Fitz Roy trek

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February 24th 2015
Published: March 15th 2015
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Having enjoyed a few beers and rested our tired legs and feet we made our way back into Argentina and up to El Chalten, the self proclaimed trekking capital of the world in southern Patagonia.

Patagonia is largely untouched and barely inhabited, some call it the last refuge left on earth, home to wildlife and dazzling scenery with vast horizons. It is a land of contrasts, the arid plateau, the lush vegetation and forests, the lakes/rivers and glaciers.

El Chalten is a tiny outpost town in the Andes, it is quiet and picturesque and the perfect place to see the transition between the vast dry Patagonian steppe and the majesty of the mountains and ancient ice. It is a town that is only open for a few summer months to facilitate the trekking and climbing season and many modern day convienances like wifi are still lacking.

This trek was much easier than Torres del Paine primarily due to the fact that we were able to base ourselves at 2 main camps and from those day hike up into the mountains returning to camp in the evening. The main advantage being that we were largely trekking without the packs
Inviting watersInviting watersInviting waters

After a long day hiking this lake was a welcome oasis.
and their weight. As this was only a 5 day and 65km hike we were able to pack a few luxuries this time including some red wine for the evenings.

Trekking has been a great way to meet people, there is a real sense of camaraderie on the trails. One particularly inspiring person we befriended is a gentleman who has logged some 15,000 miles trekking since his retirement in 2009. You name it he has hiked it, including all the US great hikes; the Appalachian (twice), Pacific Crest Trail, and probably the most impressive the Continental Divide trail.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


View of Fitz Roy's summitView of Fitz Roy's summit
View of Fitz Roy's summit

A granite tower rising out the Andes, this is another climbers paradise with highly challenging and technical climbs abound.
Patagonian steppe at nightPatagonian steppe at night
Patagonian steppe at night

Not the best picture, but it is truly remarkable how the flat Patagonian plain give way to the Andes massif with summits of 3000m.
Condor in flightCondor in flight
Condor in flight

We saw numerous condors soaring on the winds. This picture does not do them justice, they are a formidably large bird of prey.
Morning mistMorning mist
Morning mist

The mist and cloud in the mornings made the mountains look and feel almost volcanic.
Enjoying the sunEnjoying the sun
Enjoying the sun

We spent the afternoon enjoying the sun and surroundings, though neither of us was brave enough to go for a dip due to the coldness of the water.
Cerro Torre at a distanceCerro Torre at a distance
Cerro Torre at a distance

According to many this is the most difficult mountain to climb and one of the most famous peaks of the Andes range primarily due to the history of its conquest and its beauty.

With plentful glacier water there was no need to carry water onto the trek.

On this side of the mountain the sand and earth was being blown onto the glacier, creating a lake with much more sediment and minimial visability.

We spent the afternoon hiking around the lake, it felt like we were at the beach minus the mini icebergs.
South American DonkeysSouth American Donkeys
South American Donkeys

We crossed these fellas heading up the trail to begin a climbing expedition to summit Fitz Roy, they carried all the gear in on the backs of the alpacas. Sandra got notions that they could also carry her pack in future trips, we will have to see about that....

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