Friar Stone

After about five minutes of hitchhiking, a car stopped. “Where are you going?” Asked the driver. “Until the Chorrillo,” answered Mercedes, my new roommate, and added: “She to El Pilar.” “Come on, I’ll take them,” said the man. Mercedes sat in the passenger seat and I sat in the back seat. The car started. After a few minutes, my partner got out. We agreed to see each other in the afternoon.

We move along Provincial Route 23 in the direction of the Desert Lake to the entrance of El Pilar. There I said goodbye to the driver and continued on foot to the bridge of the Electric River. I did not cross the great iron structure, but I went down to the left and crossed a stream. Then, I crossed a gate and started the road to Friar Stone.

After a while, the trail entered a forest of lengas and ñires, where bridges of trunks appeared and, later, a second gate. Two hours after starting the walk, I went to a clearing and skirted the Electric River until I reached Los Troncos shelter. I crossed the private campsite and started a steep ascent to the viewpoint of the Marconi Glacier.

Back on the route, a German couple who lifted me on the bridge of the Electric River and reached me to the town. My initial plan was to stay in El Chaltén for five days, but the forecast announced a storm for the next few days, so I advanced my trip to Esquel for the afternoon of the next day.

Text and photos of Gabriela Naso.

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