Fitz Roy

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This article is about the mountain. For other uses, see Fitzroy (disambiguation).
Monte Fitz Roy
Fitz Roy Chalten Argentina Todor Bozhinov 2013.jpg
Monte Fitz Roy in 2013 with unusually good weather
Highest point
Elevation 3,405 m (11,171 ft) [1]
Prominence 1,951 m (6,401 ft) [1]
Listing Ultra
Coordinates 49°16′16.6″S 73°02′35.6″W / 49.271278°S 73.043222°W / -49.271278; -73.043222Coordinates: 49°16′16.6″S 73°02′35.6″W / 49.271278°S 73.043222°W / -49.271278; -73.043222
Monte Fitz Roy is located in Argentina
Monte Fitz Roy
Monte Fitz Roy
Location in Argentina, on the border with Chile
Location Patagonia, ArgentinaChile border
Parent range Andes
Mountain type Granite
First ascent 1952 by Lionel Terray & Guido Magnone
Easiest route Franco Argentina (650m., 6a+, 6c/A1)

Monte Fitz Roy (also known as Cerro Chaltén, Cerro Fitz Roy, or simply Mount Fitz Roy) is a mountain located near El Chaltén village, in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in Patagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile. First climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone, it remains among the most technically challenging mountains for mountaineers on Earth.

Monte Fitz Roy is the basis for the Patagonia clothing logo following Yvon Chouinard's ascent and subsequent film in 1968.


Argentine explorer Francisco Moreno first 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.[2]

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.[2]


It has been agreed by Argentina and Chile that their international border detours eastwards to pass over the main summit,[3] but a large part of the border to the south of the summit, as far as Cerro Murallón, remains undefined.[4] The mountain is the symbol of the Argentine Santa Cruz Province, which includes its representation on its coat of arms.

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 size of 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 Chaltén village and El Calafate international airport. The mountain climb, however, remains extremely difficult and is the preserve of very experienced climbers. Today, when a hundred people may reach the summit of Mount Everest in a single day,[5] Monte Fitz Roy might only be successfully ascended once during the span of a year.[citation needed]

Notable ascents[edit]

  • 1952 Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone via Southeast Ridge (aka Franco-Argentine Ridge)(First Ascent - Feb 2, 1952)[6]
  • 1965 Carlos Comesaña and José Luis Fonrouge (from Argentina) via Supercanaleta (1,600m, TD+ 5.10 90deg) in 2-1/2 days (Second Ascent)[7]
  • 1968 Southwest Ridge aka The Californian Route (3rd ascent of peak). FA by Yvon Chouinard, Dick Dorworth, Chris Jones, Lito Tejada-Flores and Douglas Tompkins (all USA).[8]
  • 2002 Dean Potter, solo Supercanaleta[7]
  • 2009 Colin Haley, solo Supercanaleta[7]
  • 2009 Matthew McCarron, solo The Californian Route [7]
  • 2014 Between the 12th and 16 February, Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold completed the first ascent of the much discussed "Fitz Traverse", climbing across the iconic ridge-line of Cerro Fitz Roy and its satellite peaks in southern Patagonia.


Panorama of Monte Fitz Roy in the morning
Mount Fitz Roy on January 16 2015
Fitz Roy and lake Capri - Parque Nacional Los Glaciares - January 16 2015

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Argentina and Chile, Southern - Patagonia Ultra Prominences". Retrieved 2013-10-05.
  2. ^ a b Moreno, FP (2006) [1879]. Viaje a la Patagonia Austral (in Spanish). La Nacion (Elefante Blanco). p. 2. ISBN 987-96054-7-0. Como este volcan activo no ha sido mencionado por los navegantes ni viajeros, y como el nombre de Chalten que le dan los indios lo aplican tambien a otras montanas, me permito llamarle volcan Fitz Roy - English: Since this active volcano has not been mentioned by navigators or travellers, and since the name Chalten that the Indians call it is also applied to other mountains, I allow myself to name it Fitz Roy volcano 
  3. ^ "Border agreement between Chile and Argentina". 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  4. ^ "Map showing border between Chile and Argentina (partly undefined)". Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  5. ^ Jurgalski, E (2009-06-15). "Everest Ascents to 2008". Retrieved 2009-11-06. 108 summits on 22 May 2008, 101 summits on 21 May 2007, 112 summits on 16 May 2007, 116 summits on 22 May 2003 
  6. ^ Silleck, H (2007-02-03). "Patagonia: Fitzroy". Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  7. ^ a b c d MacDonald, D (2009-01-15). "Haley Solos Fitz Roy's Supercanaleta". Climbing Hot Flashes. Climbing Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  8. ^ Thompkins, D; Carter, HA (1969). "Fitz Roy, 1968". American Alpine Journal 16 (43): 263–9. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kearney A, 1993. Mountaineering in Patagonia. Seattle, Washington: Cloudcap.
  • Terray L, Conquistadors of the Useless, p. 307-8, Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1963. ISBN 0-89886-778-9

External links[edit]