Posts tagged “planning

Back in Europe

I missed this by only a week.

I missed this by only a week.

Well, I did my five-month stint and I’m now back in Europe. Sad to say but it wasn’t particularly productive, I left Chalten feeling demoralized and if I’m being totally honest I left feeling I wouldn’t go back.  The weather was too warm and too dry, there was less snow than last year and that’s saying something. Now back in Europe I check the weather and see it has snowed hard in the town! In fact, the weather reports suggest lots more snow is expected to fall.

 

 

I think I’m going to return to Chalten one more time, but I might take a couple of years out. In the mean time I’ll be doing a little work in Europe. I thought I’d add a few thoughts for anyone considering a photo trip to Chalten.

Do’s and Dont’s in Los Glaciers National Park

  • If booking onto a workshop make sure the guide is hiring a local guide, without one you will be asked to leave the park, Full details below.
  • Local guides are not allowed to take people off the trail.  The rules are bent slightly but you will not be allowed access to all areas.
  • Check the weather, then pay no attention to it. Seriously check the weather, but it’s frequently inaccurate. I’m fond of saying that the only way you will guarantee you won’t get a shot is if you don’t go to the mountains.
  • I use Wind Guru to get my weather reports, it’s wise to check the weather for the ice field as well as the town and even the weather to the east.
  • Google Earth is invaluable for all photographic planning, as are star finding apps like PhotoPills
  • Chip and Pin bank cards usually don’t work in Chalten, so take U.S dollars.
  • Bring some food from home, El Chalten has a miserable choice of food, trekking food is especially hard to come by.
  • Learn a little basic Spanish, locals tend to speak a bit of English, but as with any travel experience, it helps to make the effort.
  • Try to learn the names of other mountains, the climbing history is fascinating.
  • When leaving Chalten it’s possible to get the bus from the big hostel Rancho Grande, this saves you lugging all your kit to the bus station.
  • There is a gas station, it’s just south of the ranger station and looks like a shipping container.
  • You can buy most camp necessities in Chalten, gas is available for stoves such as JetBoil, also White Gas.
  • Wifi is improving, in the more expensive hotels, it actually works.
  • Never start a fire in the park and camp only in recognized camp sites.
  • Don’t go to remote areas of the park on your own, remember there is no helicopter rescue.
  • It’s fine to drink water from the streams, the one exception is the trek to Pliegue del Tumbado due to cattle.
  • Be respectful of other photographers, April is getting really busy, just because you’re on a paying workshop does not give you the right to tell me to move out of your way. (It happens!)
  • If you’re asked by a park official if you’re selling your photographs or if you’re a professional explain your situation. They will allow you some leeway, you’re not allowed to photograph commercially without a permit. This means you can’t take photographs that will end up in, for example, an advertising campaign.
  • Chalten is almost free of crime, none the less it pays to be careful. I’d be wary of leaving valuables unattended especially during festival times when visitors arrive from out of town.

I’m sure there’s a lot more I could add but If anyone has any questions feel free to message me: info@andrewwaddington.com

 

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