer Carlos Moyano, who visited the area in 1883, the favourite area of the wild horses, ´the gully of the baguales’, was a small valley located behind Sierra Guido. This natural paddock led to a narrowing which allowed for the easy rounding up of the horses. Eventually this valley became the site most often frequented by Indians, cowboys and hunters all arriving with the same purpose; capture animals and with luck, whole packs of horses. The first settlement began in the spring of 1893 when Rodolfo Stubenrach, acting for Hermann Eberhard, solicited land in Ultima Esperanza from the Governor of Magallanes, Captain Manuel Señoret. The Uruguayan Ramón Contreras also established himself (with a verbal authorization from the governor) in the isolated north in the valley of the River Baguales. As a result of the sale of land in 1905 all the estancias established in the previous 12 years in Ultima Esperanza, became part of the ‘Sociedad Explotadora Tierra del Fuego’. This society united the farms together into 4 or 5 very large sheep estancias, forming a powerful empire that dominated southern Patagonia for more than half a century.

What´s in a name Bagual: feral horse or cow or domestic animal that has broken loose. The word ‘bagual’ was taken from the Spanish by the Indians to indicate a horse. In the Pampas, it was pronounced kawal. The gauchos then borrowed the word from the Indians and transformed it into ¨bagual¨ to indicate a wild animal.

The first tourist to visit Baguales In 1879, Lady Florence Dixie, was the first ‘tourist’ to come to Patagonia. Before she set off on her trip friends told her: “Patagonia! Who would ever think of going to such a place? What on earth makes you choose such an outlandish part of the world to go to? What can be the attraction?” Her reply “Precisely because it was an outlandish place and so far away, I chose it. Palled for the moment with civilization and its surroundings, I wanted to escape somewhere where I might be as far removed from them as possible”. Her travels led Lady Dixie as far as Baguales, and she describes the area extensively in her famous book “Across Patagonia”. She was impressed by the beauty of the landscape, and by the feeling of being the first person ever to set foot on these mountains “whose peaks are rugged in a most fantastic way, worn and corroded by the wind and humidity, some formations looking similar to delicate gothic spirals”. According to the legends Lady Dixie heard, the Indians did not dare to come near the mysterious peaks of the mountain range, because of an animal looking like a wild man and a thick hairy skin that supposedly lived there.



Bulnes 622 Puerto Natales, Chile phone 56-61 410931


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magellan discovered patagonia... let us show it to you!

De Paardewei -Ellen Mesdag, NL

In Chili heerst een macho cultuur.Geen p a a rd e n f l u i s t e r a a r taferelen voor de Gaucho’s hier in Patagonia!. Paarden zijn een transport middel en daarvoor moeten de paarden gewoon luisteren en verder niets!.De dunne bitten leren het paard al snel te stoppen als eraan getrokken wordt, en de enorme sporen spreken voor zich...... Maar of je op deze manier het vertrouwen van je paard wint en hem tot teamlid kunt maken.... Als ik mezelf voorstel op een paard, alleen in de bergen van Torres del Paine, dan lijkt het mij toch een heel fijn idee dat je paard je maatje is. Hier komt je paard niet bij je terug als je eraf zou vallen.Wanneer je roept, kijkt ie je vreemd aan en door te gaan klappen zal je paard steil de andere kant oprennen!. Hier worden paarden gevangen met een lasso (de vele Rodeo’s laten zien hoe populair deze bezigheid is) en een Gaucho wordt gerespecteerd om zijn talent met de lasso. Steeds opnieuw het paard overweldigen met een lasso blijkt als Gaucho een zeer ego

strelende gebeurtenis. Toch zal iedere Gaucho je vertellen dat zijn paard zijn belangrijktse bezitting is, bekapt hij zelf de hoeven van zijn paard, is hele winters bezig met het maken van zadels en drinkt hij buiten zijn mate, om in de verte de paarden te zien grazen.Ook zonder dit te begrijpen snap ik gelukkig wel dat dit echt is, en dat elke cultuur zijn goede en minder goede kanten heeft. Pas nadat ik uit nederland weg was vond ik het niet meer zo vanzelfsprekend dat paarden in de westerse wereld het grootste gedeelte van de dag doorbrengen in hun stal,en was niet echt trots op deze kortzichtigheid van mezelf. Nederlanders staan bekend om hun verre reizen ,de mensen in Patagonia leven hun leven hier,dit is hun realiteit . In de komende maanden werk ik in het park ‘Torres del Paine’met de paarden trips en zal jullie op de hoogte houden van de wereld van het paard in Patagonia.

