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Lonely Planet Trekking in the Patagonian Andes (Walking) Paperback – November 1, 2003

3.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


...for the adventurous traveler who wants to live like a native.' --Real Simple Magazine, June 2005

About the Author

LONELY PLANET aims to cater for every independent traveller, whatever the destination, whatever the style of travel and whatever the phase of the journey. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Walking
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 3 edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186450059X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864500592
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,169,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a fantastically comprehensive guide to the trekking areas of
the Patagonian Andes. Intelligently laid out with very
well-researched maps and local information, it also manages to give a
comprehensive overview of what each area has to offer, without being
exhaustive. It gives you just enough information to get you out there
and discovering on your own. The book does have a few weaknesses --
notably, there are flat-out errors in some of the specific route
descriptions or instructions -- that make it far better-suited to
those who feel comfortable fending for themselves in the wild, and who
don't try and use the book as a substitute for human guides. In
short, if you feel comfortable traveling independently in remote
areas, it's not a problem. If that scares you ... perhaps you should
use the book as a primer and then hire a guide or go with a guided
Ratings for the treks are somewhat arbitrary; one trek rated
"easy" was actually quite rough, and the second half of the
route had been closed for over a year (prior to the book's publication
date -- a real boo-boo). Another trek rated "hard" was
actually not as challenging as advertised. However, the details of
the route descriptions are usually spot-on and very helpful. Most
wonderful are the maps, which experienced trekkers actually CAN use in
place of a topo (despite how foolish this sounds) in many cases.
photographs are wonderful, and also give an accurate and beautiful
rendering of the region's charms. I'd describe them as "trekking
porn," they're so luscious.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a perfect introduction to the wealth of hiking possibilities in patagonia - many of them are still significantly under-used and of equal calibre to the more famous routes. The general information sections are quite good, and give a good feel for what conditions are like both trekking and travelling in general; a good purchase for planning your trip. Where the book falls down is on the actual trekking notes, which are consistently inaccurate, obscenely outdated and sometimes quite misleading (see other reviews). On this front, Cerro Electrico is not safe - however Cerro Electrico Oeste is safely climbable without mountaineering equipment (although crampons are a nice idea) and gives mind-blowing views of the rear of Fitzroy - I think this might be what the author actually had in mind.

The best use of this book is as an introduction/inspiration, then get hold of decent military maps (plentiful in santiago and buenos aires) and local advice (abundant) and go from there. Given that many of the treks require some degree of independence and judgement (especially in snow-bound regions), pretty much any information should be taken with a grain of salt and certainly should be double-checked independantly or at worst against common sense. It is a pity no better alternative exists, but the general information is good and if prepared, leave the fun of route-finding up to yourself.
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Format: Paperback
We used this guidebook for 2+ months of backpacking
in Chile and I would strongly recommend it. The maps
can be used in lieu of topo maps (I would recommend
topos of course, but you can only get them in Santiago
and Buenos Aires) and the descriptions are remarkably
spot on. I've used dozens of backpacking guides (and
biking, climbing, ... guides) and there are invariably
inaccuracies or route descriptions that don't quite seem
to match. However, this book had fewer of such infelicities
than any guidebook I've used. Kudos to Lindemayer.
In addition, the "other treks" sections of the book
proved invaluable. After our first few weeks, we
realized we really wanted to get off the beaten track
and these little 1-3 paragraph route descriptions gave
us all we needed to track down information on beautiful,
rewarding, and untramelled hikes throughout Patagonia.
Lindemayer clearly has an explorer's impulse and a near
encyclopedic knowledge of the area.
Only caveat: if you're just going to Torres del Paine
and/or Los Glaciares you really don't need any guidebook;
the commonly available maps and steady streams of backpackers
on the trail will keep you well informed.
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Format: Paperback
I live in Argentina and spend at least three months out of the year trekking and climbing in Patagonia, both in Argentina and Chile. I have done about 1/3 of all the treks listed in the book, many of them multiple times. I use this book more as an inspiration as well as a general logistical resource, than as an actual trail guide, for it fails far too often in terms of accuracy. Yet it is the only book of its type so it is not possible to compare it to anything else. This makes it hard to write a fair review, and I have never had so much trouble deciding on which star level to award as with this book.

After a lot of contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that the author has tried too hard to include too much. Descriptions of the treks are far too detailed. This almost certainly means that errors will be made and indeed there are many, and not only because there have been changes to the routes. So many of the errors have nothing to do with changes since research ended. They are just plain wrong.

I will only give one example, though I could list many more. In Parque Nacional Villarica, the highest point on the traverse is listed with an incorrect altitude. This isn't so bad, but it is also listed in the wrong place, and on the wrong day within her six day plan. The highest point is 1,900 meters, not 1838, and you arrive at this point on day four, not day five. I chose this example for a very simple reason. With GPS, determining max altitude is an easy and straight forward proposition. If the author gets such a simplicity wrong, how much more unreliable will step by step instructions be.

I have often tried to follow the trail descriptions only to find some descriptions not just incorrect, but downright confusing.
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