Patagonia Details 2018-05-10T15:48:35+00:00

Climb Up: Patagonia – Amazing glacier lakes and stunning mountains await you in Patagonia and the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. We will hike 37 miles on the famous W Trek and take in the highlights of this remote area. With each step you have the opportunity to make the difference in the lives of children and families affected by HIV Aids through the support of the American Foundation for Children with Aids (AFCA).

We’ll be trekking to Valle Frances (French Valley) and to the heart of the Paine Massif on one day and the next day to the glacially beautiful Lake Grey. This will be followed by trekking the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine National Park! Full details of this can be seen on the apply online page.

Trip cost: $5050 + airfare

  • $3000 to AFCA. Tax receipts will be issued
  • $2050 to Steep Adventures. No tax receipt will be issued

If you’d like to climb Patagonia and there are particular dates when you’d like to climb, please contact Tanya at TWeaver@AFCAids.org.

If you are looking to make a donation to a fundraiser’s individual webpage, click here and find the individual who you would like to support.


October 31 – November 4, 2018 – Open team


Patagonia eco domes

10/30 – Arrive in Santiago, Chile

10/31 – Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile on 7:00am flight

11/1 – Hike

11/2 – Hike

11/3 – Hike

11/4 – Depart Punta Arenas in evening flight for home or to your next adventure

Patagonia Trekking Schedule

Day 1, The Patagonian Adventure starts

The trip begins with you being picked up from the Punta Arenas airport and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the worldfamous Torres del Paine National Park. En route we make a stop in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of “Seno de Ultima Esperanza”, where we enjoy a hearty local lunch. The journey is scenic and highly atmospheric, featuring many wild birds and wonderful Patagonian landscapes. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, with a prime view of the majestic Torres.

Day 2, The Paine Massif’s Heart: Valle Frances / Hiking 15 miles

After breakfast we drive toward Pudeto dock where we board the catamaran to Pehoe, from here we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley), along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group’s trekking rhythm. A swifter walk will lead us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley. We continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley’s geological formations. After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax a while. This day’s trek will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. *Distance reached dependent on the time of year.

Overnight in Refugio Paine Grande

Day 3, Glacier Grey / Hiking 9 miles

This day will see us hike from Paine Grande Refugio along the shores of Lake Pehoe to the northern side of the glacially beautiful Lake Grey. We will feast on a picnic lunch before boarding the boat that sails right to the huge, crystalline facade of Glacier Grey where we will have plenty of time to marvel at the calving glacier. From the southern end of Glacier Grey we will transfer to Eco-Camp.

Overnight at EcoCamp Patagonia

Day 4, The big challenge: Torres del Paine / Hiking 13 miles

The goal of the penultimate day of our 5-day trek will be to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine National Park! We will walk from EcoCamp towards Hostería Las Torres before ascending to Ascencio Valley on the Tower’s eastern face. Mountain ridges, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes in the form of the steep moraine, a huge mass of boulders which will lead us to that iconic base-view of the Towers – Three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After a tough uphill climb, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp for a well-deserved dinner.

Overnight at EcoCamp Patagonia

Day 5, Adios Torres del Paine!

We will board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch the evening flight

When climbing Patagonia, you need to be prepared for summer and winter all at once. A packing list provided by Steep Adventures can be found below.

Essential equipment includes:

  • A day backpack (30 liters – to carry camera, glasses, rain coat, etc)
  • Water bladder or water bottles (water in the park is safe to drink)
  • Trekking or hiking boots (waterproof is a good idea)
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Extra shoes for evenings or in case others get wet
  • Waterproof jacket or poncho
  • Two pairs of woolen socks
  • Fleece jacket or sweater (layers for the varying weather)
  • Comfortable pants (convertible if you like the option for shorts)
  • Sun protection (glasses, hat, lip balm and screen)
  • Optional Capilene/Wool long underwear for the upper and lower body
  • Gloves (liners for cool mornings)
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • US$ cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP

You will be staying one night at Refugio Paine Grande and three at EcoCamp Patagonia which is an award-winning and critically and publicly lauded sustainable hotel located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. First opened in 2001 and composed of eco-friendly and completely sustainable geodesic domes, EcoCamp was the first hotel of its kind in the world, and since then, has become an industry leader in sustainable lodging, inspiring the opening of eight other similar hotels worldwide.

EcoCamp will provide you with a comfortable oasis in the park where you can connect with nature while still enjoying modern amenities and delicious meals.

Thank you again for committing to helping children served by the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA)!  Our Payment Policies and Procedures guide applies to everybody who commits to a Climb Up: Patagonia (CUPat) fundraising trip, so please read this carefully.

There are two parts to payment:

  1. You will pay Steep Adventures directly for the trip portion of this adventure: $2050. Your $500 deposit is part of that overall cost.  You will NOT receive a tax receipt for this portion.
  2. You may either fundraise the $3000 due to AFCA or you may pay that directly to AFCA. Both these portions must be paid in order to participate in this adventure. Tax receipts will be issued.

