Mount Fitz Roy is located at the northern end of the Parque Nacional Los Glacieres, near El Chalten village in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in Patagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile. Also known as Cerro Chalten and Cerro Fitz Roy, and acknowledged as one of the most technically challenging mountains to climb on the planet, Mount Fitz Roy rises to a height of 3,359 m (11,020 ft). Its slopes are too steep for snow to even settle there.
The word ‘Chalten’ means ‘smoking mountain’ in Teheulche and is given to this mountain due to a cloud that usually forms around the peak, so that is appears to be smoking. The first ascent was made in 1952 by the Frenchmen, Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone.
The mountain can offer wildly varying views to the watcher. At sunrise, the huge granite sides of the mountain turn to a beautiful rose colour. As the day progresses, it can be reflected in the lake Lago del los Tres, or it can be completely hidden from view by clouds. By night-time, the clouds have thinned to leave wispy trails around the peak.
Mount Fitz Roy offers some wonderful trekking opportunities, and is surrounded by the Cerro Torre, Poincenot and Saint-Exupery mountains, amid lakes and glaciers. There are at least a dozen trekking routes varying in length and difficulty. Treks are usually clearly marked.
The recommended trekking season is from November to April, but even then the weather is fairly unpredictable. You’re advised to build in extra time to allow for weather slowing your progress and a greater chance of clearer views.