El Chaltén is a place that seems like it’s perpetually gearing up for a big storm. It’s a place of wood and stone, where everything looks simultaneously sturdier but somehow more worn-down. The people, locals and travelers alike, are always checking things: straps on big backpacks, jeep tires, window shutters, climbing ropes. They test their strength, frown and turn up their collars, then walk over to check something else, quickly and with purpose. Even the dogs, huskies and German Shepherds, don’t wander up friendly and curious. They run in packs through town, anxious to get somewhere. The land has weeded out the uncommitted.