The town of El Chalten was only a short 4 hour bus ride away from El Calafate. We started early in the morning and as we got nearer I lurked out the front window to get a first glimpse of the picturesque area, dominated by the Fritz Roy, Torre Edge and Cerro Torre mountaintops.
El Chalten and Hostal del Lago
We checked into the Hostel del Lago, a well frequented, cheap Hostel/Campground nearby the bus terminal. Back in the 1980’s it was the only guesthouse for those who wanted to climb any of the virgin tops. Today Ca$h the dog will play ball with arriving travelers. But be aware! Don’t try to make a selfie with him, it can cost you your precious iphone or finger!
Looking out of the broken hostel bathroom window on El Chalten and its mountain background one can grasp that the town consists only of Hostels, Hotels, Bars and stuff alike. We went shopping to one of the grocery stores so that chef Joanna could cook us some delicious pasta con tomato.
Hiking to Laguna Torre
The second day started out sunny and clear, almost too perfect for our plan to see the mountains from up close. Not far away and easily reachable within three hours of walking was Laguna Torre. A well market path lead us over some minor hills, trough a refreshing old forest into a flat valley.
We were literally blown away by the Laguna! A mighty, constant and cold wind was pushing against us as we were trying to reach the lake. At the the same time a high amount of noticeable ice sheets was forced to drift from glacier towards the shore. The intense sense of natures elements helped us to enjoy this marvelous, painting like place a lot!
Laguna del Torres, Patagonia, Argentina, 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Hiking to Fritz Roy
Another day another hike!? Spoiled by the awesome weather and views on the day before we went out to stretch our legs again. This time we planned to approach Fritz Roy him/her/itself! We proceeded and so did the weather, from cloud to more cloudy.
Quite unhappy about the inhibited views along the way we decided to improve other peoples lives by helping them with their photographic needs.
Instead of seeing Fritz Roy Joanna created an alternative peak version by herself. I know its hard to judge but trust me, it turned out like the original (compare graphic below).
The unsuccessful Fritz Roy trekking attempt didn’t turned out down. Instead we were happy to find new favorite homes our way back. A grounded one for Jo and a mobile, surfer style VW for me :)
Four days in El Chalten passed like the Patagonian wind. The town itself had not much to offer besides sleeping and eating, but it did not need to. The scenery, mountains, controversial and dramatic climbing stories from around this area were already great enough. Additionally all hikes were free of charge whereas one would spend a small fortune for hiking in Torres del Paine. I had to admit, we were very lucky to see the mountain tops because of to the good weather, it is usually not so easy.
Night bus to Los Antigos on Ruta 40
To get away from El Chalten we decided to take a overnight bus to Los Antigos. From there we would cross the Argentina/Chile border again. The long route towards the border led us along 641 km of the infamous Ruta 40. Partly paved but mostly still dust and dirt road it didn’t let us sleep very long.