Trekking in the Fitz Roy
Eduardo O. Roberto*, writer in trekkingenpatagonia.blogspo, tells his personal trekking experience in Mount Fitz Roy.
I had been planning the trip to El Chaltén since October, 1998. This time, Iwanted to get to know South Patagoniabut undoubtedly the ultimate goal was to be as close to the marvellous Fitz Roy as possible.
The beginning of the trail leading to the Fitz Roy was a few blocks from the hostel where we were staying, but a friend recommended taking it the other way round since from there to Laguna Caprithere was a one-hour climb up. So the three of us —my wife, my daughter and I— set off for Hostería del Pilar on the road to Lago del Desierto in a vehicle.
We arrived at the typical mountain inn after a forty-minute ride more or less. On the right, you can find the trail going through the spectacular Glaciar Piedras Blancas, which leads to camp Poincenot after a three-hour walk (if you do it very slowly). The trail crosses beautiful lenga beech forests and runs along spectacular Piedras Blancas river. Half an hour later, we reached the Piedras Blancas glacier’s viewpoint, where we could watch and film an ice slide.
The walk was becoming tiring but the beautiful landscapes we kept discovering made it all worthwhile. After half an hour we got to Poincenot base camp. We quickly set up our tent since the day didn’t look favorable —The Fitz Roy was covered in clouds. The camp is well protected from the gusts of wind and surrounded by an aged forest with a great number of fallen trees. This is the reason why I suggest setting up your tent in a sheltered area but under young trees.
At dawn, it started to rain lightly and the day went on like this through the rest of the day and night. We went to sleep without worries but when we woke up the next morning it was still raining. We had to stay in the tent all day long lying and almost without moving. A strong wind woke us up so I leaned out only to discover the rain had stopped. When our gear was ready, we set off for Laguna de los Tres. After so much rain, the traffic on the trail was heavy.
The first thing was crossing a bridge made with two logs over the Piedras Blancas river. You climb up a little and a few minutes later you are in a really wonderful site —the climbers’ base camp. There is where we started the climb up.
While only guessing at the summit, we could see an amazing view but the Fitz Roy was still covered by some stubborn clouds. A little later, it revealed all its magnificence. All this is still printed in our memory and engraved in our eyes —some great pictures and this story I am trying to tell.
Afterwards, we went back to camp andbegan the climb down to El Chaltén. It was 9 kilometers of incredible landscapes since the Fitz Roy showed all its greatness behind our backs as the day faded away.