Climbing Mountains

Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hostel Lago del Desierto -- avoid

Flag of Argentina  , Santa Cruz,
Saturday, April 3, 2010

When we turned up in El Chalten (population very little) at the tail end of shoulder season, we were confused as to why there were no beds available in a place with lots of hostels and just a few tourists.  Luckily, we have a tent, so despite the cold, we pitched it in the yard of a hostel and called it good.  Being cold, I doubt we would have slept outside if there had been a good indoor option, but since we´ve been carrying this thing for a month now, it is kinda nice to get some use out of it now and then!  (After 8 months of continual summer, I still haven´t settled into this "fall" weather we´ve been having lately)

The main reason to come to El Chalten is that it´s actually set within the boundaries of Parque National de los Glaciers, and near to some very nice hikes.  For reference, this is the same park that we were just in, to see the Perito Moreno Glacier, just a different part (slightly further north).  Just outside of town are some very impressive sheer rock mountains -- Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.  

When we woke this morning, the sun eventually rose, and produced a beautiful red glow on the rock mountains behind us before we set out on our hike.  Our destination for the day was Lago Torre, which is set near the base of Cerro Torre, with a lake and a glacier separating you from the rock.  It was a very nice hike, with great views of all the mountains along the way, including the famous Fitz Roy mountain, and the lake made for a nice place to sit down, eat lunch, and enjoy the Needles (Cerro Torre and it´s companion peaks).  

As we headed back into town, we found lots of people walking or driving bikes around.  As it turns out, there was a duathalon of sorts in town today (combination bike and hike), so that explained the lack of vacancies last night.  

Unfortunately, the bus out of here only leaves on certain days, so we´re on our way out, and up the famous Ruta 40 (home to Che Guerva, of The Motercyle Diaries, and many other Patagonian adventurers) to our next stop, Bariloche.  
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