A writer's 1945 comment on the area:
"The Paine massif is unrivalled..it rises..like an impregnable fortress, crowned with towers, pinnacles and monstrous horns surging boldly to the sky. In its colours and form it is without doubt one of the most fantastic and spectacular sights that human imagination can conceive."
Padre Agostini, Salesian priest in Andes Patagonicos, 1945
These images are of the Fitzroy range [El Chalten], north of Lago Viedma, also Salto Grande near Lago Pehoe. Images by Jay Smith, January 1997
Patagonia, land of wind,
Wow! Do you frequently send.
Patagonia, land of rain,
Afternoons, it drives you insane.
Patagonia, land of cold,
Its worse than I was told!
Patagonia, mountains jagged and tall,
their beauty inspires us all.
Patagonia, where trails turn to mud,
filling our boots with crud!
Patagonia, horses everywhere,
before pitching your tent beware!
Patagonia, where days are strange,
if you don't like the weather, it will change.
Patagonia, your scenery is so nice,
perhaps some of us will even come twice!
Patagonia, I bid you farewell,
this trek has been swell [or bloody hell]!
Finally, Patagonia, I must say this,
your wind and rain I'll certainly not miss!
A colorful cook and well-dressed gaucho near Fitzroy!