This gallery consists of Patagonia photography of landscapes captured during my 2015 fall colors trip to Chile and Argentina. “Patagonia” doesn’t refer to a country or mountainous region, it’s simply the vast wilderness that comprises the southern third of South America. Patagonia spans from the west to east coast, and is located across parts of Chile and Argentina. The Andes mountains run through the western edge of Patagonia and grassland-covered steppes sprawl eastward.
I spent the first half of my trip in Los Glaciares National Park near El Chalten, Argentina where I explored the park by foot on a 5 day backpacking circuit. Accustomed to steep hiking in the Colorado Rockies, hiking around El Chalten was easy and enjoyable even with a full pack. The wilderness around El Chalten is dominated by Mount Fitz Roy, seen from almost all points in the park. Many of the photos in this gallery featuring Mount Fitz Roy were taken from locations miles apart at varying elevations. Fitz Roy is 11,171 ft. above sea level with a prominence of 6,400 ft. Despite this modest height, the land around Fitz Roy lies at only around 1,000 ft. making Mount Fitz Roy quite a monster, and one of the most challenging climbs in the world.
For the second half of my journey I crossed the border into Chile to backpack the challenging 50-mile/5-day “W” circuit in Torres del Paine National Park near Peurto Natales. Despite its austral grandeur, I didn’t depart with many landscape photos from Torres del Paine due to uncooperative clouds and weather. While in the park, a serious storm released more rain in 2 days than the region normally receives in a whole year. The run-off destroyed bridges, washed out trails, and created new gorges overnight. Rangers closed most of the park and rushed backpackers off the trails. As a result I wasn’t able to make it to the pinnacle of the journey, Mirador Torres, where I most savored getting a photo.