The most appealing feature of El Morado is its glacier, San Francisco, whose lower moraine are just 1000 metres north of the lagoon. From there, an easy northward climb with crampons can be done up to the base of the ice, at 3000 metres.(S 33º45’35,6” / W 70º04’47,3”).Up from there, any climb requires technical gear and expertise. Watch for falling rocks and ice on the eastern flank of the ice mass.
From the lagoon, the recommended walk may take 3 to up to 6 hours, round trip. Take warm clothing for returning, even in summer, and try to be back at camp at least 1 hour before sunset.
The southern side of the glacier, has somewhat of a ‘ramp’ of ice that can be climbed with crampons up to the very base of Mirador del Morado peak. The full trek to it may take 6 to 8 relaxed hours, round trip from the lagoon, but be careful with cracks in the ice in springtime, when they’re covered in soft snow. Unless you carry technical gear and are an experienced climber, don’t venture upwards from the base of the mountain (the sight from there is amazing, anyway).
Use of crampons to decend from the glacier in the afternoon is essential, as the early afternoon's soft snow gets hard very fast right after the shadow of the mountain reaches it, even on sunny days.