Monte Fitz Roy

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Mount Fitz Roy
Mount Fitz Roy
Mount Fitz Roy at sunrise

Monte Fitz Roy (also known as Cerro Chaltén, Cerro Fitz Roy, or simply Mount Fitz Roy) is a mountain near the village of El Chaltén, Argentina 49°17′S 73°05′W / 49.283°S 73.083°W / -49.283; -73.083. It is close to the border of Chile in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in Patagonia. The 3375 metre high mountain was first climbed in 1952 by French mountain climbers Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone. It is one of the most difficult mountains to climb on Earth. The clothing label, Patagonia, used Monte Fitz Roy as the idea for their logo, after Yvon Chouinard climbed the mountain in 1968 and made a movie about it.

Francisco Moreno first saw the mountain on 2 March 1877. He named it Fitz Roy, in honour of Robert Fitz Roy. Fitz Roy was captain of HMS Beagle and had travelled up the Santa Cruz River in 1834 and made maps of large parts of the Patagonian coast .[1]

Cerro is a Spanish word meaning hill, while Chaltén 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 Chaltén.[1]

Geology[change | change source]

Fitz Roy is a huge pyramid shaped granite monolith, carved by the winds, snow and ice. Fitz Roy is made of igneous rocks from deep in the Earth. When large tectonic plates collided about 100 million years, magma escaped between these plates and solidified between other rocks. The erosion of these rocks led to the formation of the mountain.[2]

Plants and animals[change | change source]

There are no plants on the bare walls of the summit. In the steep foothills, below the summit there are forests of beech and vast plains of short vegetation adapted to extreme climatic conditions[2]

Animals are very rare in the region of Fitz Roy. There are a few eagles and rabbits.[2]

Geographical setting[change | change source]

It has been agreed by Argentina and Chile that their international border detours eastwards to pass over the main summit,[3] but a large part of the border to the south of the summit, as far as Cerro Murallón, remains undefined.[4] The mountain is the symbol of the Argentine Santa Cruz Province, which includes its representation on its coat of arms.

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Moreno, FP (2006) [1879] (in Spanish). Viaje a la Patagonia Austral. La Nacion (Elefante Blanco). p. 2. ISBN 987-96054-7-0 . "Como este volcan activo no ha sido mencionado por los navegantes ni viajeros, y como el nombre de Chalten que le dan los indios lo aplican tambien a otras montanas, me permito llamarle volcan Fitz Roy - English: Since this active volcano has not been mentioned by navigators or travellers, and since the name Chalten that the Indians call it is also applied to other mountains, I allow myself to name it Fitz Roy volcano"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Alessandro Gogna 2006. Les plus beaux sommets du monde. Arthaud.
  3. "Border agreement between Chile and Argentina". 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-01-17. http://web.archive.org/web/20070117021516/http://www.difrol.cl/acuerdo_de_hielos.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-07.
  4. "Map showing border between Chile and Argentina (partly undefined)". http://www.turistel.cl/v2/secciones/mapas/informacion/ruteros/aisen.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-07.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Giuseppe Miotti, 1991: El Fitz Roy : Cuadernos Patagonicos N.4, Milano, Scode, 1re éd. 32 p. [Giuseppe Miotti, El Fitz Roy : Cuadernos Patagonicos N.4, Milano, Scode, 1991, 1re éd., 32 p. In Line Tecpetrol.
  • Kearney A, 1993: Mountaineering in Patagonia. Seattle, Washington: Cloudcap.
  • Marc Antonin Azema, 1954: La Conquête du Fitz Roy, Paris, Flammarion, 235 p.
  • Terray L, 1963: Conquistadors of the Useless, p. 307-8, Victor Gollancz Ltd. ISBN 0-89886-778-9

Other websites[change | change source]

Video[change | change source]