We spent about an hour at Laguna de los Tres, admiring Monte Fitz Roy… …before starting the journey back down – every bit as difficult as the hike up, just in a different way. The last 1/4 mile of the trail is a scramble over loose rock and gravel left by the last glacial advance … Continue reading

Fitz Roy

Although Monte Fitz Roy is visible from nearly everywhere around El Chaltén due to its height, it’s quite a challenge to actually get to the base of the mountain. There are two main routes: a nearly straight line northwest to Fitz Roy from El Chaltén; or, the route we took which heads southwest to Fitz … Continue reading

Half Marathon

Twice, when I was younger, I went on week-long backpacking treks in the Appalachian Mountains. A seven mile day (measured as the crow flies) was considered a good day of hiking. Yesterday, we hiked a half-marathon, 13.1 miles! Around here, the hike we did is known as the Laguna Torre, Mirador Maestri. The trailhead is … Continue reading

El Chaltén

On Tuesday, we made the three-hour bus ride north from Calafate to El Chaltén, a climber’s and backpacker’s haven completely surrounded by the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. The entire town was built by the Argentine government in 1980 to buttress Argentina’s claim to the area in a border dispute with neighboring Chile, so unlike other … Continue reading

50° South

We’re now in southern Patagonia, below Latitude 50° South, in El Calafate, a city of 22,000 people at the edge of Argentina’s Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. We’re getting near the bottom of the world (although that honor belongs to the city of Ushuaia, which we will be visiting in a couple weeks). There’s not much … Continue reading