Fitz Roy and friends

Trip Start Jun 14, 2005
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38
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Trip End May 12, 2006


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, March 5, 2006

El Chalten is a little town in the middle of nowhere, however it is blessed by being in the shadows of the Fitz Roy range. With two of the most sought-after trophies for any hard-core rock-climber and some of the most unpredictable weather anywhere, this magical, and incredible pristine place (so pristine you can drink right out of all water source) attracts climbers from all over the globe trying to scale these sheer-granite towers.
The ice-polished tower of Cerro Fitz Roy (3,405 meters, 11,236 feet), easily the highest peak in the area and was named after the captain of Charles Darwin's Beagle and wasn't until a French expedition in 1952.
The spire of Cerro Torre (3,102 meters, 10,237), considered by many as the most technical mountain in its altitude class has a rather controversial story hiding behind its majestic peak. The story goes that in 1959 an Italian, Cesare Maestri, supposedly reached the summit with his partner, Toni Egger, however during an avalanche on the way down Egger was swept to his death with camera containing the proof. So in 1970 Meastri came back and proceeded to fix hundreds of bolts with a portable compressor drill but upon reaching the top he neglected to walk up the last 10 meters or so to the highest point. So for most the first "real" climb of Cerro Torre was by an Italian group in 1974.
Well fortunately for me there was quite a developed trail system for hikers who want to just see them so I headed out for Laguna Torre, an easy 3 hour hike that brought me to the base camp for Cerro Torre. Unfortunately, it never cleared up, but I did make a sunrise hike up to a look-out and was rewarded with a rainbow over the Glacier Grande.
From there I hiked on over to the base camp for Fitz Roy and just after I arrived the clouds cleared up and I was rewarded with a beautiful view of the Northern part of the Fitz Roy range as well as Fitz Roy itself. The next morning I hiked up to the base lake of Fitz Roy, but it never cleared up in the three hours I waited up there. I must say although the whole park was rather incredible it was so windy the whole time that my clothes barely sufficed, so when I got back to my tent that third morning it sounded like the entire Argentinian Air Force was flying over the campsite. I decided once again to cut my hike short and hiked out that third day. That was a fortunate thing because the wind got so bad that last day that it knocked me off my feet a couple times hiking back down. Back in El Chalten that afternoon I caught a last-minute bus to El Calafate for its Perito Moreno Glacier. See you there...
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