Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mount Poincenot, Argentina

Mount Poincenot Argentina, originally uploaded by Marc Shandro.
A granite spire of the Mount Fitz Roy massif in southern Argentina.
You're looking at about 800 meters of vertical granite here.
Cerro Fitz Roy or Monte Fitz Roy, is a mountain ('cerro') located near the El Chaltén village, in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, inPatagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile. It is also sometimes called Cerro Chaltén, after the Tehuelche (Aonikenk) word meaning "smoking mountain," due to a cloud that usually forms in the top of the mountain. However it was only one of a number of peaks the Tehuelche called Chaltén.
As he describes in his book, "Viaje a la Patagonia Austral", Francisco Moreno first saw the mountain on 2 March 1877. Since the native inhabitants also called other mountains Chaltén, he named it Fitz Roy, in honour of Robert FitzRoy, who as captain of the Beagle had travelled up the Santa Cruz River in 1834 and charted large parts of the Patagonian coast.
It has been agreed by the two countries that the international border detours eastwards to pass over the main summit, but a large part of the border to the south of the summit, as far as Cerro Murallón remains undefined .
The mountain is the symbol of the Argentine Santa Cruz Province, which includes its representation on its coat of arms.
It was first climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone.
The mountain has a reputation of being "ultimate," despite its average height (although being the highest peak in the Los Glaciares park, it is less than half the Himalayan giants), because the sheer granite faces present long stretches of arduous technical climbing. In addition, the weather in the area is exceptionally inclement and treacherous. It also attracts many photographers thanks to its otherworldly shape.
The area, while still fairly inaccessible, was even more isolated until the recent development of El Chalten village and El Calafateinternational airport. The mountain climb, however, remains extremely difficult and is the preserve of very experienced climbers. Today, when a hundred people may summit Mount Everest in a single day, Cerro Chaltén may only be successfully ascended once a year.
Cerro Fitz Roy is the basis for the Patagonia logo following Yvon Chouinard's 3rd ascent and subsequent film in 1968.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler


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