This three days traverse will take you through some of the most scenic areas of Bariloche. Mount Tronador with its hanging glaciers and vertical cliffs. Pampa Linda is the main valley at Tronador foothill offering amazing views of the mountain. You will hike up to beautiful viewpoints, spend two nights at mountain huts, gear-up to explore Alerce Glacier and descend Frias valley walking along thousand years old Alerce trees, surrounded by the famous Valdivian Temple Rain Forest.
Day 1, Hike up to Meiling Mountain Hut.
The ascend begins hiking across a Ñire trees forest then you arrive at Castaño Overa river, an outflow of one of the glaciers calving off Tronador. After crossing the river the trail climbs gently for a couple of hours, now you will be surprised by the giant Coihue trees and the dense vegetation. Gradually you gain elevation and beautiful views to appear as you access “La Almohadilla”. This is a good place for lunch. Soon after the trail climbs above tree line, following the volcanic rocky ridge you continue towards Otto Meiling Mountain Hut at 1930mts, enjoying the incredible views of the glaciers flowing down on either side of the ridge.
After settling in, relax and absorb the majestic high mountain environment. Before dinner we will go through some glacier travel skills, such as crevasse rescue and self-arrest. Followed by a breifing of the plan for tomorrow. Early dinner and of to bed.
Day 2, Traverse Alerce glacier towards “Clouds path”.
After a good breakfast, we make our way to the Alerce glacier, right below the hut. Here you rope-up and get ready for the adventure of traversing though crevasse fields and snow bridges. Once the glacier is corssed the route follows a rocky ridge making our way down to the pass. There are some steep sections that might need some rope use and down climbing, so it is important to take it slowly. Once at the pass, the hut is nearby, surrounded by scrubbed vegetation. Rocca Mountain Hut is really comfortable and cozy, enjoy its view and the accomplishment of a great day in the mountains. Dinner and overnight at the hut.
Day 3, Trek down to Frias Lake, meet the Alerce tree.
Slow morning enjoying the alpine glow over the glaciers. Today’s trek will show you a good example of what the Valdivian Rain Forest looks like. You will see new types of tree and plants, maybe even get to see some endemic birds or mammals of the area. Specially the Alerce tree, the longest living tree in Patagonia. The trail takes you down the pass and below Frias Glacier offering great views of its waterfalls. Then it follows Frias river with its milky waters which you use as a hand rail till arriving at Frias lake after 4 hours of hiking. Here you will begin the trip back to Bariloche city, this first leg is on a small commercial boat then followed by a short bus ride arriving at Puerto Blest. Here everyone jumps on a comfortable catamaran and sails Nahuel Huapi lake till Puerto Pañuelo, a beautiful port 25km from downtown Bariloche. This is one of the most impressive branches of the lake, so don´t miss it! By late afternoon you get to Bariloche after an amazing adventure in the middle of the Patagonian Andes.
Optional: Link this technical mountaineering traverse with a our Nahuel Huapi Grand Traverse to make it a full eight day trip in the mountains.
Level of Challenge: Medium – High
Recommended Season: Late Spring – Summer – Autumn
Duration of the activity: 3 days
Length of the Trek: 24 kms
Starting Altitude: 890 msnsm
Max Altitude Climbed: 2100 msnsm
Elevation gained: 1000 mts
Bilingual Certified Mountain Guide (ratio 1:4 participants)
Technical Expedition Gear
Box Lunch + water + tea + snacks
First Aid Kit + VHF Radio + GPS
Insurance + Permits