Patagonia and other adventure travel destinations

4 Reasons You’ll Want to Visit Cerro Fitz Roy in Patagonia

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Whether your visit to Cerro Fitz Roy takes the form of summiting its lauded peak or a more leisurely hike to Laguna de Los Tres at its base, here are four reasons why you can’t miss Argentine Patagonia’s most famous mountain.

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1. Cerro Fitz Roy has become an important symbol of Patagonia

cerro fitz royThe rugged, sky-puncturing peaks of Cerro Fitz Roy are visible from miles around and welcome all visitors to Los Glaciares National Park in the Santa Cruz Province of Argentina.

It’s should come as no surprise that this mountain has become a become a recognized symbol of Argentine Patagonia, made even more famous thanks to Yvon Chouinard. After summiting Fitz Roy in 1968 with a team from the USA, he used its shape to inspire the logo for his clothing brand, Patagonia.


2. It’s got its own slice of European history

If the name “Fitz Roy” sounds familiar then that’s because it is – well, if you’ve read up on Darwin. Captain Fitzroy was in charge of the HMS Beagle, the ship that voyaged around South America with budding naturalist Charles Darwin in tow.

Francisco Moreno, a famous Argentine explorer who visited huge swathes of uncharted Patagonia and after whom the nearby Glacier Perito Moreno is named, christened the mountain ‘Fitz Roy’ in 1877 in honor of the Beagle’s Captain, as one of the initial European explorers of Patagonia, 43 years previously.


3. Only the most adventurous dare to climb Cerro Fitz Roy

cerro fitz royAt 11,073 ft. (3,375m) above sea level, Cerro Fitz Roy might be the highest of the granodiorite peaks in the area, but it certainly doesn’t come anywhere near close to having the highest elevation of any mountain in the country – Aconcagua, followed by Ojos del Salado, take that accolade.

But the first ascent of Cerro Fitz Roy only took place in 1952, with Lionel Terray, the climber responsible, describing it as “an impossible mountain”. Indeed, reaching the summit is no mean feat: it’s regarded as one of the most technically challenging climbs on the planet, with few successful in achieving the mile-high summit of the its sheer, granite needles.


4. The hike up to Fitz Roy is one of the best in Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park might be the most acclaimed hiking destination in Patagonia, but some argue that the hikes around El Chaltén (including the trek up to Laguna de Los Tres) are among the best in the region.

While hiking in Torres del Paine requires a commitment of at least three or four days to attempt even the shortest of the treks and visitors are required to pay a fee of $32 USD, hiking to Cerro Fitz Roy is a far easier process.

There are several day or multi-day hikes where visitors can camp for free in the campgrounds and the national park carries no entry fee. El Chaltén, the closest town, also has excellent facilities including comfortable accommodations and a range of restaurants making it a real alternative to visiting the Chilean national park.  

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