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!