El Chalten: Fitz Roy

It was an easy walk to Poincenot campsite, and a little less crowded than the main paths to and from Poincenot and Agostini from El Chalten, because most day hikers walk in and out of one campsite and not in between the two.When we got to the camp, it was even more crowded than before. I think I counted like 70 tents here. It was nuts. And even though there were more spots around when people left on the second day, we still had some girls come set their tent up literally at our back door. They even put their stuff on the log by my entryway and Kay thought it was ours… and they blocked our path to the toilet. Poor camper etiquette! The bathrooms here were equally as disgusting as Agostini, hence the need for this amusing sign and shovel. They made the same version of the toilets on the Huemul Circuit look posh, only because they are not used so much. So much splashing and pee everywhere on the floor around the hole. And the smell… the smell. 🙁

This was the kind of toilet you would run out of with your fly down, even when other people were waiting to use the bathroom outside. Zip up later, just get out!Above you can see our campsite at #2, where we decided to stay for two nights because it was SO much warmer than campsite #1. From Poincenot, we hiked up to #3 on the map, Laguna de los Tres, to try and get a view of the elusive Mt. Fitz Roy.We could see Fitz Roy, or the clouded Fitz Roy from camp, but we were hoping that if we hiked up to the gorgeous blue-green lakes, that the skies would clear at the famous mountain would come out with the lakes just below in view.Unfortunately, when we got up there, the mountain was almost totally covered in cloud… and they were just pressing up and over and around the mountain, really sticking around the top. We decided to have a snack and wait for awhile in the sun. Down on the rocks in the sun, it was actually quite warm.Over to the left, you could see the dramatically lower elevated Laguna Sucia and some mountains in the background, but to the right and above, Fitz was still inconveniently hidden.It was pretty interesting seeing one alpine lake right next to another with such a huge drop. Also, how unreal is the color of these lakes? It was like staring at a glistening body of gems!It really surprised you how Laguna de los Tres was at our feet, and Laguna Sucia was a huge drop away.We waited 1-2h and then the wind started picking up again, chilling us out too much to be waiting around, so we gave it up and headed back down. There were just too many clouds pressing and no chance that they would dissipate. I checked Fitz Roy again several times when we were down below and the best it got that day was after sunset, but it would have been pretty windy and cold up by the lake by then, and no sun anymore to give that brilliant lake shine. We decided it was not worth the climb again considering how fast it would cover up again.We made dinner and camped the first night, and I sent Kay out at 5am to check if there would be a clear sunrise. It was clouded, so the poor guy came back to the tent to warm up and sleep some more. To be fair, I only asked him to peek his head out of the tent, but he decided to get dressed and go to the bathroom. Not my fault. 😉


When we woke up later on, the weather was OK, but hadn’t improved very much around Fitz Roy, so we hung around camp reading and lazing about. It was nice to have a relaxed day just unwinding after all that trekking! The weather around the mountain never got better, so we just stayed down, ate the rest of our meals and then leisurely walked out the next day and said our last goodbyes to the rugged landscape around El Chalten.Every time we looked back, Fitz was still covered in clouds, clouds, clouds.Nope, no chance that would have been happening. Well, you can’t be lucky every time! I thought we maybe saw Fitz when we first rolled into El Chalten, but Kay isn’t sure. And every other time we were in town or hiking around it, it was almost always covered. The few times the sky seemed to open up, we were always in the wrong spot. Our time in El Chalten was up. As we made our way back to town, I looked forward to the last steak dinner before going on to Bariloche.Up next was our 26h bus ride!

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