About 220 KM from El Calafate is a small village, El Chalten.
The distance is significant because El Chalten is in the northern area of Los Glaciares National Park. Its size is significant and unexpected – the village is near to some of the best hiking in Argentina, but maintains an exceptionally tiny footprint.
I enjoyed the drive from El Calafate to El Chalten. Two-and-a-half hours total – the first half heading east on a mostly empty highway along the southern shore of Lago Argentina, and the second half returning west via ruta 23 on the northern edge of Lago Viedma.
For over an hour, the view above occupied my vision. Mount FitzRoy grew larger and larger, the distinctive peak almost never escaping behind hills or trees. Flying in to Buenos Aires, the pilot announced Mount FitzRoy beneath the plane, and dozens of passengers unbuckled, headed for windows, and tapped away on phones, capturing the narrow peak from 35,000 feet in the air. In a little while, I’ll be much closer to Argentina’s tallest peak.