Whenever you see pictures of Patagonia, more often than not it’s a picture of Fitz Roy. Fitz Roy is a mountain located near the cute little hippie village of El Chaltén. Chaltén means “smoking mountain” in Tehuelche due to the ever-present cloud on the mountain’s peak (you will notice it in all my photos). Fitz Roy is a very striking mountain and anywhere you are in El Chaltén, you can see it in the background. If the weather is good that is.
Since there’s not much else to do in El Chaltén but to do some sort of hike around Fitz Roy, my boyfriend and I decided we were going to go big or go home with an 11 mile, 8 hour hike to the base of Fitz Roy and back to town. I consider myself to be in decent shape but I only hike once a year. Hiking to me sounds great in theory but when I’m actually doing it, I realize that it’s walking up steep mountains and cliffs for hours at a time. Once we started hiking to Fitz Roy, we were all-in. There was no turning back because the trail we chose started 30 minutes from town where we got dropped off and the only way to get back to town was to hike the whole way.
My sweet boyfriend transformed into a speed demon drill sergeant and made me and our friend Tom speed walk the whole thing. He wanted to do the hike in 7 hours including time for lunch so we could get back to town at 6 pm in time for a beer. The 1 hour up-hill climb to the base of Fitz Roy was definitely the most challenging. I felt like I was on a stair master the entire time. Then, just when I thought I reached the top, I still had another hill to climb. It was all worth it of course to see Fitz Roy up close. It was just the most beautiful scene I had ever seen. The hike back to town was not so fun because it started to rain but we did make it back to town at 5 pm for our beer, earlier than planned!