Mount Fitz Roy and Ice trecking

Trip Start Mar 15, 2006
Trip End Dec 20, 2006

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Friday, December 1, 2006

I{ll update my entry properly when I get a faster internet connection. From Calafate I took the bus to Chalten, the gateway to the northern part of the Parque National Los Glacieres. I spent a few days hiking around the various trails, including a magnificent trip up to Mount Fitz Roy. The day was perfect, with views of the mountain that stopped me in my tracks so I had to keep on reminding myself to walk. It was a long day, 9 hours in total, and the last part up to the base of the mountain was very steep, but the view was spectacular, looking out over one frozen lake and one very blue lake to the peak of Mount Fitzroy, which is so steep it is never covered in snow. This was definitely one fo the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life, and I felt very priveliged to have seen it, especially on such a clear day.
The next day I joined an ice trekking trip. This was also a very long day (13 hours in total) to walk to the glacier, rappel accross the river and up to the glacier where we walked with crampons and tried ice clibing. Unfortunately the weather had taken a turn for the worse, and it was so windy as to be dangerous, and I got blown over several times. It was so windy that we cut short the rest of the ice hiking, which I was quite glad for. Overall, it was quite a gruelling day, but it was a good experience.
I would have liked to stay a bit longer and do some of the other hikes, but am running out of time. So tomorrow I{m heading down to Parque National Torres del Paine in Chile for a few days before flying back to Australia.
PS I have lots more photos that I{ll put up soon.
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pommie_chick on

Mount Fitz Roy and ice trekking
Hi aussierach!
Guess you're back home now? Melbourne was my home too for 5 years, 4 years ago.

Reading your blog from the comfort of my warm home near London brings back all the wonderful memories of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, Laguna Capri et al. I was there in April, right at the end of the season. I hope the boys in Capri looked after you as well as they did me.

I wish I'd taken more photos on my way up - was too busy trying to catch my breath!! Besides, I only realised on my 2nd day that not everybody who goes there actually gets to see the mountains (due to the rain!) so I feel privileged to have seen them for a whole day.

I envy you having had the chance to do the Holiday on Ice (this conjures up images of Christmas family outings to see a panto on ice rather than risk your neck grappling with crampons, crevices and ice walls - but hey, I guess they've got to call the 'excursion' something?) The day I was scheduled to do this, it was deemed too dangerous due to adverse weather plus I knew by then I wasn't physically capable. But sometimes it's enough just to be there isn't it.

Thanks for sharing your memories. Have a good Christmas!

aussierach on

Merry Christmas pommie_chick
Thanks for reading! It sometimes felt like a hastle to keep up to date with the blog, so it's nice to know that other people read it too (and it will be a nice memento of the trip to look back on).
I've been home a couple of days now, and it's been lovely (though yesterday Melbourne was covered in smoke from all the bushfires). As much as I love travelling there really is no place like home, especially at this time of year. Have you been back since you moved to London?
Anyway, thanks for reading, and hope you have a Merry Christmas!

carlottina on

argentina north west - questions about car hire
Ciao from Bella Italia

with lots of interest I have read your travel entries on your trip on the NW Argentina especially the route Salta-Cachi-Cafayate. Just some questions about the car hire and distances. We will be visiting the area in Jan with our 5 year old daughter. We plan 2 days Salta - 3 days Purmamarca then drive to Cachi 2 days and then drive to Cafayate 3 days finishing in Tafi del Valle 3 days before we drive up again to Salta to stay another night before we return to BA.
Now the questions...
1) Would you recommend to rent a 4x4 car (looking at your comments and pictures - you did not seem to be too happy with the Golf.
2)Are the distances for our planned destinations ok if we plan to drive no more 6 hours daily with our daughter who hates in the car ?
3) And last but not least do you recommend any car hire companies.

Thanks for any tips and comments you may give us - we truly appreciate it. Merry X-mas and hope to hear back from you soon, Bettina (only joines today Travelpod which I discovered by chance !)

aussierach on

Re: argentina north west - questions about car hir
Dear Bettina,
Sounds like a lovely holiday you are planning!
With regards to your questions:
1) A 4x4 car would be better though not essential. If you are travelling in January I've heard it can rain heavily at times. The first river crossing from Salta to Cachi was quite deep, and if it had been any deeper we might have run into trouble. Apart from that the route from Salta to Tafi de Valle should all be fine in a smaller car. I would also recommend air conditioning as it is hot, and often the car is not travelling fast enough to get a breeze in through the windows.
2) Those distance sound fine. We travelled Salta-Cachi-Cafayate in one long day of driving, probably averaging about 40 km/hr. It may be better to stop the night in Cachi to break up the journey. We travelled Cafayate to Tafi de Valle in one day too,which was quite manageable, stopping in Quilmes to see the ruins.
3)There are many rental agencies along Buenos Aires street which runs off the main square. We found car hire to be relatively expensive as there was a fee for not returning the car to Salta(we left it in Mendoza). After finding the best price we visited the travel agent attached to our hotel (Las Rejas B&B) and asked if he could beat that price. He rang around a few and managed to find a cheaper deal. I think the company may have been called America Sur, though they don't have an office,and the owner brought the papers to our hotel to sign. It was all very professional though, and we were happy with the way thing went.
I hope this helps, and have a Merry Christmas!

pommie_chick on

And a Happy New Year!
Thanks for your Xmas greeting Rachael! Just read it today. Ate far too much over the last two days. It's cold here and for 4 days prior to Christmas SE England was virtually fog-bound. I envy your weather, though I've just seen Melbourne on the TV having watched the highlights of the Boxing Day Test and remember the four seasons in one day! But I do miss the place. I came back to Melbourne in Feb 05 and though I'm hoping to go to Galapagos for my next big trip, if funds don't permit, I will be holidaying in Oz instead. I do hope you carry on writing about your travels. Your blogs are very readable. Happy travelling! Sue

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