It was time to head on for my third planned trekking location, El ChaltÚn, the trekking capital of Argentina. The night I arrived it bucketed down rain and there was a thunderstorm the likes that noone here had seen for the last eighteen years. I also saw one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, Perito Moreno. Then it was time to decide either northern Argentina or Carretera Austral, Chile. For some reason, I get writer's block when it comes to Argentina and so here I give you another picture presentation.
While it was cloudy I decided to have a peek at the nearby glacier. It was an easy 20 minute walk so should the cloud decide to break it wouldn't take long to get back.
In a rare moment of clear skies I actually managed to catch a glimpse of the Fitzroy mountain range. This was named after Robert FitzRoy who explored some of the area in 1834. It's Tehuelche name is Cerro ChaltÚn which means "smoking mountain" due to cloud that usually forms at the top of the mountains. Hmmm, perceptive lot of people!
I just had to catch this moment of almost clear skies over Fitzroy for proof that there are mountains under those clouds!!!
Despite climbing to the viewpoint no less than four times, I never got to see the classic red towers at dawn (I guess they heard I had it good at Torres del Paine so didn't want to overdose me on good sunrises!). One morning it was clear over Fitzroy but looking east it was cloudy. On this morning, it was clear looking east but cloudy over Fitzroy. Grrr!
What a classic glacier! Wouldn't my geography teacher be in heaven!
Yet again, the Weather God was in a grumpy mood and I didn't get to see the towers behind the cloud but a walk along the moraine and seeing the glacier was good enough for me. After all, it's always good to leave something to come back for!
Typically, the day after I head back to El ChaltÚn the skies clear and Fitzroy decides to show off in all his glory.
Before heading to Perito Moreno glacier itself, Claudia, Klaas, Valerie and I headed up on a side trail that would give magnificent views of not only the glacier but also Torres del Paine from the Argentine side. Unfortunately, the trail markers weren't that great and it was cloudy so we didn't get to see the Torres, but we did see the glacier.
Pio XI (Chile) and Perito Moreno are two of the very few glaciers that are still advancing these days. Most are now retreating due to a reduction in precipitation and an increase in air temperature (oooh, don't I sound clever! I went to a talk in El ChaltÚn about glaciers). Although to say it is advancing is possibly a bit misleading as it is advancing by just centimetres while those that are receding are doing so by metres.
Bigfoot left his shoe behind!
Klaas, Claudia and Valerie. After a few too many wines. Unfortunately, I was driver and couldn't indulge :-(.