Forum Index > Trip Reports > Hiking in northern Patagonia Part 2
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RichP
here and there



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RichP
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here and there
PostWed Feb 17, 2010 7:29 am 
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The next leg of our Patagonian adventure was a climb of El Tronadaor, an extinct volcano similar in height and appearance to those of our Cascades. There are three distinct summits; El Pico Internacional at about 3,500 meters, El Pico Chileno at about 3,400, and El Pico Argentino at 3,200 meters. We would attempt El Pico Argentino which is the most climbed summit. I never truly understood why it is the favored summit given that it is not the highest. I do believe, however, that El Pico Internacional requires more technical ice climbing skills, and El Pico Chileno is better approached from Chile, but it may as well be a question of patriotism.
We left El Club Andino in Bariloche for the three-hour bus ride to Pampa Linda at the base of El Tronador at 7:30am. The Club Andino is the best place for information and is generally found in most mountain towns in Argentina. After arriving, we registered with the park service and began the 18 kilometer hike to Refugio Otto Meilling at 2000 meters.
Our first view of El Tronador
Our first view of El Tronador
Wow!!!!
Wow!!!!
Amazing Tronador. El Pico Argentino is to the right
Amazing Tronador. El Pico Argentino is to the right
Peaks to the south
Peaks to the south
El Glaciar Castano Overo and the origen of the name "El Tronandor" (the thunderer) as ice falls hundreds of feet.
El Glaciar Castano Overo and the origen of the name "El Tronandor" (the thunderer) as ice falls hundreds of feet.
El Glaciar Castaño Overo and the summit of El Tronador
El Glaciar Castaño Overo and the summit of El Tronador
Hiking towards refugio Meiling
Hiking towards refugio Meiling
View from camp looking northward
View from camp looking northward
Glaciar Alerce from camp looking towards the part of the park where we hiked earlier
Glaciar Alerce from camp looking towards the part of the park where we hiked earlier
The Alerce Glacier and Punto de los Condores from camp
The Alerce Glacier and Punto de los Condores from camp
Refugio Otto Meiling 2000 meters
Refugio Otto Meiling 2000 meters

We got a semi-alpine start at 6am for the summit joined by an Austrian couple, Layla and Bene who had hiked 5 days from another area in the park to climb El Tronador. We did the first part unroped until the plateau. An error in navigation forced us to drop about 300 meters to the correct route when we reached a point that would have required downclimbing 70 degree ice. A friend from nwhikers once told me, "what's a thousand feet among friends." I tried to share this expression with the group, but I'm not so sure it was well received.
Lenticular cloud, summit, Leopoldo, Layla, and Bene
Lenticular cloud, summit, Leopoldo, Layla, and Bene
Sunrise
Sunrise
Leopoldo
Leopoldo
Looking down from the route
Looking down from the route
Summit area from the plateau
Summit area from the plateau
Leopoldo filming his documentary
Leopoldo filming his documentary
Looking across the plateau
Looking across the plateau
El Pico Argentino
El Pico Argentino

As we approached the Col between the two summits, the weather quickly began to deteriorate and we were forced to head down. I can't explain the force of the wind at 3000 meters in Patagonia. All I can say it that it is painful.
Upwards to the Col
Upwards to the Col
Approaching the Col where the weather began to close in
Approaching the Col where the weather began to close in
Snowshoers inspecting a crevasse
Snowshoers inspecting a crevasse
Layla and bene on the way down
Layla and bene on the way down
Panorama looking south
Panorama looking south
Heading down
Heading down

We spent the night in my MSR Hubba Hubba which I thought would surely be torn to shreads by hurricane force winds. Fortunately it survived and so did we. 
A break in the weather
A break in the weather
glaciar Castaño Overo
glaciar Castaño Overo
Andean exotica
Andean exotica
Parque Nacional Nahuel Haupi
Parque Nacional Nahuel Haupi
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The Bubbly Hiker
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The Bubbly Hiker
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PostWed Feb 17, 2010 7:50 am 
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Ya ma me wanna go there... so we will in a few weeks.
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Scrooge
Famous Grouse



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Scrooge
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Famous Grouse
PostWed Feb 17, 2010 8:20 am 
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.

Fantastic!          humpy.gif

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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David¹
Token Canadian



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
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Token Canadian
PostWed Feb 17, 2010 8:42 am 
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Too bad about the weather - that blinding sunshine must have been real annoying.  You would think with that huge glacier there you get lots of cloud & fog - at least that's been my experience from around here.

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Warning! Posts may contain traces of sarcasm.

Hiking Website: http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/Index.htm
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whitebark
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PostWed Feb 17, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Amazing how much the area looks like the Northwest. You could haved save a lot of money and just gone to North Cascades National Park smile.gif    But, a lot of the fun of foreign travel is being immersed in a totally different culture...
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mike
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PostWed Feb 17, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Quote:
You could haved save a lot of money and just gone to North Cascades National Park smile.gif

But then you would miss out on bushwacking through bamboo thickets biggrin.gif

And in the fall the southern beech forest is amazing.
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ree
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ree
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PostWed Feb 17, 2010 1:38 pm 
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Thanks for the trip report!!!!!!! And the recommendation to Club Andino!!!!!!!

Fabulous pictures!!!!!!!!  I can't wait for our trip!!!!!!!!
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marta
wildflower maven



Joined: 07 May 2003
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wildflower maven
PostWed Feb 17, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Wow. This is a spectacular area. I am so envious. I've only been to So Patagonia and this looks to be a great place to explore. It looks a lot like Italy to me but I bet it is way cheaper. Thanks for sharing your experience and excellent photos.
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Obi Tony Kenobi
Waterfall Crazy!



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
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Obi Tony Kenobi
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Waterfall Crazy!
PostWed Feb 17, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Thanks for the Patagonia trip reports! That is one place I hope to visit in my lifetime!

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Tony
http://flickr.com/photos/obitonykenobi/
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Magellan
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Magellan
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Brutally Handsome
PostThu Feb 18, 2010 7:01 am 
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Good for you guys getting some clear weather while you were there.  up.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Hiking in northern Patagonia Part 2
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