Meet Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid & die Huber-Buam

24 02 2010

After a  3,5 hours flight from Buenos Aires second airport Jorge Newberry we landed at the tiny airport of El Calafate – close to the entrances to the Glacier National Park of Argentina and the Torres del Paine Park of Chile.

On the way to Chalten we visited a small farm where the legendary bandidos Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid hid several months – one of my favorite movies with Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid in Argentina

Driving to Chalten you see the impressive mountains of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy towering over the landscape – if you are lucky with the weather as we were.

The road to Fitz Roy

Chalten is the “trekking capital of Argentina” as you can read on a big sign at the entrance. It is also the capital of organized  tourism, climbers, boulder freaks and “round-the-world-travellers” in huge customized trucks or 4x4s and motorcycles as we learned in the following days.

Argentinean Mass: 1 l of Quilmes

Every house is alternatively a restaurant, a hotel or apartment building, a sports shop or a tour organizer. But Chalten is charming and profits from its splendid surroundings and the easy treks you can do as day tours from 2 to 8 hours.

We did the Lago del Torre and the Fitz Roy, easy hiking to max 25 km and 600 vertical meters as sort of warm ups. Some climbing and bouldering in between, some nice waffles at the Wafleria and the local supersize bottles of Quilmes Crystal beer let the days go by like flying.

At the “Ayres de Sur” right opposite of our campsite we discovered famous german climbers in the menu: There are sandwiches and plates called after Wolfgang Güllich and Kurt Albert. Other famous climbers visiting FitzRoy some months ago weren’t as lucky as we were. The Huber brothers, aka “die Huber Buam”  had to leave FitzRoy and cancel their climb because of bad weather. We had blue skies, no wind and clear sight of FitzRoy every day.

After Chalten I had to fly back to Germany (friends know the sad reason) and Kim went on her own to Puerto Natales to do the “Circuito grande del Torre del Paines”, a six day hike around the towers.

More pictures on this page

A climber's dream: Fitz Roy with a clear blue sky and no wind