This photo shows one of the best summit views I’ve ever experienced, from atop Cerro Madsen, with a front-and-center view of Monte Fitz Roy, near El Chaltén, Argentina. This photo requires a bit of contemplation to begin to comprehend the enormous scale here. Consider that I took this photo standing on a 1800m (~6,000ft.) summit, with glaciers flowing around and below me. Monte Fitz Roy is 3400m (~11,200ft.) tall. This means that I’m looking directly up at a rock monolith towering a vertical mile above me, when I’m already standing on a lofty summit!
I feel like whenever I talk about Patagonian mountains I always end up babbling numbers of vertical feet. I think that’s because these kinds of mountains do not fit inside our minds; our brains simply cannot grasp the enormity, even when we’re standing there seeing it with our own eyes. The only way to make sense of it is to assign numbers and compare with mountains we’re used to. For instance, for those of you familiar with Colorado, consider that if you were standing at Maroon Lake near Aspen, looking up at the famous Maroon Bells, it would be roughly equivalent of just the rock face here on Fitz Roy. That begins to explain the enormity of the Patagonian landscape.
Here’s another Patagonia photo that I just dug up from the vault. I don’t think alpenglow gets much better than on Monte Fitz Roy in Argentine Patagonia! The peak towers ~8,000 vertical feet from where I was standing at the time. I took this with my trusty old Ricoh GX100, which was my digital supplement to my 4×5 camera on this trip, in November 2007. I still use the camera for snowboarding shots.
I noticed that I have quite a few sleeper Patagonia photos in my archives, so I’ll probably post a few more in the upcoming days.
Every so often, when searching for stock imagery requests or just passing time, I go through my old photo archives and find a photo that I passed over before. Instead of just leaving those old photos to “collect dust” on the hard drive, I’ll post some of them here on my blog, in a new category called “From the Vault“. The photos I’ll post will be ones taken in the same month as I post them (but different years).
This shot here is from Laguna de los Tres, one of the beautiful high lakes in Parque Nacional los Glaciares in Argentina. Above the lake towers El Chaltén (aka Monte Fitz Roy) and its lower neighbor Cerro Poincenot. I took this photo with my 4×5 camera in November 2008 during a one month photo trip in Patagonia. I used a polarizer to bring out the turquoise color of the lake under the midday sunlight.
This was my last shot from a very productive morning. I had woken up early and hiked up to this lake in the darkness and dawn light, arriving just in time to capture my favorite photo of the trip, of the sunrise alpenglow on Fitz Roy. From the lake I then climbed up the knife ridge of Cerro Madsen, to its summit which provided an in-your-face view of the peaks and glaciers of the Fitz Roy massif. This was one of the most fun and awe-inspiring summit scrambles I’ve done to date, all the more so since I was only going on my own surveillance of the route and was unsure if it would even be doable in the first place. Anyhow, by the time I returned back down to the lake in the late morning, the first groups of hikers were just starting to arrive.