Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pampa Linda & Mount Tronador

After a bumpy two hour bus ride on dirt roads, we reached the epicenter of Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, Pampa Linda. Little more than two campgrounds, a small restaurant and a hosteria, Pampa Linda is the main starting point for the backcountry, and climbing Mount Tronador from the Argentine side (there are three peaks, the Argentine, the Chilean, and a dual International peak on the extinct volcano). I loved the area immensely and now want to return to do the trek to summit Mt. Tronador, three days, crampons, ice axes, glaciers galore. The coolest thing about staying in the Valley was you could hear the thunder of glacial ice falling every so often, which gives Mount Tronador it's namesake.

The refugios are what make Nahuel Huapi really special. We spent three nights camping and one night in the refugio. Small, and built in beautiful locations, these mountain huts can fit up to 60 people a night, and feed even more. I had delicious gnocci, pizza, and even a small dulce dessert at the newest refugio on the block, Refugio Agostino Rocca, which overlooks a beautiful glacier with icy waterfalls, and am amazing Patagonian peaked landscape. We also day hiked up to Refugio Otto Meiling, the basecamp for the trekkers attempting to summit Mt Tronador.

The only downside to our trip were the tabanos. I would recommend going to Pampa Linda, but not until before or after the tabanos (aka BLOOD SUCKING HORSEFLIES) season. Highly unpleasant, 30% deet doesn't help, only swatting with fronds (aka tree branches) is a useful deterrent. Lesson learned the hard way!

Here are a ton of photos from the trip.
Rainbow on our bus ride to Pampa Linda

Mirador del Valle -Jon's favorite windy lookout

Our campsite for three nights

Starting our day hike to the Salta Gargante del Diablo

Black Glacier

Jump into the Throat of the Devil Waterfall

This view doesn't show the crazy intense hike it took to get here

Pampa Linda

Cooking pasta over the fire

At the base of Mount Tronador

View from the interior of Refugio Otto Meiling

So happy!

Andean wildflowers

This tiny refugio can fit 60 people at night

Ecstatic to be walking through an alpine meadow, even though there is a horsefly attacking my left cheek

Enjoying pizza in Refugio Agostino Rocca

Mmm Pizza

Glaciers, waterfalls oh my

Refugio Agostino Rocca

View of Lago Frias

I'm on cloud 9


I stopped counting at 30 waterfalls

There were a few bridges like these on our hike

Pristine wilderness

Imagine hiking through miles of flower filled logs and trees


Or take a picture!

Made it!

After jumping in

No comments: