We arrived late evening at El Chalten (around 8pm) and were surprised by two things: Daylight and snow! Since we moved 1200km southern from our last stop the sun did not set before 21:45h – amazing. Mid November is considered to be the end of spring/beginning of summer and we were greeted with our first snowfall on this trip – what a nice surprise when arriving in shorts 😉
El Chalten is home to multiple attractive hiking trails, the most famous being Sendero al Fitz Roy.
The first day we took it easy and walked parts of the Sendero al Cerro Torre. Maja was very tired and slept most of the hike whereas Leo bravely walked nearly all of the 7km round trip.
We did not get lucky enough to see the Cerro Torre (covered by clouds) but the surrounding mountains and glaciers still made it a worthwhile trip. The trail was in excellent shape and perfectly marked. The final descent was also beautiful: El Chalten from the bird’s eye view.
The next day was definitely harder.Kurt, Aljona and Lothar hiked the Sendero al Fitz Roy.
The first 2km were steadily steep and everyone of us had to take off the first layer (started with three). Most of the lookout points were covered by clouds and little rain drops accompanied our way.
The middle piece was flat and easy and lasted for an hour or so.
The last part was the steepest one: We climbed 400m in altitude over a distance of 1km. To my surprise a lot of 60+ folks made their way up to the peak which earned my biggest respect!
The top was very rewarding: Despite that Fitz Roy was also covered in clouds we saw the frozen glacier lake, the glacier tongue and after a small uphill hike (those who did not do it missed one of the highlights!) a turquoise glacier lake!
On the way back we did an extra loop to the lookout point to Piedras Blancas, another glacier, this time with a better proximity of the glacier tongue and its melting point from the lookout point. After 9h and 24km of hiking we were happy to salute with a fresh, local craft beer at La Cerverzeria.