Grubb’n! Bored with dried pasta meals and 5minute rice dinners that seem to come in huge variety, but they all taste the same? Don’t feel like setting up your stove every night or looking for an alternative lunch? Ready for a healthy, lightweight breakfast suggestion? And, what will help you to survive the cold Patagonian nights in a tent? Here are some recipes to spice up your trip.

Bill’s Trekkers Breaky For a ‘W’ trek breakfast for two you will need: -1 box of instant oat meal (Quaker, Avena Instantanea) -1 can of Svelty powdered milk (don’t go for the cheaper one, your breakfast will be better if you just go for Svelty) -1 bag of Brown Sugar (you can get it at the pharmacy) Put oat meal in a re-sealable Ziploc bag and add milk and sugar to taste. In the morning all you have to do is put your cup into the Ziploc bag, add some boiling water, and… ready to go for it another day. For some variation, take a bag of jam or some dried fruit to flavor up your breaky.

Wrap it up

For this alternative lunch or cold dinner for two, you’ll need: -1 pack of integral Wraps (you can get them at Vergel, Blanco Encalada) -250 grams of creamcheese -Aji Pebre (in those little bottles, you can find it next to the ketchup) -1 pack of Serrano ham -a handful of white raisins (pasas blancas)

-a handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) Mix the cream cheese with some Aji Pebre to taste and spread it out on the wraps. Divide the Serrano ham between the wraps, put chopped raisins on top of it and finish it off with coriander. Provecho!


If you’re in your tent with all your layers on and it really doesn’t look like you’re going to be warm tonight, consider walking up to the Refugio and buying a box of wine. For this typical Chilean recipe you’ll need: -a box of wine -sugar -skin of half an orange -a couple of sticks of cinnamon -and… to get out of that sleeping bag to put up your stove Mix it all in a pot, add sugar to taste and heat it up till you can just drink it, but.. the alcohol is still in there! Sleep well!!!

Call center Books & Maps Postcards & Stamps Souvenirs

ÑANDÚ Hand Crafts

Eberhard 301 Puerto Natales, Chile ph. 414382 - 415660 - 413360

Cerro Castillo - Coffe shop & money exchange ph. 691932 - 413063 ANEXO 122


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Watch my step on Isla Navarino -by Anthony Riggs

Agostini “El Explorador” Hacia fines del siglo XIX la Patagonia austral se incorporó al mundo occidental. Entre 1881 y 1904 se definieron los límites fronterizos entre Argentina y Chile, se exploró gran parte del territorio, la ocupación del paisaje se estructuró a partir de grandes estancias ovejeras y surgieron los primeros centros urbanos de importancia, en particular Punta Arenas, cabeza de la región y punto de llegada de inmigrantes europeos y chilotes. Con los primeros colonos llegaron también los sacerdotes. La orden salesiana, llegó a la región en 1890, instaló una amplia red de establecimientos educacionales, parroquias y misiones indígenas, y contribuyó de manera significativa al desarrollo cultural de la Patagonia. Entre sus miembros, destacó el sacerdote italiano Alberto de Agostini, quien aportó de manera significativa a la exploración de las cordilleras patagónicas y al conocimiento de la región en el mundo, a través de fotografías, libros y películas que se difundieron por el viejo continente. Nacido en 1883 en un pueblo de los Alpes italianos, Agostini llegó a Punta Arenas en 1910. Rápidamente se integró a las diversas obras que la orden salesiana tenía en la región, y se destacó por su infatigable labor de explorador, fotógrafo y documentalista. Durante más de treinta años, exploró los macizos montañosos de Tierra del Fuego y la Patagonia Austral, internándose por los rincones más apartados de la región. Entre 1913 y 1924 realizó diversas expediciones a través de la cordillera Darwin, al sur de Tierra del Fuego, e intentó sin éxito subir el monte Sarmiento, el más alto de la isla. Asimismo, inició el reconocimiento del macizo del Paine. Entre 1928 y 1932, Agostini exploró la vertiente oriental

D ow n Tow n H o s t e l

Armando Sanhueza 555 (56-61) 222219 - 221009 Cell Ph: 09 91229555 - 09 84394174 Punta Arenas, Chile

