Saturday, December 29, 2007

Next, Hiking in Torres Del Paine

We won´t be able to post anything for the next week and a half because we are going to go hiking in Torre Del Paine national park. We are leaving tomorrow morning to Puerto Natales, and from there we will catch another bus into the park.
We will update as soon as we can!

Friday, December 28, 2007


Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre
Laguna Torre

Monte Fitz Roy
romyjenn 370

Patagonian Wind!
romyjenn 382

You can see more pictures on our flickr site, just click on one of the pictures above, and it will link you there.

Back in Punta Arenas

On our last full day in El Chalten we rented mountain bikes and went biking around the city, and north of it to a huge waterfall. The road was really rough, so the ride was not great, but the views of the mountains made up for it. We had great weather while we were there, which is apparently unusual, according to the keepers of the bed & breakfast we stayed at. An we saw one more Condor while we were at the waterfall!

Before our bus left El Chalten, we went to the visitor center for Glacier NP. We learned a little more about the southern Patagonian icefield, which is right behind Mt. Fitz Roy. It is about 70km wide, and at average 700km deep! That is all snow and ice, and it is completely flat on top and stable. People hike across it every summer. There are even permanent campgrounds on top of it!!! There are a few mountain tops sticking out of the middle of the icefield. It feeds all of the glaciers in the park.

Today we just arrived in Punta Arenas by bus from Argentina. We ran into a suprise when we got to El Calafate and they told us that the busses toChile were all full for the day we wanted to go, so the only option was to go right away. So we hopped on the bus and spent a night in Puerto Natales instead of El Calafate. Thats okay. Now we are back in Punta Arenas waiting for Courtney and Danny to get in tomorrow. Their flights got all screwed up, like ours did, so they will be arriving late.

Tomorrow, we will got to Seno Otway, where there are Magellenic Penguins (did I spell that right?) They come onto the shore to breed during the summer. We wanted to go to Isla Magdelena to go and see them, but the boat that leaves to that island is not operating at the moment. So we will be taking a bus to Seno Otway, which is on the same peninsula as Punta Arenas, but on the west side of it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas at Fitz Roy!

We just came out of the mountains around Mt. Fitz Roy. We spent three nights and four days trekking about. We arrived by bus from El Calafate, Argentina. We got here in the afternoon and left the same day for the first camp near Fitz Roy. It was called Poincenot. It was about a 3 hours hike and ascended up about 1000ft. We camped there for two nights. Our second day of trekking we hiked up to the base of Fitz Roy, which is 3405m high, where there was a lake and great views. It was really really steep. We saw a climber that hiked up the glacier in front of Fitz Roy. The guy was nuts, walking across that glacier. If he would´ve slipped, he would´ve slid down into the lake, and that would´ve been the end of him. Then we hiked to another glacier that also comes off of Fitz Roy, Piedras Blancas. It was nice and deserted there, so we had a snack and threw rocks at ice bergs. After that we came back and camped for the second night.

The third day we hiked south to the DiAgostini Camp next to Cerro Torre, 3102m high. There was a lake here also, and Romy went swimming with the ice bergs! But only for a quick dip as the water was rather cold. We spent Christmas in the mountains hiking back to El Chalten, where we´re staying at a B&B for two nights. Tomorrow we plan to go biking around El Chalten in the mountain valleys.

The weather here has been great so far. Yesterday and today were in the 70s with clear views of the mountains. The first day of the hike was clear and sunny, and likely also in the 70s, but the wind was crazy. Jenn almost fell down a few times from the gusts! We saw a bunch of different birds too. Around Piedras Blanca glacier, there were two huge condors circling above us. Maybe they wanted to eat us. On the hike to Cerro Torre, there were a bunch of noisy parrots along the trail. They were green up top and red below, and really active. At DiAgostini there was some huge bird of prey of some sorts, just walking around looking to steal food from unsuspecting campers! There was also this little sparrow like bird that was blue and yellow wandering about. Then on the way back today we saw a bunch of woodpeckers along the trail. Of course, every time we tried to get a picture of the birds, they´d fly away.

