How do you prepare for a major hike?
We entered a hiker’s paradise when we reached El Chalten. Trails abound – right from the edge of town! The town is right on the brink of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, and the best part: there’s no admission fee here!
We were excited to explore, and we knew we had lots of options. However, we were really there for the prime jewel: Fitz Roy. Knowing this would be a major undertaking, we elected a much gentler hike for our first day – something with which to warm up our legs for what was to come.
We chose a gentle 6km out-and-back hike along the Sendo a Laguna Torre. However, when we reached the viewpoint a third of the way along the trail, we felt good and energized! So we decided to continue to the lake at the end.
The trail continued through fields and forests, up and down rocky paths. All the while, we drew closer to the distant spires.
We finally reached the lake, and we were mildly disappointed to not have the clear weather we had seen the day prior. The views were still spectacular, and we enjoyed our squished sandwiches while watching small icebergs bob on the water’s surface.
We saw on the map that the trail appeared to continue right up to the glacier. After being denied admittance to Perito Moreno, my dad was determined to stand on a glacier. Would there be just a sign to stop us?
Turns out, there’s a big fat river in the way! Only those on a guided tour are given the equipment to cross it via an otherwise barren zipline.
But that didn’t stop my father from venturing downstream in search of a natural crossing. He even briefly considered crawling across the zipline!
In the end, it just wasn’t meant to be, so we resigned ourselves to viewing it from afar.
We got back to town with 19km more on our boots – a bit more than we had intended for a “warm-up” hike!
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