El Chaltén and Mount Fitz Roy
We had been waiting for almost an hour when the golden morning rays first hit the mountains, making them literally glow. The Fitz Roy ranged looked almost surreal, rising above the little town of El Chaltén in its red and pinkish coats. It was beautiful and well worth the getting up early, walking for about an hour in the dark, and hiding behind a big rock to get away from the biting winds while waiting. I had hoped for the same color show at the towers in Torres del Paine, but there it never came, making this sunrise all the much better.
El Chaltén is Argentina’s youngest town (put down in 1985 to secure the disputed border with Chile), sitting at the foot of the Fitz Roy range and by many considered the country’s hiking and climbing capital. It’s also the place where I suddenly got enough of hiking. The morning, with the sunrise, had been perfect, but as I was returning from that day’s second hike – to Laguna Torre – I felt that I’d had enough for a while. I had finished the W in Torres del Paine just a few days prior and still felt the hike in my body. The fact that the sun was blaring, I had forgotten to fill my water bottle in the river, was slightly dehydrated and my nose was constantly running because I’d caught a cold, probably didn’t help either. Enough was enough. It didn’t matter how many pictures people showed of the wonderful trek to Laguna de los tres, I wouldn’t do any more hikes during my stay in El Chaltén.
(1-3: The little town of El Chaltén 4: Me at Laguna Torre 5: Sunrise)