Friday, February 4, 2011

3 days in El Chalten

After our "adventurous"  bus ride, we decided to go for a nice walk near Ayken Aike, the hostel where we stayed. The weather was cloudy and there was no point in going too far as you wouldn't see much of the valley or the Fitz Roy range.

15 minutes into the walk, it starts raining. We don't mind that much as we were happy to be walking around. El Chalten is a small town of trekkers and climbers. Most of the people we see in the streets are in their 20s or 30s. Apparently, El Chalten was" built" by the Argentinians to show the Chileans that there is a town down South and therefore the Chilean government "cannot take it". There is still a border issue over here. 

The most important is still to come though: we've been eating shitty food for some time now, so we voted unanimously to go and try a Asado at a nearby restaurant. That was a winner! 

The following day (02/02), Yumi wasn't feeling well and decided to stay in bed and rest before our big walk on the 3rd of Feb: "Laguna de los Tres Hike" and Thomas decided to join Timo and Louelle, a young Dutch couple on a 6 month South America tour to go for another walk and take a closer look at the Fitz Roy. We can barely see it today. 

Despite its average height (3500m), the Fitz Roy is extremely difficult and is the preserve of very experienced climbers. Today, when a hundred people may summit Mount Everest in a single day, Monte Fitz Roy may only be successfully ascended once a year. We met Josh from Colorado at the hostel; He's been waiting for an opening for 4 weeks. He only has 3 left and we hope he'll be successful in climbing it.

On the 3rd of Feb, we weather was nice so we decided to go for a 14km hike, starting North of El Chalten and making our way back to the village. The views were wonderful and although the sun was shinning the proximity of the glacier and the wind made sure we'd keep our layers on. As you get closer to the Fitz Roy you are in disbelief when you know people want to climb this! How do they do it? It's a sheer face that seems to stretch forever. Even though we are not climbers, it is easily understandable that this is one of the toughest mountains in the world to summit.

On the second part of our trek, we need to cross the "piedras blancas" river to go to the "laguna de los 3", a lagoon located at the foot of the Fitz Roy and Poincenot. The walk was rather steep in the end but was well worth it. 

It was a great call as the weather got really cloudy in the evening and this walk wouldn't have been possible the following day, so we decided to leave El Chalten and make our way to El Calafate. It shouldn't be too long. Or should it?

No comments:

Post a Comment