We hope the following guide proves helpful for those of you who are fund raising the financial support necessary to make your trip a reality.  Be sure to review the information here before beginning your fundraising efforts. These guidelines are in place to ensure that you have the opportunity to join others in the mission of AFCA to help provide medicine to children in Africa affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.


Once you have applied for a CUPat team, you must confirm your place on the team by submitting a non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of $500 to Steep Adventures. The balance of trip payment (trip cost minus the $500 deposit) is due no later than 90 days prior to departure and you’ll receive reminders from Steep Adventures regarding this.


All payments toward your trek costs ($2050) must be made in U.S. dollars to Steep Adventures and designated to the Patagonia trek. Payments may be submitted by personal check, money order, ACH, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express (processing fee for credit card payments). Your trip payment covers your lodging, food (according to itinerary), guide, ground transportation, orientation materials, emergency medical insurance, and your park fees.  Not covered are: donation to AFCA, costs of passports and visas; excess baggage charges; immunizations; trip cancellation insurance; international airfare; airport departure taxes; sightseeing, or meals not listed in each itinerary; laundry; communication charges; and gratuities.

Once you register for your trip, you will be directed to create your fundraising page, whether you are fundraising or not.  You may pay the $3000 due to AFCA here or you may fundraise it. Participants and donors who submit funds by credit card will receive an automatic e-mail acknowledgment. You may also pay by check, with the check made out to AFCA and a sticky note with your name and Patagonia written on it.  AFCA will notify you of any donations made directly to the office so you can thank donors.  Any payments you submit toward the fundraising portion of your trip will automatically be credited toward satisfying your financial obligation only when coded as per the instructions above.

Checks and money orders must be made payable to AFCA and mailed to:

1520 Greening Lane
Harrisburg PA 17110

Your deposit and any payments you submit toward the cost of your trip will automatically be credited toward satisfying your financial obligation only when coded as per the coding donation section below.


1)  Matching gifts– Contact your company’s matching gift officer prior to submitting a matching-gift form. Not all companies’ matching-gift policies allow for the matching of participation fees. If applying for matching gifts, notify AFCA.

Note: Matching gift funds may only be used to offset the final balance owed if they are received by AFCA at least 30 days before the trip departure.

2)  Tax deductibility – Donations made to AFCA will receive a tax receipt. No tax receipt will be given for the cost of the trip, payable to Steep Adventures.

3)  Acknowledging donations – All donors who contribute via check or money order payable to AFCA or who make a credit card donation designated to a CUPat climber are sent acknowledgment letters by AFCA. Those who donate on line (via a personalized web page) receive a prompt e-mail confirmation that the donation was received.  Checks should not be made payable directly to you

4)  Funds raised in addition to the published trip cost – One of the stated purposes of the CUPat program is to raise funds for children in Africa who are impacted by the AIDS pandemic. To remain consistent with our mission, AFCA is not able to roll additional funds over to a future CUPat trip. AFCA will use any additional funding that you raise towards the children we support.

5)  Fundraising for airfare – Funds raised in excess of the trip cost may not be used to cover all or part of a CUPat team participant’s airfare. However, we recognize that some people may want to raise money for their airfare. Please do this on your own.  Participants may still be able to claim their airfare as a tax-deductible expense even if the funds are paid directly from the participant to a vendor, as long as the trip is in pursuit of a charitable purpose. Team members will need to contact a tax adviser concerning their specific situation.


To cancel your booking, you must submit your request in writing by email at info@steepadventures.com. Cancellation fees will be applied per person according to the following schedule, based on the date we receive your written notification:

  • In advance of 60 days from departure – Refund of payments made minus $500 non-refundable deposit and any non-refundable payments made to suppliers
  • Under 60 days from departure – No refunds are possible

No refunds will be provided for any unused portion of a tour once the tour begins, including if you leave a tour for any reason or have to be removed from a tour. There are no exceptions to this cancellation and refund policy, including for reasons related to weather, terrorism, civil strife, personal, family or medical emergencies or any other circumstances beyond our control. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance. 

Cancellations or Changes by Steep Adventures and Flexibility:

Steep Adventures reserves the right to cancel, alter or modify any tour without prior notice “for any reason”. You acknowledge that the amenities, accommodations, transportation, route, schedule, and itinerary may change without prior notice due to local circumstances or events, which may include mechanical breakdown, flight cancellations, illness, strikes, political disputes, weather, border crossing problems, and other unforeseeable factors. If, prior to departure, Steep Adventures make a significant change because of a problem with a supplier (e.g., bankruptcy), they will, as soon as reasonably possible, notify you of available alternatives.

Any changes may require a supplemental payment from you or result in a refund less any cancellation fees and nonrefundable deposits. If Steep Adventures cancel, which is rare, a check for a full refund will be issued to you less any airline ticket and hotel cancellation fees and nonrefundable deposits advanced to local suppliers. This refund will constitute full settlement of claims you may have arising out of our cancellation. No refunds will be provided due to cancellations or changes due to Force Majeure.


