Fitz Roy Massif

Trip Start Jun 16, 2007
Trip End Nov 13, 2007

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday 18th September - Wednesday 19th September

Decided to spend some more time in the national park and caught an early bus to the village of El Chalten, 4 hours from El Calafate, from where we could do some trekking. 
01 Approaching Fitz Roy02 Village of El Chalten,,,,
We arrived at lunch time in time for an afternoon trek.  The bus was greeted by the national park rangers who explained the various trails through the park and the do´s and don´ts of trekking here.  Some trails were still unaccessible due to snow, and because it was low season we were told rescue operations were tricky! We were also advised that if a puma approached us we should make ourselves look big, yell and throw rocks - but don´t run away!

The small village of El Chalten is besides a river, and at the foot of the jagged peaks of the towering Fitz Roy massif - the highest peak in the national park (3,400m), and too steep for snow to stick.  Smallest village ever, but amazingly we found Claire´s fellow bridesmaid at Mark & Lucy ´s wedding staying here too! 

That afternoon we both headed off up the trail towards Fitz Roy base camp.  Amazing views, and we were very lucky with the weather to get some great views and pictures! We hiked for a couple of hours to Laguna Capri, before returning back to the hostel before sunset.   The great thing about this park is that the park rangers simply give you a map, and you venture off on your own up the trails aka ´rabbit paths'.
04 The jagged peaks of Fitz Roy....08 Mist over the mountains...
Next day we headed off early on another trail towards Laguna Torre. Weather was cloudier but still great views. The trails were deserted at this time of year, apart from the odd hiker from our hostel, and it was cool to really be in the middle of nowhere.  Scenery was like something out of Lord of the Rings, and every now and then we spotted a circling condor, and some hare type creatures running away.   We had a bit of a tight deadline this day as we had to be back in the village and on the bus by 5pm.  However, we managed 20k, and arrived back with half an hour to spare before the bus left.....time for a cup of tea and a slice of cake! 
10 Nearly home.....07 Middle of nowhere.......100 Made it to the end of the trail......
Stayed the night back in El Calafate where we were to catch a flight to Buenos Aires the next day.  We had decided that a 3 hour flight was preferable to a 48 hour bus journey, and worth the dent in our budget!  Dreaming of the steaks in the capital........

Less than 2 months to go, and still so much too see!  Need to get moving and will update blog with more soon.  Thanks again for the emails, and sorry we´ve been a bit of out touch lately whilst in patagonia.  Hope you are all well, thinking of you lots.

Love Ross and Claire  xxxx

P.s Girls, hope you are impressed with me trekking 30k in a day and a half! Miss you lots!!  love Claire x
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