N e a r S h o p p i n g & S e r v i ce s

del gran Campo de Hielo Sur, realizando la primera travesía a través de éste. En los años posteriores, su atención se concentró en el macizo Fitz-Roy, al nororiente de Campo de Hielo Sur, y en el monte San Lorenzo, el segundo más alto de la Patagonia. En 1943, tras varias expediciones de reconocimiento, Agostini logró ascender el San Lorenzo, lo que se transformó en un hito en la historia del andinismo. Tras un largo período de trabajo en Italia, en 1955 Agostini volvió a la Patagonia y a la edad de 72 años ascendió el monte Sarmiento, en Tierra del Fuego. El legado de Agostini se puede apreciar en las publicaciones, a través de las cuales dio a conocer las montañas patagónicas en Europa, los registros fotográficos y fílmicos que dejó de la región. De sus fotografías, destacan las de pueblos indígenas, valioso testimonio de etnias hoy desaparecidas y las de los primeros años de la colonización. Al mismo tiempo, fue pionero en la toma de fotografías aéreas en la zona de campo de Hielo Sur, que han sido de gran importancia para el levantamiento cartográfico de la zona, y en el uso de la fotografía en color, de acuerdo a las más modernas tecnologías de la época. Sus películas, por otro lado, constituyen un legado de un valor incalculable, puesto que son los primeros y únicos registros cinematográficos de las pueblos magallánicos y de la región en general. De entre éstas, las más importantes son Tierra del Fuego y Tierras Magallánicas, con las cuales hizo conocida la Patagonia en todo el mundo.

So how does a gringo from the White Mountains of New Hampshire get to manage a luxury hotel at the End of the World? Call it a combination of the call of the mountains and the allure of a Chilean woman. Okay, it was the woman mostly. My first two years in Chile were spent in Santiago. I started out teaching snowboard lessens atValle Nevado, but we were soon looking for a way to get out of Santiago, so we began to look for opportunities in the south of Chile. With her hotel management experience and my backround as a telemark/snowboard instructor, ridgerunner and backcountry caretaker, we were the perfect combination to manage a new hotel in the southernmost town in the world.

little horse friendly terrain available, but there they are and you’ve got to love them. You can actually feel how far you are from the rest of the world. Something you can almost touch. After living there for a little while there was something exciting about receiving something from the outsideworld . My sister sent me a collection of DVD’s from time to time by mail and since there is no movie theater, that was truly an event. Argentina is just across the channel, but getting there can be tricky to nearly impossible. Everything you see in the town, from the nails that hold the houses together to the black banana you find at the market, had to be shipped aboard the weekly ferry from Punta Arenas. Think about that the next time you are running to the hardware store for the second time in the same day because you forgot to buy those little plastic things that go in the wall to hang up a picture. You learn that you can live without most of the things you think you need, but, there are some things that a man must have and wonder of wonders, you can find soft tortilla shells and hot salsa at one of the little markets. It’s the little things in life, right? it a combination of the call of the mountains and the allure of a Chilean woman...

The first description of Pto. Williams I ever read, described the town as a ramshackle collection of tin shacks on a slab of cement. Not exactly a flattering description, but take a step back for a better perspective and you will see children playing in the streets, safe from the dangers of the developed world, smiling fishermen returning to port with a fresh catch of king crab or maybe just hang out on a cold rainy evening at the yacht club and listen to the stories of hard core sailors returning from voyages like rounding the Horn or navigating the constellation of islands that make up the Antarctic peninsula. It’s just so other worldly. Walking through town it is very common to see cows and horses eating grass in the plaza, which sounds quaint and nice, but let me tell you, those things poop everywhere. I like to walk with my head up, take in the view, but not there man. You will never get to wear your shoes in the house if you are not careful in Puerto Williams. And why do they even have horses on the island? With the steep inclines and the peat bogs, there is really very

In the two years we were living on Navarino Island, I was fortunate to have had many amazing experiences, such as flying to Cape Horn by helicopter and dancing bare foot on the last piece of land on the South American continent, the trip to the ice continent of Antarctica and of course, the greatest of all being the birth of our baby boy. Now, with fond memories we head north and trade our view of the Dientes de Navarino for that of the imposing Villarica volcano. Thanks for the memories southern Patagonia. See ya’ll in the lakes district.


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Punta Arenas, Chile Q&A’s

What’s with all the street dogs? Do they bite? Yes, gringos only, Better ask Bruce. (see page 7)

Cemetary, considered the 2nd nicest in South America – it offers an interesting view into Punta Arenas’ history: Widespread social differences refelected in the grave stones (huge mansionsize monuments and “the poor man’s graves”…. diferent languages next to each other; different nationalities; immigrants from Spain, Croacia, Switzerland, Germany, England and France among others…

How many people live here? About 120.000. That’s about 0.8% of Chile’s total population.

