Approaching El Chalten in the bus was spectacular. The sun had just come up, lighting up the the towering jagged granite spires that are the dominating features of the area, and will be featuring in many of the accomapanying photos. The two main features are the Torres, three impossibly tall, narrow spires and Cerro Fitz-Roy, a huge granite hump, flanked by several smaller jagged peaks, all cloaked in snow and ice.

Since we arrived so early in the day and had done some shopping in Bariloche already, after stashing some of our stuff, we were able to hit the trails straight away and walk right out of the tiny town, still groggy from our 33 hours on the bus. We left with our new friend Mark leading the way, but it wasn’t long before he was fanging it along ahead of us and we were on our own.

The first hike we did was four days and we went along the main tourist tracks. Our first camp was Lago Torres, fed by the waters melting off the glacier Grande which we could see winding down from beneath the three huge spires. Although it was quite cold, especially when the wind was blowing, it was not nearly as cold as we were expecting, and we didn’t ever have to use all of our many layers. The water running in the steams and rivers is icy cold however, not really surprising since a lot of it has just melted off a huge block of ice.

Our second camp, where we spent two nights, was Camp Poincenot, just below the huge Cerro Fitz-Roy. We did several little excursions from here, and the scenery was absolutely stunning. Lago Los Tres was especially beautiful. A still lake, perched way up on one of the foot hills, with Fits-Roy still looming high above it. I was constantly amazed and decieved by the scale of things. We would walk up hills that looked to be just underneath the mountain, only to arrive at the top to see the mountain was even bigger and more looming than before.

We were very lucky in that the weather, normally very windy and rainy, was unusually good and we had clear skies most of the time. This inspired me to get up in the cold with my camera for sunrise every morning and the early sun lighting up the yellow, sometimes red rock was really special. On the last morning I was even able to persuade Sophie to get up in the dark and climb the arduous path up the Laguna Los Tres for the sunrise.

After roughing it for four days we returned to town for a night in town on a soft bed, content that we had seen most of the major sights and ready to catch a bus onwards to El Calafate the next day.

Return to album listElChalten, Hike One
Approaching Glaciar Grande
Approaching Glaciar Grande
Approaching Glaciar Grande
Approaching Glaciar Grande
Crystal clear, Icy cold
Crystal clear, Icy cold
Crystal clear, Icy cold
Crystal clear, Icy cold
Crystal clear, Icy cold
Crystal clear, Icy cold
We Heart Mountains!
We Heart Mountains!
Cerro Torres
Cerro Torres
Glaciar Grande
Glaciar Grande
Glaciar Grande
Glaciar Grande
Streams and waterfalls everywhere
Streams and waterfalls everywhere
Cerro Torres
Cerro Torres
Laguna Torres, Early morning
Laguna Torres, Early morning
Torres, First light
Torres, First light
Source of Glaciar Grande
Source of Glaciar Grande
On the way to Camp Poincenot
On the way to Camp Poincenot
Approaching Cerro Fitz-Roy
Approaching Cerro Fitz-Roy
Stream near camp Poincenot
Stream near camp Poincenot
Laguna Sucia and glacier above
Laguna Sucia and glacier above
Early morning, Cerro Fitz-Roy
Early morning, Cerro Fitz-Roy
Down the valley
Down the valley
Cerro Fitz-Roy, First Sun
Cerro Fitz-Roy, First Sun
Climbing up to Laguna Los Tres
Climbing up to Laguna Los Tres
Fitz-Roy in Laguna Los Tres
Fitz-Roy in Laguna Los Tres
Laguna Los Tres
Laguna Los Tres
Climbing up to Fitz-Roy
Climbing up to Fitz-Roy
Glaciar Blanco
Glaciar Blanco
Evening meal by the river
Evening meal by the river
Sundown by the river
Sundown by the river
Back to Los Tres for sunrise
Back to Los Tres for sunrise
Snow!
Snow!
Oh the excitement!
Oh the excitement!
Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden
Lago Capri
Lago Capri
Heading back to El Chalten
Heading back to El Chalten