Once again, we appreciate your dedication to AFCA’s mission and your willingness to participate in a Climb up Patagonia trip. Thank you for complying with AFCA’s Payment Policies and Procedures guidelines and please let us know if we can be of any additional help.

Keep drinking! It’s VERY easy to dehydrate at altitude. The air is very dry so you breathe off more moisture. Also, your body adjusts to the high altitude by eliminating more water. Keep replacing it. your guide will keep reminding you to drink water – they know how much it helps, so drink up!

Make sure you eat plenty! Most people lose their appetite at altitude, but the cold weather and the long days mean your body burns through a lot of calories. Keep replacing them. You will need them. High carbohydrate foods are better than fatty foods. You will be provided with healthy and plentiful food to make sure you have the energy needed to climb to the top. Eat it! It is freshly cooked and your body needs it, whether it feels hungry or not.

Keep warm! Take the correct gear because staying warm will lessen your risk of becoming sick. What should you take with you? Steep Adventures has provided a suggested packing list for you to consider.

Keep your day pack light. Only take what you really need. Every extra pound needs extra oxygen to carry.

And last but not least, avoid alcohol, tobacco, and sleeping tablets.

Each climber must raise a minimum of $3000 in order to participate in this event which will support AFCA’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa. Not included in this fundraising goal are: trek cost (Steep Adventures), air fare, passport, visas, vaccinations, alcoholic beverages, tips, laundry, and souvenirs.

Fundraising can be a bit daunting, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from being part of Climb Up Patagonia. We are here to help you with brainstorming and to answer any questions you have. Please contact us at tweaver@AFCAids.org with questions but also check out our fundraising tips. Maybe one or two of them will help you get on your way to your fundraising goal.


  1. Make a list of everyone that you know – friends, family, co-workers, professors, wedding guests, spouses/significant other’s family, people you do regular business with—dentists, doctors, gas stations, stores you regularly frequent, coffee shops, insurance agents, bakeries, brokers, gyms, anyone.
  2. Prioritize – put the people you know best first. Remember, people give to people. By asking the people you know best first, you will have success and it will make you more confident in asking those you don’t know too well.
  3. Download the sample letter and press release or create your own. Personalize it…make it exciting by printing it on brightly colored paper.
  4. Be specific. People like to know what is expected of them. If you know someone can only give $5 then ask them for $5. If someone can give $50, ask them for $50. By asking for a specific amount, you will be more effective.
  5. Keep track – get a 9×12 envelope and keep a record of everyone who has given you money and the amount and keep this record in the envelope along with the forms and checks. If someone gives you cash, deposit it to your account and write a check for that amount. Never send cash through the mail.
    Mail checks and the record form ahead of time to:American Foundation for Children with AIDS
    1520 Greening Lane
    Harrisburg, PA 17110
  6. Get the word out. You can hand people the letter, you can email it or you can mail it to them. To ensure that people will return the form with a check at a higher rate of return, put an extra size 9 self-addressed stamped envelope in the letter with your address on the outside.
    When you apply to join a team using the online registration form, your fundraising/donation page will be created automatically during the registration process. You can then direct potential donors to your web page where they can learn more about AFCA and your specific trip. This is a GREAT way to get the word out!
  7. Emphasize charity. American Foundation for Children with AIDS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization so all donations you receive are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Make sure that checks are made out to the AFCA and make sure you keep track of who gives you cash and their addresses so we can send them a thank you note.
  8. Give thanks. It is important for you to personally thank your donors. AFCA will send a formal thank you to donors by mail.

You are ready to go! Keep remembering that you are asking people to help make a difference in the lives of others. Remind people that by giving a dollar a day, less than what they would spend on a cup of coffee, they can save a child’s life.

Please note:

$2050 is due to Steep Adventures and that covers guiding fees, food, lodging, park fees, and in-country transportation during the trip. No tax receipts will be issued for trip costs.

The fundraising portion of your trip ($3000) supports the charitable purpose of AFCA’s programs and you and your donors will receive a tax receipt for donations made to AFCA. Depending on your country of origin, your ticket cost may or may not be tax-deductible. Please consult a tax adviser concerning your specific situation.

Fundraising for airfare: Funds raised in excess of the trip cost will not be used to cover all or part of a participant’s airfare. However, we recognize that some people may want to raise money for their airfare. Please feel free to do so on your own. If paid out of pocket, participants may still be able to claim their airfare as a tax-deductible expense even if the funds are paid directly form the participant to a vendor, as long as the trip is in pursuit of a charitable purpose. Participants will need to contact a tax adviser concerning their specific situation.

Steep Adventures

From biking a rail trail to climbing to the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro… Steep Adventures® seeks to challenge each participant to do something amazing! Whether this is your first adventure trip or you are a seasoned veteran, Steep Adventures® trips are designed to unite participants around two common goals – successfully complete the challenge & meet the fundraising goal to do some good in the world. Steep Adventures partners with non-profits and charitable causes to support projects in the U.S. and around the world.

Website: www.steepadventures.com


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