Mount Tronador Hike
On our last day in Patagonia, our group hiked Mount Tronador, an extinct volcano, which at 11,722 feet is the highest peak in northern Patagonia. Its name refers to the frequent rumbles caused by ice falling from the face of the glaciers that cling to the mountain’s three peaks. Unfortunately, it was my turn to have a sore throat and feel a little achy, so I stayed behind and enjoyed the warm and cozy comforts of our hotel. According to my traveling companions, however, they had a great hike and thoroughly enjoyed the day. The following description of their hike is from Bill’s travel log, which he sent out religiously each day to a long list of his friends. Thanks, Bill!
“Today we headed north to hike Mount Tronador, an extinct volcano, at 11,722 feet. Tronador means thunder and the glacier got this name because of the constant calving off of the ice and the tremendous cracking sound it makes as the ice falls into the lake. The trip to and from Mount Tronador was broken up by two hikes to two different waterfalls; one on the way up and the other on the way down. Both of the hikes were very interesting, the first a gradual accent up a nice trail that seemed very soft due to the absence of any rocks. The second trail went through areas of bamboo forest and was much wetter than the first. Who would have imagined a bamboo forest up in the Andes? I found it interesting because the snow and the cold winter temperature kills so much of it. I had never seen large stands of dead bamboo before, some of it very beautiful. The first waterfall Saltillo de Las Nalcas was at the top of a very large and deep canyon, really spectacular. We approached the second waterfall from the bottom and enjoyed watching the water cascade over the cliffs above. The stop at Mount Tronador Glacier was stunningly beautiful. It is enormous and forms the border with Chile. The lake is full of glacial milk, which gives the water a beautiful green color. While we were there, three different chunks of ice calved off and fell into the lake with a loud crack moments before they dropped. We spend about 45 minutes just watching and walking around . . . the hiking was great, the views were superb, and the weather was nice.”
This was the last of our hiking during the trip, and the last full day in Bariloche. The next day, we flew back to Buenos Aires to explore the city and enjoy a day-trip to Colonia, in Uruguay during the last three days of our Argentine adventure.