Museo Salesiano Av. Bulnes 374 South Patagonian culture, history and nature. $2.000 Tue - Sun am: 10:00 - 12:30 Tue - Sun pm:15.00-18.00 Museo Regional Magallanes 949, next to the plaza ph (61) 244216 The former mansion of Mauricio Braun, containing regional history. Tue – Sat: $1.000, Sun: free Tue - Sat:10:30 – 17:00 Sun: 10:30 - 14:00 Museo Naval y Marítimo Cnr Pedro Montt + O´Higgins ph (61) 205479 Shipwrecks, cartography, meteorology, local and national maritime history. Tue - Sat am: 9:30 - 12:30 Tue - Sat pm:14:00 - 17:00

Mario Toledo

Julia Garay



Jorge Montt


Lautaro Navarro



Sarmiento Croacia

Pl. Sampaio


Av. Bulnes

How far is the airport out of town?


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Av. Independencia Boliviana

21 de Mayo

When does ski season start? Depending on snow conditions of course about

How much is an airport transfer? A taxi to the airport usually costs 5.000 CLP. From the airport to town you’d usually pay about 8.000 CLP. The difference is due to the concession the taxi companies have to wait for you at the airport. The ones that don’t have this concession may only take you to the airport, but may not wait there. There’s also minibus shuttles, but I have to confim prices.

Jose Nogueira

Is there a boat to Ushuaia? Yes, a fancy ship called the “Expedition Cruise”.

Is P.A. safe at night? Yup, no worries.


How far to natales, provenir & ushuia? 250km to Puerto Natales. 40km as the crow flys to Porvenir, about 2,5hrs. by ferry. 600km to Ushuaia via Primera Angostura.

Armando Sanhueza

How far is Torres del Paine from here? 4,5 hrs. to the new park entrence at Rio Serrano. 5h to Laguna Amarga entrence.

Can you get to torres direct from P.A.? There’s been a direct bus last season (JBA), but I’m not sure if it’s still operating.

What`s there to do in this town? What should I see? Do? Highlites in P.A.: Lookout “Cerro de la Cruz” overlooks the city, the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego. Find the cathedral on the Plaza. Take the street left of it and walk 4 blocks.

Av. España

How do I know where they go? There’s no plans or maps. People just know – or they don’t… It always says on the sign, but then they blast by you, it’s difficult to read. Have fun!


About 20km / 30 minutes.

What type of day tours are there? Options include: Penguin Colonies. Historic Fuerte Bulnes (some operatores include side trips to Laguna Parriar National Forest) Also recommended. Pali Aike National Park:


Is there any public transportation? Yes! “Micro” is the name for our public buses. A great option to get to know Punta Arenas. Just hop onto one take it as far as it goes – which is until you are the last one on the bus an the driver nevously starts to look at you all the time and then just ask him to take you back to the “centro”. “Colectivos” are car-type public transportation. Like a bus, they have a defined route, but they “collect” people along the road, so you may hop on and off. Both options a pretty inexpensive.

June – August. You can see the Strait of Magellan from the slopes. What are my penguin options? 1) Tours leave every afternoon to Seno Otway. 2) Ferry to Isla Magdalena afternoon on Tue, Thu, and Sat. 3) Zodiac boat trips in the morning and afternoon to Isla Magdalena – every day. Recommended!


What is ‘downtown’ Punta Arenas? The blocks around the plaza.


Punta Arenas, Chile

You are here. Participate. Leave No Trace in Patagonia 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

Puerto Natales, Chile

Cerro Castillo Milodon Cave Puerto Prat Puerto Bories

Punta Arenas Rio Turbio, Argentina Trekking Dorotea

Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.


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Cerro Castillo


Leave No Trace is a program developed by the US Forest Service, the National Outdoors Leadership School (NOLS) and The Bureau of Land Management. It is designed to educate people on how to minimize their impact on the environment while camping.This is an abbreviated version of the 7 principles, for more extensive information please visit


Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous, yield to other users on the trail. Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock. Take breaks away from trails and other visitors. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

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7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

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Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviours, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. Control pets at all times, or leave them at home. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times i.e. mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

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Do not follow or approach wildlife; observe from a distance.


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6. Respect Wildlife

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Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the back country. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light. Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires. Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

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5. Minimize Campfire Impacts


Preserve the past, observe but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. Avoid introducing or transporting nonnative species. Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

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4. Leave What you Find


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To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

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Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.



3. Dispose of Waste Properly

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In pristine areas: Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails. Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

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Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow. Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet away from lakes & streams. Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary. In popular areas: Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.

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2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces


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Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies. Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use. Visit in small groups. Split larger parties into groups of 4 - 6. Repackage food to minimize waste. Use a map and compass to eliminate use of rock cairns, flagging or marking paint.

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Puerto Natales Punta Arenas

Black Sheep Oct 07  

Patagonia Travel Newspaper