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RichP
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PostFri Feb 19, 2010 5:53 am 
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For the sake of brevity and so as to not be a trip reports hog, I'll combine the next three hikes into one narrative.
After El Tronador, we returned to Bariloche where we met up with my wife, Patricia, who had come down from Buenos Aires. She hadn't been there since her High School days 20 some odd years prior. Bariloche is to Argentine High Schools students what Cancun is to US college students. It is one of a couple destinations that fill up with huge contingents of students in the winter or spring and where many ski for the first and, at times, the only time of their lives. At any rate, she was astonished at how much the city had grown.
We took the bus to aspenesque San Martin de los Andes which is located north about 3 hours and in Neuquen Province. For many Americans, Neuquen is synonymous with fly fishing. The locals claim to have some of the best fishing in the world. Most of the trout that I saw in restaurants, however, was farmed and I didn't touch any of it. San Martin is known for its high falutin' ski area called Chapelco, where the elite hobnob in winter.
Our destination was the Lanin National Park, which lies outside of the city limits and forms part of a corridor of protected areas that extend north, south, and westward into Chile. Lanin is the name of the volcano and centerpiece of the park at over 3,700 meters. Our plan was to hike part way around it,  up to the south face, and climb it from the north in three different hikes.
The first hike started in Puerto Aurturo on Lago lolog and ended 3 days and 36 kilometers later in Laguna Verde. It was mainly a forest walk along the lake and then over a pass to climb a small volcano where I thought the wind would surely carry me away.
Lago Lolog
Lago Lolog
Chilco
Chilco
This flower is everywhere. Amancay
This flower is everywhere. Amancay
Taking a break along Lago lolog at Playa Bonita.
Taking a break along Lago lolog at Playa Bonita.
Coihue forest
Coihue forest
Looking back towards the lake.
Looking back towards the lake.
Old dock from an abandoned settlement
Old dock from an abandoned settlement
Lago Lolog from the beach near the first refugio
Lago Lolog from the beach near the first refugio
The amazing Coihue. A typical tree of this region
The amazing Coihue. A typical tree of this region
Patricia and Leopoldo leaving the lake and through the burn
Patricia and Leopoldo leaving the lake and through the burn
A monster araucaria
A monster araucaria
Aruacaria forest
Aruacaria forest
El Volcan Achen Niyeu
El Volcan Achen Niyeu
Towards the small volcano we ascended from el Portezuelo (pass)
Towards the small volcano we ascended from el Portezuelo (pass)
Very windy here
Very windy here
Parque Nacional Lanin
Parque Nacional Lanin
First look at El Lanin
First look at El Lanin
more falls
more falls
Volcanic landscape
Volcanic landscape
Falls near the pass
Falls near the pass
Across the barren plain looking at El Volcan Lanin
Across the barren plain looking at El Volcan Lanin
Inspecting Lava field
Inspecting Lava field
The crater of the volcano Achen Niyeu 1730 meters
The crater of the volcano Achen Niyeu 1730 meters
Leopoldo descending el Volcano Achen Niyeu
Leopoldo descending el Volcano Achen Niyeu
Laguna Verde and the end of the hike
Laguna Verde and the end of the hike
Looking towards Laguna Verde and the Volcan Lanin
Looking towards Laguna Verde and the Volcan Lanin
From the summit of the volcano
From the summit of the volcano

After this hike, we moved our base of operations to Junin de los Andes, about 30 kilometers from San Martin which is a typical pueblo and much less fashionable and more outdoors oriented. Here we learned that the weather would be poor for a summit attempt of Lanin and therfore opted for a dayhike of the south face of the mountain the following day. Being in the southern hemisphere, the south face of mountains often contain more snow or glacier than the north face. We took the bus to Puerto Canoa on Lago Heuchulafquen, which is another huge and very beautiful lake in the area, where the trail and climbing route for the cara sur begins. We would only be doing the hike to about 2,200 meters, but again the wind, the wind...
Grazing is permitted in the park for the native population
Grazing is permitted in the park for the native population
Creek and Lengas along the trail
Creek and Lengas along the trail
Araucarias
Araucarias
El Volcan Lanin
El Volcan Lanin
Lanin and nires
Lanin and nires
Close up of the cara sur of the Volcan Lanin 3,726 meters
Close up of the cara sur of the Volcan Lanin 3,726 meters
Clouds begin to roll in minutes after arriving to the end of the trail
Clouds begin to roll in minutes after arriving to the end of the trail
Heading up to see what's there
Heading up to see what's there
Our high point on the south face of Lanin where wind forced a retreat
Our high point on the south face of Lanin where wind forced a retreat
Looking down to El Lago Heuchulafquen where the hike started
Looking down to El Lago Heuchulafquen where the hike started
Flowers on the south side of Lanin
Flowers on the south side of Lanin

