El Chalten and Trekking Around Mount Fitzroy

19-21 April 2003.

El Chalten, was the starting point for our trek around Mount Fitzroy. The trek promised good weather the night before, with a beautiful sunset being seen from the bus on the way into town.

The morning after was supposed to be a gentle 3 hour walk up the valley to Lago Torre. The reality - 2 inches of snow that fell overnight and a further 2 inches that fell during the day.

Surprisingly enough we didn't see anyone else for nearly 3 hours until we met a couple of people on the trail on their way home. They were convinced we would be fine to camp in the snow but the slight twang in the accent made us suspicious. They were of course she'll-be-right-mate kiwis and we made the mistake of believing them.

This is the shelter where we had to cook our food. It was over run with mice and rubbish but given that the alternative was cooking outside in the snow, the mice were going to have company.

We also had a significant lump of Argentinian beef with us which we had to hang from a very high tree over night. It was only after we were up their we thought about Pumas (mountain lions).

Sleeping in the tent that evening was quite an experience. We were wearing a full set of thermals and fleeces inside our double- cuffed minus 10 degree sleeping bags - Claire still had cold feet.

During the night Jason had to get up and wrap a fleece around Claire's numb feet that were already sporting 3 pairs of thermal trekking socks.

Luckily for us the next day the Easter Bunny had made it to see us.

He was somewhat frozen.

Happy Easter Sunday!

That day we trekked back to stay in a hostel in town and encountered this wood pecker on the way down.

You hear woodpeckers a longtime before you see them. Whacking holes in a tree and makes a serious noise and they are fascinating things to watch.

We trekked through inches of snow to get to this totally still mountain lake, it took us a substantial time to get round the lake due to the bog that surrounded it.

Jason was woken up bright and early with porridge, so that we could have the chance of seeing Fitzroy in its full glory.

We walked the hour and a half up the mountain that we had trod 8pm the night before to see the sun rise and bring us fitztoy. Zak, Bel (Aussies) & Adam (Scotland) joined us for the 8 hour trek up to Fitzroy lake.  We all got the bus back to Chalten later that night which stopped periodically to tighten its tired and check why the whole bus stank of diesal.

And the latest comedy sign is a bit of a victim of poor interpretation.

I believe the sign is supposed to say "use a harness when crossing the river by wire a women died here" but the translation appears to suggest that any man stupid enough to not use a harness would die a woman!

It's good to see those govenment departments keeping it real on the equality front.

Next Page Region Map Previous Page