Camp Dickson – Camp Los Perros

The Facts

Short Outline of Hike

  • Distance: 12km
  • Duration: 5h, including a snack break by the river and a short break at both miradors (viewpoints), Valle de Los Perros and Glaciar Los Perros
  • There’s an elevation gain of about 360m.
  • As we are eventually heading for the pass, called Paso John Gardner, it goes mainly uphill from Camp Dickson. Steadily but it stretches over a longer distance. Depending on what you prefer when hiking, this might be nice and easygoing. I prefer very steep and short distances 😛
  • Two river crossings across wooden bridges.
  • Los Perros river leads all the way up to the glacial lake which is situation just before the camp.
  • This trek section is also well-marked.
  • From what I was able to see Camp Los Perros is equipped with showers, bathrooms, a kitchen room. The actual bathrooms were closed when we camped there though. There are backup toilets and also showers. Not as luxurious but totally fine.

Grading

Following is my personal grading of the hike including some key points. If you have no idea what the SB scale, have a quick look here.

The overall grade regarding difficulty is SB-2.4. The grade is made up of the following categories:

Category A – General – SB-3

  • Distance: 12km, duration: 5h
  • Elevation gain/loss: There’s an elevation gain of about 360m which stretches over the distance.

Category B – Terrain – SB-3

The trek starts out going uphill through forest. It gets a bit rocky at the end including some smaller spring crossings. These might not be there in summer or with less rain. There are also two river crossings over bridges with awesome views. All in all, the trek is moderate.

Category C – Weather – SB-2

Another nice day. Mostly sunny. Wind just becomes the new normal. Generally, weather starts getting worse in the afternoon. Same with this day. It started getting windier and raining just when we arrived in camp.

Category D – Special Conditions – SB-2

The only extraordinary thing to mention for this day are our heavy backpacks.

Category E – Individual Conditions – SB-2

A warm dinner + hot shower the day before, a good night’s sleep and nice weather fill us up with some energy. The breaks along the river gave room for some relaxation. Our backs are getting used to carrying the weight. That and a declining weight regarding food makes the backpacks lighter.

The Story behind the hike

Today marks the day when my hiking routine is expanded. By having a maté 🙂

Darryn, our new hiking buddy, invites us to share a few cups with him in the morning before he starts trekking. The three of us relax for a bit and enjoy the start of a new day.

Today also marks the day when I will have a close look at a glacier for the first time. Just before Camp Los Perros you pass the glacier which gave the camp its name. But there are a few kilometers ahead of us before we reach this site.

From here it is mainly uphill all the way to Paso John Gardner, which we will reach the next day. The elevation gain is steady but stretches over distance. The sun is shining again. So, the hike itself is rather relaxing. Especially after we were able to get some rest and warm food the day before. But heads up: The Patagonian weather is not going to let us get used to this 😉

We walk along the Los Perros river all the way to the glacier and its lake. It doesn’t take long after leaving camp to reach the day’s first mirador (Spanish for lookout). Valle de Los Perros unfolds right in front of us. We can even see parts of the Dickson glacier and its lake. When we arrive at the mirador, we catch up with Darryn who is analyzing a probable puma footprint with a ranger.

We walk through bush and forest for most of the trek. A few kilometers before camp Los Perros the trek gets a bit rockier. And then, there it is: el glaciar Los Perros 🙂 The area around the glacier is pretty windy. This doesn’t stop us from gazing at the sight for a while.

The two hikers who arrived after us at Dickson the day before are spending an extra night there. Darryn, Christian and I will be the only ones camping at Los Perros this night.