Patagonia offers some of the most impressive scenery in the world. Brilliant blue lakes and twisting glaciers create the sense that you are in an icy wonderland.
Monte Fitz Roy, also known as Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Chaltén, is one of the most picturesque in Patagonia. The peak itself is stunning and the surrounding Patagonian Ice Field is simply stunning. From the lush Lenga forest to lichen covered glacial moraine and the stark, immense ice of the Patagonia Plateau, the new Patagonia Ice Trek Expedition trip is a challenging trek which will provide a lifetime of amazing memories.
The mountain is near the El Chaltén village in Patagonia, on an ill-defined section of the border between Argentina and Chile. Chaltén is a Tehuelche word meaning "smoking mountain" – wind stretched cloud is often seen trailing from the mountain's peak.
The Tehuelche called many Patagonian mountains Chalten, so when Francisoc Moreno first saw the mountain in 1877 he named it Fitz Roy, in honour of Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy, the captain of HMS Beagle – FitzRoy, alongside Charles Darwin, had charted and observed much of the Patagonian Coast and Andes on a 1830s voyage that resulted in Darwin’s theory of evolution, among other scientific achievements.
Climbed first by Frenchmen Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone in 1952, Mount Fitz Roy became renowned for its long stretches of technical climbing, the volatile local weather and the dramatic appearance of its peak.. Few have climbed it since the initial ascent – maybe one a year – but the dramatic terrain that leads up to it – snow fields, glaciers, ice caves, precipitous outcrops, lakes – is stunning country from which to admire this grand summit.
So, is it the ultimate peak? There are other peaks that no one has climbed, but in terms of difficulty, history, isolation and dramatic topography, Fitz Roy might top even Everest – a hundred climbers might summit the old man of the Himalaya each day, but few would even consider Fitz Roy, let alone attempt it.
The surrounding area is remote and still fairly inaccessible, even following the development of El Chaltén village and El Calafate international airport, so trekking through the area is off-the-beaten-track adventure at its best. A walk here, at times in crampons, encompasses glacier exploration and the majestic panoramas of Perito Moreno glacier, Lago Argentina, Cero Torre, Fitzroy Range and Torres del Paine. A great place for the fit and intrigued to experience the wildest climes of Patagonia.
If the Patagonia Ice field’s challenging and varied environment interests you check out our Patagonia Ice Trek.