Monte Fitz Roy… A mountain worth waiting for

Jutting a distinguished 3,375 metres into the Patagonian sky, Monte Fitz Roy is one of the regions true icons. Tamed for the first time in 1952 by the French duo of  Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone, Fitz Roy still stands tall as an exciting test for climbers and mountaineers. Whether from the logo on their Patagucci keks or from its place in mountaineering folklore, anyone who calls themselves an out-doors-person is familiar with this artistically sculpted lump of rock. Fitz Roy may be relatively small in stature but it’s a behemoth within the confines of alpinism and a super model in the eyes landscape photographers.

IMG_0306

Despite it being near the end of the Patagonian cycling season El Chaltens world-famous casa de ciclista was far too crowded for my liking. Lusting after a warm space to relax, Leah and I moved into town, joining fellow cyclist Celine in a cheap but cozy hostel. Another solo cyclist, Canadian Celine had been on the boat from Villa O’Higgins with us. Also holed up in the hostel were photographer Grant, motorcyclist Manu and Norwegian black metaller William. As a Patagonian storm blasted El Chalten we cowered inside, bonding as our foundation of sanity crumbled and we started an irreversible free-fall into cabin fever. Manu became ‘Doctor Pancake‘, Grant became ‘Lieutenant Dangle-burger‘ and we all became desperate for the weather to break and the famed trails around El Chalten to open their arms.

IMG_0467

Our El Chalten cabin fever crew: (L to R) Celine, Manu, Leah and Grant

After a few days my old motto ‘the weather could get worse but will always get better‘ proved itself and our deranged slip from social respectability hit the buffers of a sunny spell of calm weather. Tents were packed and routes chosen as we escaped town and spread ourselves about the northern corner of Los Glaciares National Park. Meeting up in the evenings to camp it became clear we’d all been seduced by the charms of Monte Fitz Roy. A mountain of many moods and faces, it is a peak that’ll be hard to forget. Here are just a handful of the images I have ingrained on my mind from this fun time…

IMG_0277

When the sun comes out and we finally escape El Chalten we do so into a snow-covered mountain wonderland

IMG_0340

Despite being on more an experience expedition than a real hiking trip…

IMG_0353

… our days still started early…

IMG_0397

… so we could take in the sunrise on Monte Fitz Roy

IMG_0433

You really have to get up close to Fitz Roy…

IMG_0440

… to appreciate the true scale of its magnificence

IMG_0459

No visit up to Laguna Los Tres would be complete without a cup (or pot) of tea…

IMG_0484

… a lot of photography…

IMG_0510

… a bit of worship…

IMG_0526

… and a heady dose of silliness

IMG_0531

Sometimes though you just have to sit back and drink it all in

IMG_0538

It was easier said than done dragging ourselves away from these high views of the mountain…

IMG_0559

… and down to an evening stroll to camp at Laguna Capri

IMG_0582

Observing the sun rising from Laguna Capri…

IMG_0636

… was special…

IMG_0660

… a spell-binding experience…

IMG_0682

… of reflection and colour

IMG_0697

A few days off the bike I shan’t be forgetting in a hurry. Thankfully there is still a lot of Patagonia to explore and plenty more iconic features to drool over.

Advertisements

3 responses to “Monte Fitz Roy… A mountain worth waiting for

  1. Pingback: A towering Paine in the pampa | Velo Freedom·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s