El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

the hearnes » traveling elopement photographers

megan + nate's backpacking + camping session in argentina | fitz roy, patagonia

This adventure photo session in Patagonia with Megan + Nate was really a photo session at all, which is what made it so much fun. It was really just two couples, who happen to both be adventure elopement + intimate wedding photographers, backpacking together through the Fitz Roy mountains in Patagonia. What could be better? When we began planning our trip to Patagonia, we knew we wanted to spend a lot of time in El Chalten, the little town at the base of the Fitz Roy range just barely on the Argentina side of the border with Chile. Knowing Patagonia, and specifically this part of the region, is famous for bad weather, I really hoped we’d have at least a few clear days to trek up to some of the epic glacial lakes I’ve spent years drooling over. After buying some plane tickets and making some plans, we learned our buddies Nate and Megan (who photograph adventure weddings over at Cedar + Pines) would be around at the same time, so we set up a shared airBnB for a few days and planned to backpack together the following days.

Despite our first day in El Chalten being awful weather, we got super lucky the week we joined up with buddies and were able to enjoy a lot of sunny days near town, and had near-perfect weather for our three day backpacking trek in the mountains. We started the hike right off main street (reasons I’m obsessed with El Chalten) and made our way through the forest, all the while walking towards Fitz Roy like a guiding north star. The first night we made camp within sight of the mountains in a bizarre forest full of colorful tents. After setting camp and taking a nap, we hiked a few more kilometers up to our first destination - a gorgeous blue glacial lake with a perfect view of the Fitz Traverse towering over it. We stayed there and braved the wind until sunset, cooking a warm dinner and soaking in the insane views, and then hiked down in the cool blue light that lasts over an hour during the Patagonian summertime.

The next day, we made our way to the next campsite with a leisurely pace, enjoying the insane views around every corner. The environment in Patagonia was so different than anything we’ve ever experienced! We made it to our second camp early and after setting up our tents we all four cuddled up in one to watch a few episodes of the office (no shame). A couple of hours before sunset we headed up the hill to see the second lake and were literally speechless as we crested the ridge. On the far end was the toe of a massive glacier, overshadowed by the legendary Cerro Torre, which remained masked with clouds the whole evening. The best part was the icebergs that would break off the glacier and float across the lake, eventually stopping near the beach and filling the shore with tiny chunks of ice. When we stood on the shoreline, we could hear the most magical sound - tiny pieces of ice clinking together as the waves moved them around. We cooked our dinner using little hand-sized ice chunks and then spent the rest of the day light in awe of the gorgeous lake. Callen set up the pack raft and after a maiden voyage, we had Megan + Nate hop in for some photos. The next morning we somehow motivated back out to the lake for sunrise despite the freezing wind and harsh misty rain. It was horrible and wonderful. As we hiked out of the mountains, we all felt like the last 48 hours had been just a dream, but thankfully we have some photos to prove it was real.


The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads in their big white van, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. They have updated passports and are ready to travel anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.