After another dramatic experience with the wind, we headed back to Junin and rented our VHF radios which are required for climbers on Lanin.
The following night was spent at the trailhead in Tromen on the north side of Lanin sleeping in the mud and driving rain so as to get an early start for the refugio at 2,400 meters. These two days, we were told, would be the weather window for a summit attempt. After passing an equipment inspection (ice axe, crampons, helmet, VHF radio, sufficient overnight gear) we started up the mountain under cloudy skies. The higher we got the worse the wind got. After we arrived to the Refugio Militar, which is one of three on the mountain, we were about at the end of our wits. The wind is so strong here that it diminishes all desire to summit a mountain.
Soon guides and their clients began to arrive and the refugio was full with about 20 people. Anytime you are with a group here, it becomes pretty festive. We slept like sardines and woke up every hour starting at 1 am to check on the weather. It was bad. After 5 am, we knew things would not get better and slept until 8. Most people seemed content to have arrived where they were and I heard no complaints. The weather window never arrived.
We packed up and headed down in violent weather with little visability.
Not too much to see from this part of the trip.
El refugio militar at about 2,400 meters. This is one of three on the north side of el Lanin
El refugio militar at about 2,400 meters. This is one of three on the north side of el Lanin
Braving the wind outside the refugio militar
Braving the wind outside the refugio militar
Riding the storm out in el refugio militar. There were about 20 people inside arranged like sardines
Riding the storm out in el refugio militar. There were about 20 people inside arranged like sardines
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mike
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PostFri Feb 19, 2010 1:03 pm 
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Beautiful weather and photos Rich.  I like the forest photos. Nasty bushwacking. Did you get over to the Chilean side? BTW I heard the tall southern beeches pronounced coihue or coigue, roughly in English (koi-way). Are they the same?
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RichP
here and there



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RichP
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here and there
PostFri Feb 19, 2010 2:07 pm 
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mike wrote:
Beautiful weather and photos Rich.  I like the forest photos. Nasty bushwacking. Did you get over to the Chilean side? BTW I heard the tall southern beeches pronounced coihue or coigue, roughly in English (koi-way). Are they the same?

mike,
I believe you are referring to the ņire which is the southern beech. It is a smaller tree and grows intermingled with the coihue.
*Correction* It looks like they are both in the southern beech family. They are both in the fotos.

I didn't make it over to Chile this time, but did a beach hike on nearby Chiloe Island some years back.
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ree
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PostFri Feb 19, 2010 5:19 pm 
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Holy crap!  I hope the refugios in Los Glaciares and Torres del Paine are bigger than that one! embarassedlaugh.gif

Lovely pictures.  How wonderful for you that you had such glorious weather.

Do you live down in SA?

I'm wondering about filtering water...  I have an MSR, but thought I'd bring the First Need because it'll filter viruses (even though it's heavier to carry.)  Do you think that's overkill?  Don't want any SAmerican microbes to follow me home!
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RichP
here and there



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here and there
PostFri Feb 19, 2010 7:28 pm 
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ree wrote:


Do you live down in SA?

I'm wondering about filtering water...  I have an MSR, but thought I'd bring the First Need because it'll filter viruses (even though it's heavier to carry.)  Do you think that's overkill?  Don't want any SAmerican microbes to follow me home!

ree,
I married an Argentine and come down here every couple of years for an extended stay.
Regarding a filter, I brought my Sweetwater and used it on the trail a bit. Water is usually good at the refugios and is piped from higher up. I wouldn't be anymore concerned about the water here than I would be back home in the Cascades.
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marta
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PostSat Feb 20, 2010 10:06 am 
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How busy was it when you went? This was the end of January, right? We usually travel off-season because hubby is in the nursery business so this is really tempting for next year. We have been to Villarrica Chile which looks to be just over the Andes from where you were. We talked about driving over to Argentina but there was some issue I can't remember (snow or customs).

That is cool that you were able to see the Alstroemeria (Amancay). If anyone is interested in seeing what a Southern Beech tree looks like, there are a few in the Arboretum in the new exhibits at the South Entrance. But there is nothing like seeing a dense forest of them.

BTW, I also identified the lily you saw up on Lanin - Rhodophiala andicola.  Trivia - most of the Amaryllis that are sold at Christmas are hybrids of Amaryllis family bulbs from South America. This is one of the smaller genus of the family.

Thanks for posting the reports.
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Gil
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PostSat Feb 20, 2010 11:50 am 
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Looks like a pretty fun trip!

--------------
Friends help the miles go easier.
Klahini
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RichP
here and there



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RichP
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here and there
PostSat Feb 20, 2010 12:50 pm 
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marta wrote:
How busy was it when you went? This was the end of January, right? .

marta,
Thanks for identifying the lily.
Yes, we were there at the end of Jan beginning of Feb. Not too many people go to Parque Nacional Lanin compared to other areas. We saw very few people on the hike even in high season.
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mike
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PostSat Feb 20, 2010 12:53 pm 
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Quote:
I believe you are referring to the ņire which is the southern beech. It is a smaller tree and grows intermingled with the coihue.
*Correction* It looks like they are both in the southern beech family. They are both in the fotos.

Yes, Ņirre is the southern, southern beech. It gradually takes over from the coihue as you go south. Both are beautiful trees especially in autumn.

OK, now I'm waiting for a TR from up somewhere near San Juan or La Rioja biggrin.gif
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ree
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PostSun Apr 04, 2010 9:01 am 
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We saw the wild fuschia along Cajon del Azul.  What a treat!

We also saw tons of the yellow flowers you posted.  I thought it was Alstroemeria , but have only seen it in red hues.  Iīm wondering if itīs the same flower.

Did not make it to Lanin this time.  Next time! up.gif

(Edit - I see that Marta confirmed that it was indeed Alstroemeria .  Very cool.  I used to grow it in California. cool.gif )
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RichP
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here and there
PostSun Apr 04, 2010 9:56 am 
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Eagerly awaiting your trip reports as we are buried in new mountain snow up here.
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ree
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PostSun Apr 04, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Ugh!!!!  You mean Iīm gonna have to wear clothes when I get off the plane?!   bawl.gif  waah.gif  Glad I got my sweet mountain hiking fix for a few more mos. before it thaws up there. up.gif

Actually, we were starting to see some fabulous fall colors down here.

So sounds like weīll be jumping from fall straight to winter when we return.  Sounds familiar. lol.gif  dizzy.gif

Your trip reports were great resources for our trip, Rich.  ĄMuchas gracias!
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