Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Patagonia-anyone use Cascada Expediciones?

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
User avatar
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:44 pm
Location: Denver

Patagonia-anyone use Cascada Expediciones?

Postby ketel1 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:36 pm

In the early stages of discussions with friends on doing this next year, a 9 Day Torres del Paine Circuit:
http://www.cascada.travel/places/programs.php?IDP=115&ID=40

Has anyone used this group before? I would appreciate any input, feedback, ideas about other groups..etc. Time to start crossing the big trips off the list!
Beth
"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." ~Christopher Reeve

User avatar
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:19 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Patagonia-anyone use Cascada Expediciones?

Postby robco » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:13 am

I saw this topic, and thought that Patagonia released a new type of jacket. I'm so disappointed :roll:.

And I apologize for the completely un-helpful and troll-esque reply, but at least it's a free bump.

Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:06 am

Re: Patagonia-anyone use Cascada Expediciones?

Postby gregS » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:53 pm

I did this trip last January. Was pretty easy to coordinate ourselves, and we didn't use a guiding service. If you go that route, the logistics of getting from Punta Arenas to TDP are interesting, but doable. The hardest part in my opinion was finding adequate food for the trip, given the length and the lack of selection (from an American perspective) at the local grocery store in Puerto Natales.

The "W" is easily doable in 2-3 days, but you may want more in case of bad weather, which is a constant down there. If you are doing the loop, I have less information for you.

The places to stay are expensive, but make the trip pretty easy. They have food, and are a nice respite from the rain and wind. We camped 1 night and stayed at the places two nights, bringing all our own food, aside from grabbing a couple of bottles at one of the "huts". We had 3 days of rain, and 1 day of clear skies. Scenery is amazing. Enjoy!

User avatar
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:44 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Patagonia-anyone use Cascada Expediciones?

Postby ketel1 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:44 pm

We are still very early in the stages of research and planning. I will send your comments to my friends and go from there. Thanks!
Beth
"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." ~Christopher Reeve

Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Patagonia-anyone use Cascada Expediciones?

Postby I fall a lot » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:47 am

I did not use a guide service and don't think you need one for route finding as the trails are all clearly marked (although the distances on the map seemed a bit off). Logistically of course, the guide service will be a great help, but I guess it's whether you think it's worth the money or not. If you speak a decent amount of Spanish I would probably recommend not going with a guide service.

Prepare for all weather as the previous poster said...the mountains truly make their own weather down there. And don't get discouraged if it rains, it can clear up in a heartbeat! And as a side note, when I started my hikes later in the day (11am) I was lucky enough to get better weather than starting early.

Have a great time!

User avatar
Posts: 1705
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:26 pm
Location: New York

Re: Patagonia-anyone use Cascada Expediciones?

Postby nyker » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:44 pm

While I have no experience with Cascada, I do have experience with the following:

www.Visitchile.com (while we did not use a guide for this trip, they helped us with flights, cars and lodging and got VERY reduced prices) Very nice people and very helpful.

http://patagoniatravelco.com/ (we used this one for setting up some details in Torres del Paine and they were generally very helpful, though not as flexible as we would have liked in a few areas)

Andes Expeditions (http://www.andesmountain.cl/index_ing.htm) - Very disappointed with several aspects of the trip. We used this for trips into the Atacama region and into Bolivia with the objective of climbing 3-4 volcanoes in the region. I cannot recommend them and would have fared better alone with a horse and a box of powerbars.

One word of note with using guide services in South America, at least from my minimal experience there (four different outfits on five trips), including one to Torres del Paine and one to Chalten area. Some trips we did completely ourselves including driving, and planning all routes and transport, others we used a guide when deemed appropriate. When possible, do everything yourself.

Budget some extra time for "Latin American time" which is at the opposite spectrum to what I am accustomed to in NYC. If you're expecting to be picked up at 3PM, that could mean 4:30 in local time, with no explanation or apology upon being picked up, or your driver may meet someone they know while getting gas; and 40 minutes later, you leave the station. ...meaning you may miss a flight or connection or not be able to do a hike in the afternoon if you arrive someplace late. This includes flights, taxis, guides, etc. On one trip to a Bolivian volcano climb where it was necessary to have a local guide, we were up at 3AM for day one and he never showed up, at all. No climb for the next two days. Of course this is not everyone and I've had some wonderful experiences there and met some great people in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Also, confirm any time you are given; i.e. time for any openings or closings of natural areas (some of which do actually close by gate), confirm train times, and if roadwork is blocking a major road (in many cases, the only road out or in someplace). Often nobody will tell you or even know themselves, so double check before driving 8 hours somewhere.

In TDP, we did the W Circuit plus 3 days of hiking on private lands where there were no other people which was nice. Two days of ice climbing were cancelled due to winds and bad weather. Spent 9 days in tents backpacking here. At the time, the normal route (a bit longer) was very muddy and was not recommended. Also, from what I understand from a friend who has been there more recently, is that many of the roads have been paved around the area making rental cars easier to deal with, though crowds have increased.

We spent four days in Chalten around Fitz Roy - the wind in that town was fierce and the unpaved roads (in 2008) made for sandblasting experiences walking anywhere.
Also spent a full day hiking on the Perito Moreno glacier, which I'd recommend highly. The whole region is spectacular.

In case you're interested, here are some photos I took from the area you are considering.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14885228@N03/sets/72157607680105648/detail/

Enjoy your trip!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests