Fitz Roy- Chalten 3,445m.
After founding San Julian port,
the Spanish explorer Don Antonio Viedma in 1872 departs to accomplish a mission to
recognise Patagonia´s waterways. He leaves from the coast and advances into the continent
He is guided by Tehuelches aborigins and following the course of Chalia river he passes a
place Tehuelches called Quesanexes (nail-studded stone) He gets to the big lake that
carries his name and heads to the northwest, where he spots the mountains.Viedma relates
it as follows: " At the end of the inlet there are two stones tower -like shaped, one
is higher than the other, whose sharp tips ar much higher than their neighbours, aborigins
call them Chalten," a term that in their language means "a mountain that
smokes"- volcano- because of the big clouds that surround it.Viedma also mentions
another mountain that could have been Torre hill or Poincenot needle.
In 1834 an English expedition embarks on the "Beagle" brigantine to explore Patagonic territory. Such expedition is led by Robert Fitz Roy accompanied by Charles Darwin, who had to back up his theory of evolution,and eighteen sailors who all navigated along Santa Cruz river in three small boats. Their aim was to arrive at today Viedma lake but they had to come back soon after they had covered 300 kilometres, where they spotted the mountain which later would take Fitz Roy´s name.
In 1837 Francisco Moreno, an expert in topography, was given the task of setting the limits between Argentina and Chile.He and sub lieutenant Carlos Moyano navigate along Santa Cruz river in a small boat and in February 14 they find a lake they call Argentino lake.They travel by horse along the north side and on February 2 they arrived at Viedma lake.Then they penetrated in the valley of de las Vueltas river where they are surprised by the dominating image of Chalten hill. In this trip Moreno renames Chalten calling it Fitz Roy volcano in honour of the English admiral ; besides Tehueclches aborigins also gave this name to other mountains.In 1884 after exploring Chalten carefully, Carlos Moyano comes to the conclusion that it is not a volcano. This idea is confirmed in 1902 by the geologist Rodolfo Hautal.
The first climbing dates from 1902 when an expedition from the German Scientific Association arrived at the region. Lutz Witte, Frit kuhn and Alfredo Kolliker took part in the expedition. Trying to get to the Pacific Ocean, they penetrated in the valley of Tunel river, past "Paso del Viento"and arrived at the Continental Ice cape. On February 23 the climbed Huemul hill.
The missionary priest Alberto
Maria de Agostini, who wrote a book called Andes Patagonicos, was one of the greatest
explorers of the Andes Australes. He explored the west side of the Viedma Lake and hydric
basins of the Fitz Roy and made the first ascent of one of the highest hills in Patagonia:
San Lorenzo hill (3706m ). In 1932, Agostini and some Italian guides organised an
expedition to climb Electrico hill in February.
An expedition led by Count Aldo Bonacossa departs from Italy in 1937. Titta Gilberti, Leo Dubosc and Ettore Castiglioni headed to the South wall through the East spring. They climb a big coilour and reach the typical neve in the South east wall which is called Silla de los Franceses. However, they have to come back due to the great difficulties encountered in the vertical South wall. This big coilour is known today as Brecha de los Italianos and constitutes the first obstacle to be overcome to have access to the most classical routes of the hill. This expedition is considered the first attempt to climb the Fitz Roy.
In 1947 Juan Zechner, from Austria but living in Argentina, explores the zone. During the following year, he organises the first Argentinian expedition and together with Mario Bertone and Nestor Gianolli make a great effort to explore the zone. They penetrate through Torre valley and camped near a waterfall. This place is known today as Campamento Maestri. They try to climb the Southwest wall of the mountain though three different coilurs but they are forced to come back due to the constant falling of big ice blocks.They also advance to the end of Hombre Sentado ridge trying to find an access to the valley of Electrico river. They advance through the valley and penetrate a lateral glacier heading for Fitz Roy hill.
Sorry the English version finish here!!