Thursday, 16 April 2015

Cerro Fitz Roy

El Chalten is allegedly Argentina’s trekking capital, however when we arrived we found this small, quaint town almost deserted - Argentinians obviously don’t trek in the autumn! Most of the town is set out on two streets and many shops and restaurants were closed for the off season. We found great digs with our own en-suite cabin and shared kitchen. 

The weather was great but looking to deteriorate so we headed out next day under azure blue skies to explore the gem of this region – Cerro Fitz Roy. This 3359 metre high rock spire dominates the valley and was another impressive monolith on Chris’ must see list! 

We caught a bus 7km north of town into the northern end of Los Glaciars National Park. From here we hiked trough beautiful beech forest in towards the base of Fitz Roy. The last hour was a killer stomp up the steep valley walls, through the snowline and up the moraine to a fabulous view over Fitz Roy its glaciers and glacier lake. Our 20km stomp brought us back into town at dusk in time to meet up with our new friend Jeff for another well deserved pint!

What a welcoming sight!

Our gentle stroll along the river towards Cerro Fitz Roy

A former river bed or maybe an old trail through the forest, this cutting reminded us of the old trails through the woods in the UK

These amazing knarled beech trees grow into tortuous shapes

Battered by high winds they eventually fall but if their roots are intact they don't die but just sprout new limbs and continue growing

 Our first close up of Cerro Fitz Roy

and its impressive glaciers

Not much further

 Not sure what this sign means...any guesses?

Our route back to Chalten lies straight ahead...once we've finished the climb!

The road where we started in the distance beneath the blue mountains

Snow line = suck time, very hot in this Andean sun!

There she blows

Spot the difference

Made it!

Looking back to the start - nearly home

Our cosy home on the right

Celebrating with Jeff and the gang

 Fancy a Penguin anyone?