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What’s in A Name?

Upon arriving at El Chaltén, the ragged range edging the horizon immediately catches your eye, especially two high spires stretching skyward: Cerro Torre and Cerro FitzRoy. Many peaks frame El Chaltén, and each has its name and history. From far left, they are:


Cordón de las Adelas (2825 m / 9268 ft) – named for the mother of Alfred Kölliker who led the first exhaustive expedition of the Campo de Hielo in 1915.

Cerro Torre (3102 m / 10,177 ft) – Francisco “Perito” Moreno named this peak, likening it to a tower.

Aguja Egger (2900 m / 9514 ft) – in memory of Tony Egger who died during the 1959 attempt on Cerro Torre.

Aguja Standhardt (2800 m / 9186 ft) – named for the German photographer who lived in the zone and pictorially documented the region until his death in the 1960s.

Techado Negro (2152 m / 7060 ft) – Louis Lliboutry named the mountain for its shape and color.

Aguja Saint Exupery (2558 m / 8392 ft) – honoring Antoine Saint-Exupéry who, besides being the author of The Little Prince flew over the Andes, establishing the first postal connection between Buenos Aires and Punta Arenas together with Mermoz and Guillaumet; Saint-Exupéry also served as director of Aéropostale Argentina 1929-1931.

Aguja Rafael Suárez (2482 m / 8143 ft) – also called Innominata, this peak is named for a young Argentine climber who disappeared during the ascent of Cerro Adela in 1974.

Cerro FitzRoy (3405 m / 11,171 ft) – the Aónikenk called this Chaltén, the mountain that smokes, but Perito Moreno named it in honor of Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS The Beagle.

Aguja Poincenot (3002 m / 9849 ft) – memorializing Jacques Poincenot, a member of the 1952 expedition that made the first successful ascent of FitzRoy, who died while crosssing the Río FitzRoy.

Aguja Val Biois (2492 m / 8176 ft) – Bruno de Dona named it for a valley in his home Italian province Belluno.

Agujas Guillaumet (2579 m / 8461 ft) and Mermoz (2732 m / 8963 ft) – names Lliboutry gave these twin mounts to honor French Aéropostale pilots Henri Guillaumet and Jean Mermoz.

Permission must be obtained from APN in order to climb any of these peaks.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to El Chaltén: El Chaltén Tours,

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17 Jul 2009

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