El Chaltén: Day 2 Piedras Blancas

Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina We woke-up to the most vivid rainbow we’ve ever seen just outside our camp. I mean we could see each individual part of ROY G BIV – Hello, elementary school science! And it was a complete arch with a second one right in from of the Fitz Roy Mastiff that was obscured by clouds. It was so bright and so close I really wanted to go find the start of it. We walked a few 100 meters towards it and it always seemed like it was just a few 100 more. So we gave up the hunt for the pot of gold that would have extended our trip substantially. No leprechaun related upgrades for us… yet!

Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

One of the many lessons we’ve learned while camping is that oatmeal is an extremely versatile food. You can make it taste like just about anything. My new favorite breakfast recipe is for Orange Danish Rolls… Make oatmeal as usual then add a 1/5 packet of Sprim (Tang) and a little bit of powdered milk. It tastes just like orange Danish rolls; though the texture is a bit different.

Oatmeal, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

After a hearty breakfast it was time for us getting down to business, so we put on our business socks for a little bouldering at Piedras Blancas. Piedras Blancas is a glacier and lake with a huge boulder field between it and the river about an hour down river from Campamento Poincenot. We climbed around on a couple of the boulders and had a lot of fun. After scoring some awesome views of the glacier and the lake we made our way back to Poincenot to pack up camp and move to Campamento de Agostini.

Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

With the wind starting to pick up a bit (as the climbers had predicted) we made our way past Lago Madre and Lago Hija past more stunning views of the mastiff. At the southern shore of Lago Hija we found the coolest little beach with tiny flat and rounded smooth pebbles. We took off our packs and sat down on the beach and it as so comfortable in the sunshine and the wind blowing on our faces. We ended up just sitting and talking there for over an hour. Liz said it might be one of her favorite places we had been on the trip. It was an unforgettable hour. I couldn’t get over the rocks.

Lago Hija, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina Lago Hija, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

By the time we made it to Campamento Agostini the wind was in full force and we could see the clouds building. We looked at the sky and made the call…

Yep. We bailed.

Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

It was a hard decision, unless you looked at the sky, and if the climbers weather prediction held out, which it looked like it would, it would be nasty tomorrow… and the next day… and the next… for the foreseeable future. With no hopes of beautiful vista views and no desire to spend a soggy night in the tent, we made our way back into town. Again, that’s one of the nice things about El Chaltén, you’re almost always within walking distance of town. We found a campsite in town and made a new friend who settled in for the night with us. (Liz’s note: WTH?! Rick is becoming a cat person!!! I do not approve. Ruger does not approve!!! ….and the cat not only kept us up ALL night, but peed on my shoes the next morning. Not. A. Fan.)

El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina