90 Photos

Change in Plans: A Hike to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado
Elusive Patagonia

Day 9: Poincenot (left) and Fitz Roy (right) at dawnDay 9: Poincenot (left) and Fitz Roy (right) at dawn (George Sloan)
Our second chance for hiking to Laguna Los Tres was thwarted again by the weather. We didn't want to hike 15 miles to see more clouds and mist. So we hiked to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, a small high point that overlooked Laguna Torre, where we had hiked yesterday. Both our guides recommended this hike as the best kept secret of the park. We had a great day, but no views of Fitz Roy or the Torre. As we reached the highpoint of our hike we were blessed to see the aeronautical gymnastics of a condor. ''The condors may oftentimes be seen at a great height, soaring over a certain spot in the most graceful circles. On some occasions I am sure that they do this only for pleasure...'' -- Charles Darwin The fall colors were just starting to come out, giving us a sense of the reds, oranges, and yellows that would cover the landscape in another few weeks. As we descended, the clouds began to part a bit and we could begin to see shadowy images of Fitz Roy and the Torre. Finally, back in Chalten the skies cleared revealing the sentinels. We celebrated a beautiful day with Patagonia wine and tapas. A note on our guides. All of our guides were wonderful. Some spoke better English than others, but they were all friendly and welcoming. While each had their own interests and areas of expertise, they all radiated a love for their jobs and their surroundings that was infectious. We were initially embarrassed to have our own personal guide for our hikes in Los Glacier park as the trails were all accessible, well-marked and easy to navigate. But their commentary on everything from the flora, the geological formations, and climbing history, to where to eat and who made the best chocolate in town added so much to our enjoyment of our time in El Chalten. (see Day 9 photos)

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