Places to visit in South America: Mount Fitzroy, Argentina
Monte Fitz Roy (also known as Cerro Chaltén, Cerro Fitz Roy, or simply Mount Fitz Roy) is a mountain in Patagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile. It is located in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, near El Chaltén village and Viedma lake. First climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone, it remains among the most technically challenging mountains for mountaineers on Earth.
Patagonia clothing founder Yvon Chouinard used Monte Fitz Roy as the basis for the company’s logo, after his ascent of the mountain, and subsequent film, in 1968.
The first Europeans recorded as seeing Mount Fitz Roy were the Spanish explorer Antonio de Viedma and his companions, who in 1783 reached the shores of Viedma lake.
Argentine explorer Francisco Moreno saw the mountain on 2 March 1877. He named it Fitz Roy, in honour of Robert FitzRoy, who, as captain of the HMS Beagle had travelled up the Santa Cruz River in 1834 and charted large parts of the Patagonian coast.
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.