The many faces of Mount Fitz Roy!

Mount Fitzroy, El Chalten

“Before computers, telephone lines and television connect us, we all share the same air, the same oceans, the same mountains and rivers. We are all equally responsible for protecting them.” Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

The evening before I had my formal introduction with Mount Fitz Roy, I was sitting with Andrey in the restaurant of a hostel when the mountain climbers started to arrive one by one.Rugged men with big beards and heavy climbing gear.They were all joining around a big table and laughter and jokes filled the room. I was turning my head to listen what they were talking about but it was impossible. I smiled. Everyone around the table had a story to tell about their adventures of the day.

What makes this mountain so special? The climb itself is very difficult and reserved for very experienced climbers. Just imagine: A hundred people may summit Mount Everest in a single day but Mount Fitz Roy may only be ascended ONCE a year! The reason? The unpredictable weather plays a very important role. In the 3 days that we have been here I have never seen the cloud mantle lift over the mountain. A cloudless day quickly transforms in the most horrific storm with wind and and rain. The other reason is the type of rock on this mountain.

Mount Fitz Roy

Even photographers find it difficult to get a clear photo of the mountain!

We left very early the next morning. As I was waiting for Andrey to pack the last couple of things, I took a photo of Mount Fitz Roy through the hostel window. It was a perfectly clear day with not a single cloud in the sky. The granite giant was surrounded by pink candy floss clouds. What a contrast I thought! I could feel the blood rushing through my veins.Maybe today we would be lucky enough to see the full Monty.

Sunrise and Mount Fitz Roy

There are different hiking routes to Mount Fitz Roy. We decided last night to hike to the lookout point or also called Mirador Cerro Torre and a little beyond and return in the afternoon. A more rewarding hike is difficult to find. Being avid photographers we couldn´t get enough of the nature that surrounded us. It is too beautiful to describe. Many people have told me that Patagonia is one of the most beautiful places on earth but it didn´t really sink in at the time.

Mirador cerro torre

Imagine a canvas with splashes of gold, yellow, different shades of red and browns.Now add to that crystal clear water surrounded by rocks of all different shapes and sizes. Complete your picture with snow tipped mountains and an ocean blue sky! Multiply that by 1000 and you still don´t get an exact replica of what I have seen. What a humbling experience to be able to walk there.

Mount Fitz Roy in El Chalten

Mount Fitz Roy was first discovered on 2 March 1877 but natives have been calling it the smoky mountains for many years. It was first climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone.

After a comfortable hike we got to the lookout point. I almost started to cry when I saw him. There he was, breathtakingly beautiful with not a single cloud to obscure our view. We stood there what seemed to be forever – just looking at him. I wanted to sit there quietly and soak up the view but it was impossible. This lookout point was very popular and a lot of people came to do the exact same thing than us. We moved to a more isolated place and we ate breakfast. Not keeping our eyes of Mount Fitz Roy and all his glory. What an amazing place to have breakfast. Let me tell you not even the fanciest Paris restaurant could beat our home made sandwiches and coffee.

Nelieta in front of Mount Fitz Roy

As we continued with our hike through the park (Parque Nacional de los Glacieres) the weather started to change rapidly. The clouds gathered and the wind picked up. It was getting cold and after lunch we decided to hike back to the town. By the time we reached the lookout point the mountain was covered in a blanket of clouds. He had enough and it was time to cover his head and hide again from the world.

With happy hearts we went to the same restaurant. Tonight we had our own story to tell…

Date: March 2007
Place: El Chalten, Santa Cruz, Argentina

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.

28 Comments

  1. It was Sheril! My first trip to South America and also where I have met my husband 🙂 We hiked here for 5 days and I will post more about it later. Behind the mountain is a lake and glacier 🙂

  2. Nelieta,this is simply breathtaking…Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry. Richard Feynman

  3. FANTASTIC ******* FANTASTIC!!!!!! I really enjoyed reading this and seeing your images. I have never been ( but would loved to have been there with you folks) there but have shared some of the same feelings. We had similar hike at Mt. Ranier when clouds parted for a few minutes allowing us to see the peak and within minutes closed up once again. I understand what you said about having a meal out in nature after a great hike. The feeling of relaxing and eating a simple sandwich is better then any restaurant could offer, plus no tipping lol I stumbled and tweetedhttp://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/08/photographing-grizzly-bear-in-alaska.html

  4. Lovely pics and interesting story!! That looks like an amazing place to relax and enjoy some coffee and breakfast. The area is really beautiful and it's no wonder the mountain brought tears to your eyes, nature has that ability for sure as I've been teary eyed upon viewing some scenery.

  5. LOVE, love, love the pictures!!! Breathtaking and wow what a fascinating story ~thank you for sharing it. If you don't you should submit your images to National Geographic Magazine My Shot section.

  6. Hi Claire, thank you! The view was unbelievable. I have much more to show and will write about the other hiking trips in due course. I am sure you will have an awesome time when you make it to this part of the world 🙂

  7. Hi Amy, thank you! My husband thought it was too dramatic but I guess I get carried away when I think back about the amazing time I have had on this trip. Thanks for the tip about National Geographic 🙂 I will think about it. There are amazing photographers out there 🙂

  8. Hi David, you are so right. When you are surrounded by such beauty it is very difficult not to get emotional. I cannot begin to describe what it feels like to walk through this park and the absolute silence. It is amazing. I had the most wonderful 5 days here despite the wind and cold…and I was very, very cold!

  9. Thank you so much Jim! I am so proud of this comment coming from a great photographer like yourself! Nothing is more rewarding than a hike in nature. I can just imagine what a wonderful experience it must have been to hike at Mt. Ranier. Have you written about it? Would love to read it! No tipping where we were hiking..LOL! Thanks for the Tweet and Stumble!

  10. I just loved how you described everything in detail… it's almost like being there…and I could envision it in my mind although as you said, I have to multiply it a thousand times…ahahaha…Bellissima!

  11. Thank you Melissa, I enjoy writing in detail of what I have seen and experienced. This is what I want to remember when I am old and grey. Maybe my great grandchildren can read this to me one day 🙂

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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