Blogs from El Chaltén, Santa Cruz, Argentina, South America - page 6


South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén November 24th 2011

Day 42 - Monday 21st November Up and had breakfast which is one of the bad points of this hotel. The breakfast is delivered the night before which means you can have it anytime you like the next morning, but the milk was on the turn the first 2 mornings and the bread etc. was always stale. After 3 days of this breakfast we were glad this is the last, we finished the final pack and went to reception to check out about 7.00am. This is where another problem with the hotel was, you could never find staff. The other mornings about 5 minutes after you arrived they would turn up as people were going on organised tours, but not this morning. We rang the bell, tried to call the hotel, rang the outside doorbell and ... read more
View of Cerro Fitzroy & Cerro Torre on arrival
Pudu Lodge our hotel
Danger sign before and final ascent to Laguna de los Tres

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén July 31st 2011

El Calafate does not have much to offer beyond the glaicer, so after an enjoyable second night at the hostel we head for the town of El Chalten which lies at the other end of the Glaciers National Park - a 4 hour bus ride away. We´re relieved to pull out of El Calafate - the armed policeman on duty was severley cross-eyed and we would have had to hit the deck pretty quick if there was any cause for him to have drawn his weapon. Iv´s tickled by the safety card in his bus seat which tells us in English that we ¨can count with the help of your bus conductor¨....... very helpful, Iv has always been rubbish at maths. El Chalten is nestled in the Fitz Roy range of Andean mountains. It appears to ... read more
Kitted up
Being buffeted

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén April 23rd 2011

Wednesday 6th April - Wednesday 13th April. Well rested, fed and watered (steak and red wine well earned!) after the exploits of Torres del Paine, we headed back across the border into Argentina and on to El Chalten, the trekking capital of Argentina and home to Mount Fitz Roy (3,400m). After the “W”, we were hungry for more. The drive there provided another journey to add to the list of bus “experiences”. We still can't figure out if the headlights didn't work or the bus driver just didn't like using them! Either way, he seemed pretty chuffed with himself as he continually pointed out the moon lighting up the outline of the mountains ahead of us, whilst we drove along in the dark. A pretty impressive view, however we decided the best approach was to put ... read more
El Chalten, Argentina
El Chalten, Argentina
El Chalten, Argentina

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén April 8th 2011

"Skysurfer - Here Comes The Sun" El Chalten, home of the famous Fitzroy! Move over Fitzroy, someone just informed me of a floor hockey tourney! I arrived in El Chalten after a short three hour bus ride from El Calafate. Along the way I met some pretty cool backpackers and I managed to team up with Zuzana! I like her, she is from Slovakia and is crazy for Ice Hockey! AND she is the first Slovak that I have ever met! El Chalten is a small town nestled into a beautiful valley. Most people come here for the Fitzroy! Monte Fitz Roy is a mountain located near El Chaltén village, in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, in Patagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile. The mountain is also known as Cerro Chaltén, Cerro Fitz Roy, ... read more
tim 001
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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 21st 2011

Glacier Hound Glaciers--can I ever get enough of them? I'd fallen in love with these rivers of ice in the Alps and in Alaska and through climbing films, and I longed to walk on one and peer down into a lapis-blue crevasse. Finally, in my beloved El Chalten, I got to sail across a turquoise lake, strap on crampons and walk on the whipped cream peaks of Argentina's largest glacier, Viedma. A long-time dream come true. Mer de Glace The dream had been awakened at Chamonix/Mt. Blanc, in France, where I saw my first glacier. I had been awed by how the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) dazzled in the sun and filled a valley as it flowed down between two mountains. Much to my surprise, it wasn't the smooth visage I'd carried as a ... read more
retreating glacier had covered all these red/gold rocks 20 years earlier
a crevass
icebergs calved from the glacier

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 20th 2011

El Chalten--Drama Central The infamous Patagonian winds whipped around at a velocity I didn't know possible, shape-shifting the clouds into castles and dragons and preventing me from standing upright. Sun turned to wind turned to rain, and then to hail all in a few hours--the famous Patagonian four seasons in a day. Here in late March in the southern Patagonia Andes, chilly autumn was already here even though the rest of Argentina was basking in late summer. It would be a long time before I'd wear anything less than three pairs of pants, two jackets and an absurd number of thermal layers. Dramatically sited, the tiny town of El Chalten is ringed with snow- and glacier-capped mountains, located at the confluence of two turquoise, glacier-fed rivers and watched over by the granite sentinels of Fitz Roy, ... read more
Solo Mountain with its yin-yang shaped glacier
lone horse galloping through the typical Patagonian steppe of Ruta 40
puddle reflections of glorious clouds on the way to Fitz Roy trailhead

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 11th 2011

After our trekking stop in Torres del Paine we left Puerto Natales to start our journey north to El Calafate. The first day was slow progress due to some big climbs and stopping to go through the borders to get our passports stamped. We decided to stop early after doing about 60km to do some bike maintenance and found i had 3 broken spokes. Not good as i hadn´t realised they had gone. We repaired them and did other maintenance on our bikes and i´m now checking my spokes every evening! The next couple of days we did 100km and 90km, both nights camping next to rivers so was nice to have a bit of a dip as it´s been absolutely boiling the last couple of days - have to put lots of sun cream on ... read more
Moreno Glacier again
and again
and again

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 1st 2011

As we dug deep into our backpacks to pull out our barely used winter clothes, the first thing I noticed about being in Patagonia was the noise…the sweet sound of silence. And how incredibly beautiful it was. Not a honking car horn in earshot. And after being in an overpopulated city for almost 3 weeks, where you couldn’t walk outside the hostel without fear of being mowed down by pedestrians, it was such a nice feeling to be out in the country. Patagonia is one of the least populated areas in the entire world, partly due to its harsh climate, so there were no playing dodgem cars with people on the sidewalks. But with some of the most amazing scenery and wildlife, coupled with endless opportunities of hiking, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and every adventure activity ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén February 27th 2011

It was good to be alive! We had survived the inclement weather conditions of Torres del Paine and I had personally survived a post-camping-disaster-wife’s wrath. But we were, in all seriousness, looking forward to trying it again and going to Mount Fitz Roy. Mount Fitz Roy is an Argentinean mountain located near El Chaltén village, in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, on the border with Chile. Chaltén comes from a word meaning "smoking mountain", due to a cloud that usually forms around the mountain's peak. Conditions can be extremely changeable and erratic here, so Sarah and I were bracing ourselves. This time however, Lady Luck was on our side as we enjoyed five glorious days of sunshine in El Chalten. We were told that this is certainly not the norm - some climbers had been in ... read more
Another day....
Waterfall hike
Fooling around on waterfall hike

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén February 24th 2011

Weather this morning was similar to yesterday, but it quickly cleared up and became really not. On our way to Laguna Torre to see Cerro Torre, we had great views of surrounding peaks – Cerro Solo, Grande, and many others. The trails are more undulating, and not as much steep climb as the ones leading to Fitz Roy. Like Kilimanjaro, time, rather than distance, was given to reach various points along the way. I suppose it makes more sense as 10 km steep uphill climb would take significantly more than flat 10 km. Again, we were blessed with post-card view of Laguna Torre and Cerro Torre, and we had calm weather until we began to pack up and leave when gale-force wind started. Our guide had a little gadget that measures wind speed. Just a few ... read more
Cerro Torre
Cerro Torre
Cerro Torre

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