I’ve praised Fitz Roy, but it is only fair to also mention his little „sister“ Cerro Torre (I actually don´t know what makes me think of Cerro Torre as „she“). Since they are located close to each other I couldn´t miss either of them on my Patagonian trip.
From the campground Poincenot it is about 10 kilometres long hike free of any steep ascending or descending. It can be a very nice walk even with a full backpack.
If you start from El Chalten you will get to the lake Laguna Torre (the lake right below the Cerro Torre) in three hours. It can be a lovely one day hike but you will meet more people on this route than on the way from Poincenot.
If the weathers is good don´t miss the chance to get to the very end of the path. The view point is called Maestri and it will give you the opportunity to see the mountain, lake and the glacier from unique perspective. Just make sure you are ready to face a strong and cold wind (I highly recommend a good wind breaker with a hood).
Unfortunately there is no way of getting further this way. The only way to get closer to the mountain is to cross the river. Climbers with good equipment can use a steel rope to make the crossing. But even after they get on the other side, Cerro Torre is not an easy mountain to climb. I admire all of those who’ve tried.
The nearest campground by the lake is called De Agostini. If you have a tent you can spend a night there but the same rules apply both here and at Poincenot – you are not allowed to camp anywhere outside the campground and as a group you have to be accompanied by the local guide. Both rules are controlled by rangers.
Give it a try and get up early in the morning to see the sun rise. I was not lucky enough to see the mountain, „she“ was still hiding in the pillows…
We woke up pretty early because we wanted to catch a bus back to El Calafate. As a reward for an early start we treated ourselves with the sweetest cake we found there. 🙂