Blogs from El Chaltén, Santa Cruz, Argentina, South America - page 4


South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 26th 2013

I got up at seven to meet Brett, Erin, and Cristian at their hostel for some climbing. After waiting for them, and getting some mediadores (delicious pastries) for breakfast, it was almost nine, so I waited for the climbing shop to open to rent some shoes. After opening fifteen minutes late, I was lucky that this place had my size, and for only $5 for the day. What a bargain! Wait, what am I doing here??? I've never gone rock climbing. I've gone wall climbing before a handful of times without ever really knowing what I was doing. And the last time I went, I felt like I was going to rip my shoulders from their sockets thanks to some old shoulder injuries that never really healed properly.... which was my own fault, but that's an ... read more
Climb on!
On my way up
Brett, workin' the wall

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 24th 2013

I had a very poor sleep on my last night in El Calafate. Someone in my room had a phone that would beep every minute. I think maybe the battery was dying, but it didn't seem to disturb him. Just me. I only managed to sleep for a couple of hours before it drove to a couch in the common area. So naturally I slept half of the three and a half hour bus ride to El Calafate to try and make up for it. I would have slept for the other half as well, but it was a clear day without a cloud in the sky, and that meant spectacular views of the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from the bus. And these are two geological features that don't really make any sense compared to ... read more
The town
The Fitz Roy
Cerro Torre (not CGI)

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 11th 2013

After a great time in El Calafate (forgetting the bug bites), Sonya and I were both keen to discover more of the spectacular beauty that southern Patagonia has to offer. A three hour bus ride north brought us to the tiny town of El Chalten, at the foot of the Fitz Roy mountain range in the middle of nowhere. The town attracts tourists during the summer months because of its many walking trails to various mountains and lakes in close proximity. Now, as you may know, we're not exactly avid ramblers. In fact, we don't even own a pair of those super-trendy walking shoes between us but the beauty of Patagonia will make you do crazy things. In our case that meant a 12km round trip to Laguna Capri, under the gaze of Mount Fitz Roy. ... read more
Laguna Capri
Mirador de Los Condores

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén February 25th 2013

Aujourd’hui, c’était prévu, beau temps prévu, la journée idéale pour aller faire la rando de 8h, 26 km et 750m de dénivelé jusqu’au Laguna de Los Tres, au pied du Fitz Roy. Eva est repartie la veille pour El Calafate pour faire une excursion en bateau et voir d’autres glaciers (les plus grands) mais moi je ne voulais pas manquer l’occasion d’aller faire cette rando dont on m’avait dit du bien les jours précédents. Eh bien, tout le monde a eu la même idée et attendait une belle journée pour s’y rendre (sachant qu’il allait repleuvoir mardi). En plus nous avons eu de la chance, car il parait que les sommets sont souvent nuageux et que ce n’est même pas la peine de faire la dernière partie de la rando si c’est le cas (tu m’étonnes). ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén February 24th 2013

Le site windguru avait dit que le ciel se dégagerait à partir de midi, il fallait vraiment lui faire confiance pour y croire en se levant le dimanche matin, la pluie continuait et n’avait pas arrêté de toute la nuit, ce qui commençait a rendre tout le monde d’humeur maussade. Et puis, à 11h, stop. Ni une ni deux, on embarque sac à dos et pique-nique, et on s’en va pour la balade annoncée de 6h/6h30 A/R et 20 km pour Laguna Torre au pied du mont Torre à 3100 m (voire 2 jours pour le Lonely Planet des treks Maria J, ils conseillaient de dormir au camp avant de revenir !). Toujours pas de Fitz Roy en vue au fait, à croire qu’il a disparu ! Le sentier est étonnamment et agréablement sec, la terre ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén February 24th 2013

After Ushuaia, we heading to Argentina's unofficial "Capital of Treking", El Chalten. El Chalten is the newest city in the whole country and with ~600 people, its easy to believe. The town is situated right at the base of the Andes and at the Northern tip of the Glacier National Park. This makes it perfect for hiking, glacier walks, and rock climbing. Our focus was on the hiking and we spent our time here doing several of the more intense hikes. The first was to see Laguna Torres, a lake situated by a glacier and a massive stone peak - Cerro Torres. The hike was long (24 km round trip) and with gradual inclines. We went through a variety of landscapes, from arrid valleys, forests to river beds. The second hike was to see the famous ... read more
Hike to Cerro Torre
Hike to Cerro Torre
Hike to Cerro Torre

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén February 23rd 2013

Nous savions que samedi serait une journée un peu perdue à cause de la pluie. Mais j’espérais quand même aller me balader autour de El Chalten et faire les petites balades courtes et faciles quand il y a une accalmie. Eh bien non, pas d’accalmie du tout, et il n’y a rien à faire à El Chalten à part randonner ! Situé à 3 heures de route de El Calafate, c’est un cul de sac dans la partie nord du parc des glaciers et nous avions bien prévu puisque nous y étions dès 11h ! Donc voilà, voilà… Nous passons une bonne partie de l’après-midi dans un café/boulangerie, à déguster empanadas et pâtisseries avec cafe con leche. Deux anglais arrivent et demande au proprio de mettre le match de rugby Angleterre-France, ce sera quand même mieux ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén February 2nd 2013

After the short side trip back to Chile I returned across the border into Argentina to take a look at two memorable destinations in the Los Glaciares National Park. First stop was the town of El Calafate, gateway to some of the lakes and glaciers in the area. The most well-known glacier is the Perito Moreno and is currently one of the few advancing glaciers. Its tongue juts across the Lago Argentino lake towards land and it actually makes contact approximately every 4-5 years. This causes a unique phenomenon where a section of the lake becomes blocked by the glacier. With no outlet, the water level on the blocked side can incredibly rise 30m above the level of the main side, causing a massive pressure buildup. When it becomes too much the wall of ice explodes ... read more
The incredible face of Perito Moreno
Patagonian clouds are pretty awesome
The view up to Mount Fitz Roy

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén December 19th 2012

El Chalten is a mere two hours drive north of El Calafate. It’s a 220km away on a nice paved road as we have to go around Lago Argentino. El Chalten is a new town, dating back to 1985 and erected by the Argentinian for a sole border claim with Chile. If you didn’t know, border issues in the region are still pretty hot, let it be with Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and even Peru…pretty often, for 200 years old issues! There is only one fame to El Chalten today, and this is to be the trekking capital of Patagonia. Just behind the little town is the Cerro Torre and the Fitz Roy mountains….so it’s not only trekking, it’s also a serious mountain climbers paradise. The Fitz Roy is over 3400 meters, and a pretty serious climb…well….if ... read more
Beautiful day!
Trekking to Laguna Torre
Fitz Roy...sunny day...

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén November 21st 2012

Ben and I shouldered our packs as the boys drove out of town under a beautiful patagonian sky. Our destination was Vivac de Polacos in the Torre valley at the base of St. Exupery the spire we planned to climb. The trail to Laguna Torre is well traveled and we saw many people on our way in all intrigued by our packs and where we were headed. Once you get to the lake the trail turns into a climbers access only trail immediately. A tyrolean traverse across the Rio Fitzroy is the only way to access the far side of the lake where we needed to be, eventually the trail dumps you out on a lateral moraine of the Torre Glacier the stretches up valley as far as you can see, the majestic Cerro Torre towering ... read more

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