Mountain sights in Patagonia
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Follow the main trail from Laguna Capri, which continues gently to Río Blanco, base camp for the Cerro Fitz Roy experience. From here it's a very steep climb to Laguna de los Tres (four hours one way). Bring loads of water and supplies - it's a toughie. But the extraordinary close view of Cerro Fitz Roy, as well as the eerily still glacial lake itself, make the effort worthwhile.
Be prepared for high, potentially hazardous winds and allow time for contemplation and recovery. Then scurry down 200m to the left of the lookout for an exceptional view of the emerald green Laguna Sucia.
If the weather is good and the wind is down, make a hike to Laguna Torre a priority. The trail is accessed from El Chaltén, either from behind Hostería Los Ñires or from the artisans' market north of the town. After a gentle initial climb, it's a fairly level walk through tranquil beech forests and along the Río Fitz Roy until a final steep climb up the lateral moraine left by the receding Glaciar del Torre.
The Mirador Laguna Torre offers a breathtaking view of the majestic spire of 3128m Cerro Torre, rising out of the valley in the background. Look for the 'mushroom' of snow and ice that caps the peak. This precarious formation is the final obstacle for hard-core…