Monday, March 01, 2010

Hiking Mount Fitz Roy- Patagonia Argentina

Wow, well I wasn't that excited to start writing this blog post as it was just about another day of hiking. I have to admit I have gotten a little jaded after doing all of these amazing hikes in South America. At the time of the hike,I knew my surroundings were beautiful, but now looking back at the pics I now can fully appreciate just how ridiculously beautiful it was. If you thought the pics from the W were good wait till you see the ones below!

First here is a pic of the biggest Dulce de Leche cookie we've had the pleasure of eating. Dulce de Leche is huge in Venezuela and Argentina. They put it on everything and these cookies are super super soft with a Dulce de Leche middle layer sprinkled with coconut. I'm not a huge fan of DdL but these cookies are good.

I mentioned in the W hike post that the Patagonian sky is amazing at dusk. Here are some more pictures to prove it. I took these out the window of the bus on the way to El Chalten, home of Mount Fitz Roy.

Our first glance of Mount Fitz Roy through the bus was pretty stunning.

The first day in El Chalten we were still exhausted from the five days of hiking the W and the crazy travel day thereafter were we were in three cities and two different countries in one day while we visited the glaciers.

The next day we set out for a six hour hike to see some lakes near the top of Fitzroy. The start of the hike was easy enough. We stopped along the way to clown around and take some funny pictures in the trees.

I wish I had paid closer attention to this map. And this picture isn't appearing in the order it was taken. This pic below was taken on our way back. If I'd taken it when we saw it the first time it might have saved us about three hours. Notice the arrows going back to the path to the RIGHT side of the lake?

Notice this picture taken from the left side of the lake? Yeah I thought I remembered the guy at our hostel telling me to make sure you go left of the lake. What I think he said was to make sure you go left at the lake to get back onto the path. That mistake cost us about three hours! Oops.

But then again we wouldn't have seen these two wookpeckers. There is a blackheaded one below and a redheaded one in the pic below that.

Also wouldn't have seen these super sweet rocks and lake.

I kind of knew we were lost right away when all the sudden we didn't see anyone else on the path we were following. But it was a path we were on and I figured we'd finally find a sign that would lead us the right way or maybe I had even found us another shortcut!

Once I finally admitted we were lost we luckily ran into a couple guys with a map! This time I was wise enough to take a picture just in case. Of course this time we didn't need it and found our way to the start of the uphill climb.

Back on the right track.

This is Mount Fitz Roy. Its really majestic.

If we had realized these Laguna's we were hiking towards were right underneath the huge spires it also would have saved us alot of time. But that's what happens when you travel by the seat of your pants and do little to zero planning along the way!

After a very very steep uphill climb to the top, we were rewarded with these stunning lagunas which are formed at the top of the mountain from the glacier water runoff.

We brought our lunch up to the top. Isn' t this just about the best picture of a ham sandwich you've ever seen?

The water is a milky blueish green that we've been seeing all around Patagonia from all the glacier water. Its such a unique color and texture of water that I've never seen anywhere else.

Its also drinkable and crystal clear.

Here is the view from the top. We were at the bottom and it took us about an hour and a half to get to the top. It was practically straight up most of the time. Why is it that everything worth seeing is an uphill climb to get to?

This poor guy finally made it to the top huffing and puffing. I gave him about 30 seconds to recover before asking him to take a pic of us. Ha.

The hike down was a killer on Gemma's knees. You know you think its gonna be the hike to the top that is the worst, but its always the way back down that kills you. The hike took ten hours by the time we were done. I had to practically carry her down the last part of the hill. She really is a trooper though. Sorry I got us lost babe. I'm glad you made it and lived to hike another day.

We are busing it back down to Punta Arenas in Chile to fly to Santiago which was just hit with a 8.8 magnitude earthquake. Hopefully we don't get rocked by an aftershock.

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