El Chalten and it’s magnificent hikes!

Diary entry from November 26 2008.

Today we did the hike to see what the township of Chalten was created for – to service the hikers who want to see Mont Fitz Roy and the surrounding peaks, lakes and glaciers. At 3405 metres Fitz Roy is the tallest peak in Argentina’s southern ice field. Today’s hike was an 8 hour hike to do the Laguna de Los Tres trail.

It was hard, especially with a huge steep section of scree and rocky steps to climb up in the brutal wind. That was actually the easy part though – my knee fucked up again coming back down. But anyway it was an amazing hike. The lakes and towers were awesome, and even saw a few snow flakes falling! It was blowing a fucking gale today though. We were lucky to have sunshine for most of the day but the wind was just brutal. This region is notorious for its wild and crazy winds. Up in the mountains the wind nearly blew us away, at one stage we had to hold and balance against the wind by bending our knees and digging our trekking poles into the earth. When we got to the viewpoint to see Laguna Sucia it was so windy I didn’t want to blow off the cliff, I just stayed low in my tummy and crawled as close as I deemed safe!

On the way down I experienced another stuffed up knee. I thought my left knee was finally getting better after the slip at Torres del Paine, but then I did it again. It got so bad I nearly cried, and B was going to carry me down. Lol. I finally made it back to our hut, one agonising knife stab step at a time. I’m fucking tired, my knee kills, I’m in agony, but I feel good. Today was amazing.

First glimpses of the torres

First glimpses of the torres

Getting closer to the glaciers and towers.

Getting closer to the glaciers and towers.

Climbing up the scree

Climbing up the scree

The lake frozen over.

The lake frozen over.

We walked westwards around Laguna de Los Tres and saw this view!

We walked westwards around Laguna de Los Tres and saw this view!

That blue!

That blue!

Pointy peaks everywhere.

Pointy peaks everywhere.

It was too windy to do anything but grimace!

It was too windy to do anything but grimace!

An hour back down from the lookout and the towers are gone.

An hour back down from the lookout and the towers are gone.

And just as quickly they are back! The weather is so volatile!

And just as quickly they are back! The weather is so volatile!

A little side path to Laguna Capri made for a lovely snack spot.

A little side path to Laguna Capri made for a lovely snack spot.

The hiking mecca that is El Chalten. Cute little town.

The hiking mecca that is El Chalten. Cute little town.

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4 Responses to El Chalten and it’s magnificent hikes!

  1. lexklein says:

    Hey, at least you saw something! We did the Laguna de los Tres hike in a misty rain, and after scrabbling up those scree slopes in the fierce wind and rain, we saw …. nothing. Well, we saw more mist. One of the most disappointing hiking days of my life. 8+ hours and no views; I was DYING to see Fitz Roy up close. Small consolation at the end: La Cerveceria in El Chalten – loved this cozy little place with great cold homemade beer and hot soup!

    • annathrax says:

      It sucks when nature wont play the game hey! I loved all the little restaurants/cafes in chalten – i dont remember where we stopped after our hike but we had an amazing pizza and beer ina cozy place too. Anyway, another reason to go back and see fitz roy right? 😉

      • lexklein says:

        That’s true! I would love to go back to Los Glaciares in Argentina … we went to Chile the following year and had better hiking weather on the Paine Circuit, so at least I’ve seen some torres, but I was pretty charmed by El Chalten.

  2. Helen says:

    That is amazing scenery!! And I know (and love) that feeling . . .”I’m so sore and tired and that was really hard and miserable . . .but oh, wow, was it awesome and I’m so glad I did it!”

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