On the other hand, it is one of the "youngest" human
settlements of the country, because it was founded on 12th
October, 1985, as a way of stating our sovereignty over this
region, which was in dispute with Chile.
Since then, El Chaltén is the meeting place for trekkers
and climbers from all over the world. Every year they come
here attracted by Mount Fitz Roy (Chaltén), Torre and
the chain of mountains that surround them. This "relationship"
started in 1782, when Captain Antonio de Viedma saw the mount
for the first time, mount that the Tehuelches (the native
people of the region) named "Chaltén". In
their language this term means "the smoking mount",
due to the clouds that always surround the peak.
In 1834, the mount was seen by Robert Fitz Roy and Charles
Darwin, when they were sailing up River Santa Cruz. In 1877,
Francisco Moreno saw it from a closest point. He also changed
the mount name for "Fitz Roy", in recognition of
the detailed study carried out by the British marine.
After that time, especially along the 20th century, the exploration
of the region was carried out by mountaineers as Alberto De
Agostini and the estancieros who settled here. Most of them
were Europeans who came from Punta Arenas (Chile). They came
at the beginning of the century attracted by the gold rush;
in spite of the fact that they didn't achieve their expectations,
they fell in love with the area and became into the first
permanent inhabitants. Nowadays, the streets of the village
carry their names, as a way of paying tribute to their effort
The most important peaks of the Fitz Roy/Chaltén Range
are: Saint Exupéry (2,558 m), Poincenot (3002 m), Fitz
Roy (3405 m), Mermoz (2732 m) and Guillaumet (2574 m). Three
glaciers flow from this range, they are: Sucio, De los Tres
and Piedras Blancas glaciers, which originate three glacial