I wrote this a few days ago so a little out of date but hope you enjoy.
El Chalten is a tiny village which pretty much closes in winter. It is really lovely here and we feel like we are in a little Swiss Mountain village. We planned to only stay here a night or two but have now been here for 5 nights… so as you can imagine we are having a great time.
The hiking is spectacular. It is now autumn so the trees are all somewhere between a golden yellow to a dark red colour. The mountains are ice capped and there are glaciers everywhere.
We did a beautiful walk yesterday which got a bit exciting in the middle. We planned to hike up a mountain path to a glacier view point but managed to lose the trail somewhere along the walk. We then found some piles of rocks (which Andrew said were definitely cairns for our walk) so proceeded to follow the rocks up a icy river bed. Now this river was filled with melted glacier water so you can only imagine how cold the water was. Now my husband likes to conveniently forget that my legs are slightly shorter than his. So boulder hopping (or in my case boulder climbing) we go followed by boulder jumping across ice cold river (the only problem being that the boulder jumping across ice cold river onto slippery rock was a bit too far for me to jump). So after quite a bit of contemplation and “discussion”…. off come the hiking boots, up go the rolled up jeans… and through the ice water I go. Now if I previously wrote about what “ice frozen” toes feel like I can truly say I now know what it feels like. Anyway we managed to eventually get to the top of the river to the most beautiful view of a falling glacier with the mountains behind. Very much worth it.
This morning at breakfast we were chatting to other hikers and they “supposedly” did the same hike as us. We were very confused as we did not see one other hiker on our trail and they said that there were about 20 people at the top and that they didn’t have to jump across rivers or wade across ice water. After much confusion we worked out that we had missed the path to the lake that we were supposed to hike and that we had hiked up a hectic climb that was only for “experienced“ climbers…. 🙂