After El Chalten we´re heading back south, and in a few days we´ll meet up with our two friends.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares

Yesterday we went on a glacier cruise inside Parque Nacional Los Glaciares in Argentina. We boarded a huge double-decker catamaran that left from Punta Bandera. We sailed on Lago Argentino towards the mountain glaciers. We went past Perrito Moreno, but didn´t see it because it wasn´t part of the tour. Not a big deal since we saw it anyway the day prior. The first glacier we came to was Spegazzini glacier (google earth this to get an idea) which was a branched glacier with three sources. It was really tall, taller than Perrito Moreno (so more than 60m high). The boat went really close and up and down a few times since it was a receeding glacier and apparently doesn´t break off and crash into the water very much.

Next we went to Onelli Lake, which is an inland lake fed by something like 5 glaciers. We docked at Onelli Bay and walked thru a really cool forest until we reached Onelli Lake. We ate lunch on ´beach´ at Onelli lake, which was filled with icebergs, some huge and some mini, that came off the the glaciers feeding the lake. It was really nice. The water was really really cold. Some of the icebergs came to the shore, so we touched them and ate one. Yes, ate one. We ate an iceberg!!! Ahhhh!!! Well, not the whole thing, but part of it.

After lunch we boarded the boat again and headed up toward Upsala glacier, which is just freaking huge. The day prior, or overnight, a large chunk (or nose, as they called it) broke off so we were sailing through monstorous sized icebergs, some as big or bigger than a house, and that is only what´s on the surface (15% is above water, the rest below). The captain of the boat was just zooming past them, but sometimes he stopped next to the really big ones so we could get a better look. These things were absolutely huge! Most of them were light blue or white because they had lots of air pockets in them, but the denser ones were a crazy bright and deep blue, like candy. As they melt, they change shape and reposition how they float in the water.

We only came within a kilometer of Upsala because of the possibility of pieces breaking off and I guess smashing us. Still, the glacier is just huge.

Tomorrow we go to El Chalten to begin our hiking around Mt. Fitz Roy. It is over 3000m tall and a granite spire. We will be hiking there for about 5 days, so we won´t be writing for a while.

The computers here are all slow like poo, so we can´t upload that many pictures.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier

Since we got to Patagonia, we took a bus from Punta Arenas to El Calafate, Argentina. We drove northward, along the Andes Range, in the Patagonian steppe, the rain shadow of the Andes. It is a treeless scruby dry expanse of nothing in all diretions, and it is very windy. We drove for 8 hour total, on two busses. When we finally got to El Calafate, we walked to our hostel, which is on top of a hill. The city is next to Lake Argentino, the largest lake in Argentina. It is fed by the glacier of the Andes, which are part of the Patagonian Icefield, the 3rd largest ice mass in the world, after Antarctica and Greenland. It is milky grey and blue, and it flows across the country into the Atlantic Ocean.

Perito Moreno Glacier

Today, we visited Perito Moreno, a glacier which is accessible by car or bus. We left our hostel at 8.30am and took the bus, about an hour and a half towards the mountains. The glacier is inside Glacier National Park, Argentina. The glacier comes out of the mountains and melts into Lake Argentina. The glacier face was huge, about 60 meter above the water´s surface! The face was 5km wide. Chunks were falling off and crashing into the ice, making a lot of noise! You can walk on land and view the glacier, which we did. You can also get a ticket for a boat which sails 300 meters away from the face, back and forth. We took the boat too. It was soooooo nice, and from that angle, you could really see how huge it really was. It is advancing about 2 meters every day, but it also melts 2 meters everyday, so it is stable for now.

Tomorrow we are going on a glacier cruise. It will take us to 5 other glaciers that you can only see by boat inside Glacier National Park. The beer here is good. To see our pics, go to

Monday, December 17, 2007

We made it!

We made it finally to Punta Arenas after more than 24 hours of travel! We are on the Straight of Magellan, surrounded by the Andes Mountains and fjords! Sweet! Our journey here was very rough with many flight changes and delays, not to mention crying demonic devil babies in surround sound. But we actually only came in 3 hours later than we were supposed to arrive, so it all worked out. That´s with changing three out of the four flights.

Tomorrow we are heading out by bus to El Calafate in Argentina via Puerto Natales. We will be camping next to a glacier, Perrito Moreno.