Cerro Tronador, Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina
I have to be honest, this activity is on my wish list, not something I have actually done yet. But I am pretty confident it would make this list, as soon as I have the time to go. What I want to do is the three day excursion, although one could make a day trip out of going up the mountain to gave at it’s glaciers. On this you hike up to a refugio, Otto Meiling Rufugio and spend the night, between 4 ½-6 hours hiking. Then, the next day you hike across the Castaño Overo Glacier and stay at Refugio Tronador Viejo. Then on the third day, you would hike down. The excursion is available through many different tour companies, or the brave can organize and go by themselves but a guide is definitely recommended for any mountain activities being that they are trained mountaineers with first aid capabilities. What I know about Mount Tronador which makes this such an appealing trip is that it is the highest mountain in the region at 3,491 meters or 11,453 feet. It is an extinct volcano which stands more then 1,000 meters higher than all of its Andean neighbors making it a popular trekking destination.
It has four glaciers, two on the Argentinean side and two on the Chilean side, which are retreating quickly due to the warming in the upper troposphere. The Ventisquero Negro Glacier is quite unique due to its black color from dirt and sediment picked up in the accumulation zone. The mountain itself is named “Tronador” which means “thunder” in English referring to the loud cracks heard from the seracs or glacier columns breaking off and falling. The whole idea of spending some time in this zone is very intriguing to me. I imagine it is just another incredible landscape that will send my mind and soul wondering again. The road up to the park is open in the morning to go up and in the evening to go down. There is also a side trip to the Los Alerces Waterfalls which are also beautiful.
All in all, this trip is on the wish list. But with exception of Tronador, I really enjoyed all of the other excursions. There is just something about the rugged nature of this area which casts a spell on all who come for a visit. That is the magic of Patagonia. It reminds me of a famous quote from Helen Keller,
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart”.
Exactly my sentiment on the subject.