Mount Fitz Roy seen from El Chaltén, Argentina
Autumn is a particularly sublime season in Los Glaciares National Park. Here, in the far southern extremes of Argentina, the burnished fall foliage contrasts with jagged Andean peaks that are already frosted with snow. The highest of these—Mount Fitz Roy—reflects in the still waters of a lake near the village of El Chaltén.
Although Fitz Roy’s first sighting by a European explorer was recorded in 1783, the summit wasn’t reached until two French alpinists conquered it in 1952. The highest of this massif’s peaks reaches above 11,000 feet. But it’s not so much the elevation that kept folks from reaching the top—Himalayan summits can tower twice as high—instead it’s Fitz Roy’s sheer granite cliff faces and the region’s high winds that are said to make the ascent more difficult than tackling the mighty Everest.