We've been in El Chaltén the last few days. This little town of 1,000 people is located just at the base of the Fitz Roy Range in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. It is a funky little mountain town that has only been established for a short amount of time. Roughly a decade or so ago there were only about 10 houses here and a couple hostels. Now it is a huge draw for the hiking and climbing crowd because of the amazing peaks and the town has grown steadily from the tourism business. Danny met a man at the park yesterday who told him about the recent growth. The guy is originally from Buenos Aires and his wife is from London. He said of the 1,000 residents 350 of them are 18 years old or younger. The adults here are almost all transplants from much more metropolitan areas and they have had to do all the work to set up a functioning municipality- trash service, schools, town government, etc. It sounds like it has been a wild ride. There isn't even a cemetery here because they haven't needed it yet!
|The town of El Chaltén (the peaks are behind me as I take the photo.)|
Our first afternoon here we spent hiking along Rio Blanco. It is a river sprung from the glacial ice melt and it is a beautiful milky-white color. We hiked along the river for a while and then spent some time throwing sticks and rocks and digging holes (pretty much a daily activity for our family.) The kids got soaked in the freezing water and when the sun went down we hustled back into town for dry clothes and dinner.
|White river from the glacial sediment (we assume).|
|At the trailhead|
|mmmm GORP (PMBV en español)|
|View from the mirador- el torre (the tower) is in the back middle-right. (It is much more imposing in person!)|
|We've been told that it is pretty rare to get such a clear, wind-free day here. What luck!|
|My solo hike to the lake|
|The lake complete with iceburgs. Check out the glacier running into the backside of the lake in front of el torre.|