Cerro Eléctrico

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Patagonia, Argentina, South America
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
7405 ft / 2257 m
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Cerro Eléctrico
Created On: Dec 9, 2016
Last Edited On: Dec 9, 2016


This peak, located to the north east of the Chaltén massif, offers some great views of the Fitz Roy group.

It has three clearly different summits: one located close to Paso Guillaumet which is a black rock formation, Castillo Negro, one to the east which is glaciated, the main summit, and one to the northeast which is red colored.

The Italian priest and geographer Alberto Maria De Agostini, who visited, mapped and climbed in the area in the 1930s, was the first to record the peak's name. Agostini’s extensive photographic coverage brought this region to the attention of many of the European climbers, particularly the Italians. De Agostini explained that the peak’s name was given by the early western settlers because of the windy and stormy nature of that area, writing that it was due, “alle straordinaria violenza delle raffiche di vento che precipitano da questo monte nelle valle con secche detonazioni, da sembrare scariche elettriche.”

The northern most summit of the peak, above Paso Guillaumet, was named Cerro Eléctrico Oeste by Louis Lliboutry, the cartographer, geologist and glaciologist that was part of the French expedition that accomplished the first ascent of Cerro Fitz Roy in 1952. He also gave this peak an alternate name, "Chateau Noir" - Castillo Negro. Since the name Cerro Electrico Oeste has been "misplaced" in all maps to the peak located immediately north of Paso Cuadrado it seems best to stick with Lliboutry's alternate name to avoid confusion. The "red summit" of Cerro Eléctrico was named by Lliboutry Cerro Electrico Noreste.

Getting There

Fitz Roy area map
Accessing Cerro Eléctrico involves traveling to Chaltén (typically by bus from Calafate) and then traveling north from town along the unpaved road leading towards Rio Electrico.  This can be done by taxi, bus, hitch, or long walk.  The ride is approximately 30 minutes by car and costs approximately 500 pesos (2016 data).  


GPS of Route
GPS save of route used for ascent of Cerro Electrico
The route starts by following the marked trail towards Piedra Del Fraile.  At some point climbers will head left off the trail and head towards one of the gullies that leads to the plateau above.  Once you gain the obvious plateau above the steep gully, traverse the plateau by heading south west and look for a relatively easy chute to access the base of the glacier above.  Once here, the route opens up and on a clear day when the summit is visible, it should be easy to plot a route up the glacier, staying primarily climbers' left before crossing the glacier to the summit ridge.  There is a castellated ridge along the left that we gained on the ascent, only to find that the terrain here was unstable.  It's recommended that you stay in the snowfields between the heavily crevassed right side of the glacier and the ridge on the left.  I've included a .gpx track that shows our trail but I should note that our route involved frequent bushwhacks, sketch rock traversing, and on the descent, a brief 30' rappel.  I created a detailed blog post of our route up that should be extremely useful to anyone hoping to climb here.  It can be found at http://notchhostel.com/blog/breaking-trail-on-patagonias-cerro-electrico/

Red Tape

When you enter the town of Chalten, you are required to visit the ranger station. Here they explain where camping is and is not permitted.  Climbing, camping, and trekking off trail requires a (free) permit.  You are required to return the permit when you return from you trip.  

When to Climb

As with most climbs in Patagonia, the best time to climb is during their summer.  November - March provides the best chance of a positive weather window.


Camping is only allowed in designated areas.  You will need to get a permit from the ranger station for camping prior to your trip.

External Links

Cerro Eléctrico

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