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Cerro Chalten

Monte Fitz Roy is a mountain located near the El Chalten village, in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, in Patagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile. The mountain is also known as Cerro Chalten, Cerro Fitz Roy, or simply Mount Fitz Roy. Cerro is a Spanish word meaning mountain, while Chalten comes from a Tehuelche (Aonikenk) word meaning "smoking mountain", due to a cloud that usually forms around the mountain's peak. Fitz Roy, however, was only one of a number of peaks the Tehuelche called Chalten.

As he describes in his book, Viaje a la Patagonia Austral, Francisco Moreno first saw the mountain on 2 March 1877. Since the native inhabitants also called other mountains Chalten, he named it Fitz Roy, in honour of Robert FitzRoy, who, as captain of the HMS Beagle had travelled up the Santa Cruz River in 1834 and charted large parts of the Patagonian coast.

It has been agreed by Argentina and Chile that their international border detours eastwards to pass over the main summit, but a large part of the border to the south of the summit, as far as Cerro Murallon, remains undefined.

The mountain is the symbol of the Argentine Santa Cruz Province, which includes its representation on its coat of arms.

It was first climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone.

The mountain has a reputation of being "ultimate", despite its average height , because the sheer granite faces present long stretches of arduous technical climbing. In addition, the weather in the area is exceptionally inclement and treacherous. It also attracts many photographers thanks to its otherworldly shape. The area, while still fairly inaccessible, was even more isolated until the recent development of El Chalten village and El Calafate international airport. The mountain climb, however, remains extremely difficult and is the preserve of very experienced climbers. Today, when a hundred people may summit Mount Everest in a single day, Monte Fitz Roy may only be successfully ascended once a year.

Monte Fitz Roy is the basis for the Patagonia clothing logo following Yvon Chouinard's 3rd ascent and subsequent film in 1968.

Notable ascents

1952 Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone via Southeast Ridge (aka Franco-Argentine Ridge)

1965 Carlos Comesana and Jose Luis Fonrouge (from Argentina) via Supercanaleta in 2-1/2 days (Second Ascent)

1968 Southwest Ridge aka The Californian Route (3rd ascent of peak). FA by Yvon Chouinard, Dick Dorworth, Chris Jones, Lito Tejada-Flores and Douglas Tompkins (all USA).

2002 Dean Potter, solo Supercanaleta

2009 Colin Haley, solo Supercanaleta

Further reading

Kearney, Alan, 1993. Mountaineering in Patagonia. Seattle USA: Cloudcap.

External links

Information about El Chalten

Fitz Roy at Peakware

Monte Fitz Roy

Monte Fitz Roy in History

Some photographs of Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre

Panoramic virtual tour of Monte Fitz Roy

News El Chalten

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Cerro Chalten

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