Waves of dry grass bend in the wind beneath Cerro Fitz Roy, on the trail to Laguna de los Tres, Patagonia, Argentina.
Mount Fitz Roy (3405 meters or 11,170 feet) rises abruptly above grass and forest in the southern Andes mountains, near El Chaltén village, in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina, South America. In 1877, explorer Perito Moreno named "Cerro Fitz Roy" for Robert FitzRoy (no space before the capital R) who, as captain of the HMS Beagle, had travelled up the Santa Cruz River in 1834 and charted much of the Patagonian coast. First climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone, Mount Fitz Roy has very fickle weather and is one of the world's most challenging technical ascents. It is also called Cerro Chaltén, Cerro Fitz Roy, and Monte Fitz Roy (with a space before the R). Chaltén comes from a Tehuelche (Aonikenk) word meaning "smoking mountain" (explained by frequent orographic clouds). Cerro is a Spanish word meaning hill. El Chaltén village was built in 1985 by Argentina to help secure the disputed border with Chile, and now tourism supports it, 220 km north of the larger town of El Calafate. The foot of South America is known as Patagonia, a name derived from coastal giants, Patagão or Patagoni, who were reported by Magellan's 1520s voyage circumnavigating the world and were actually Tehuelche native people who averaged 25 cm (or 10 inches) taller than the Spaniards. Mount Fitz Roy is the basis for the Patagonia company's clothing logo, after Yvon Chouinard's ascent and subsequent film in 1968. Published in "Light Travel: Photography on the Go" by Tom Dempsey 2009, 2010.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download