At some point in a RTW trip, your desire to keep traveling weakens. When this occurs it’s hard to know what might spark a renewed interest in continuing; a stay in a 5-star hotel with down comforters and Egyptian sheets, a nice dinner out with an exquisite bottle of wine, or lazy days on a beach—anything might do the trick. For us, at this juncture in time, the Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy range renewed our inspiration to travel.

When the peaks first came into view, my excitement rose—this is what we needed. Jagged peaks punctuate clear, blue skies for a stunning view. Arriving at the park service office, the ranger informs us that they are experiencing the best weather anyone has seen in years and that it should hold for several days. Apparently, the peaks are typically shrouded in clouds and rain, but not for our stay. Nearly cloudless, blue skies grace us for each of our hikes. Around El Chalten (at the base of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy) several day hikes exist. Chris wisely suggests that we tackle the most difficult of our planned hikes first. This area is blessed with daylight until 10pm so unlike most 10-hour day hikes where we must rise early, we sleep late and meander to the trailhead at our own pace. The trail climbs relatively easily through beech forest until reaching a spectacular viewpoint of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy. From that point forward amazing views of Fitz Roy pull us forward. After three hours of sauntering down the trail, we reach the most difficult section. The park brochure states the slope is steep and difficult. Whenever the park service warns a trail is steep, it means its steep! We pass several people on their way down as we head up, each providing moral support that it’s tough but well worth it. This part of the trail is indeed difficult, our quads ache with each step. It’s without a doubt, one of the steepest slopes we’ve climbed in terms of gradient. Others top it due to their altitude (a difficult trail combined with not being able to breathe tops any vertical grade issues). But, the views it offers are incredibly rewarding. It’s blistering cold at the top though, and I can’t manage to run around to snap many pictures. I leave it to Chris, and he captures the picture at the beginning of this post—our salvation.

We spend the next two days hiking around the area. All are good hikes, but the Fitz Roy hike to Laguna de Los Tres is by far the best.

As always, our recent photos can be viewed on Chris’ and Jodi’s flickr pages.

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