Jack's travelblog

Tracking Fitz Roy at alpine El Chaltén

Thursday 9 February. A quick stop at the store to buy breakfast and take the bus at 8:30 h to El Chaltén. The bus trip takes 5 hours and after 1 hour we cross the border with Argentina. Before entering El Chaltén a short stop at the information centre of the park. Get some instructions about the park. The hostel is next to the bus station and still under construction, like a lot of buildings in this small town. A walk into town shows an Alpine village with nice bars, restaurants and nice hostels. They were already fully booked. The wind is strong and cold, so back to the hostel for more cloths. Than to the other end of town. On the way we run into Karl. He’s also from East Berlin. I ran into him in Punta Arenas and Lisa in Torres del Paine. The world is small when you travel. Together we go to the waterfall Chorrillo del Salto. The wind is strong and at parts we have to hang in to it. After the waterfall back to town. Have a lovely diner with good company and a nice Merlot and some drinks later in the evening with Karl.

Friday is very windy, but between the trees it’s fine. Climbing means it’s not cold as long as you keep going. After 2,5 hour and several stops to enjoy the views we’re at Poincenot campsite. It’s in the woods and there’s less wind. Perfect for a break. Just before we go up for the last hard hour the ranger is telling the conditions. Extreme windy, wet and cold. Good to know. We do it anyway and above the trees the wind is indeed extreme, it’s cloudy and wet and it feels like freezing. After an hour we’re on top and enjoy the view for a freezing moment. Sadly Fitz Roy is just partly to see. Back down lunch in the shelter and all the way back to town. Tonight it’s diner with pasta and wine.

Saturday a small track to Los Cóndores and Las Águillas. The weather is sunny and the sky is blue. Two condors glide on the wind and within a minute they are out of side. At diner France Frank and Casper join the table. We have some beer and chat about traveling.

 

Sunday is the most sunny day and perfect for tracking. I do the track to Laguna Torre and viewpoint Maestri. The track is easy and with the beautiful weather so cool. The views are good and Fitz Roy is clear to see. Enough viewpoints to enjoy the landscape and after some 2,5 h I’m at Laguna Torre. At the other side is the glacier. An unmarked track on the rocks leads to an even better spot to see the glacier. With the blue sky and the nice sun an enjoyable spot for lunch. I feel sorry for Lisa she couldn’t do the track. Slowly back and in El Chaltén a well-deserved beer with cheese, ham and sausage. At the hostel trying to charge the phone, but my cable is broken. Bad timing. See two episodes of House and then take the bus to Bariloche at 20:50 h.

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