beautiful view of the glacier
Bariloche waterfall is quite the site!
pretty spectacular view!
these snow capped peaks are calling
Try moving the polaroids by dragging the bottom!
Imagine standing on the horizon of the northern regions of Patagonia atop Cerro Tronador, 11,000 feet up, gazing over Patagonia for as far as the eye can see. Our first adventure challenge is a climb to the top. This is not your average Saturday afternoon hike, but it is well worth the trip.
This is not your average Saturday afternoon hike, but it is well worth the trip
Tronador is a now extinct volcano and is the tallest peak in this section of the Andes Mountains. The mountain is named Tronador, meaning ‘Thunderer’ for the sound created by falling seracs from any of the eight glaciers covering it. Patagonia is a region in South America covering areas of Chile and Argentina, with hardly any natives. This area is known for its beautiful grasslands and mountains.
Preparing for the Climb
Summiting Tronador is a relatively easy climb but some extra preparation in terms of packing is required. It is a multi-day trip, so you will need overnight gear, such as sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and toothbrushes. As far as clothing goes, it is important to have layered clothing to adjust for changes in temperature as well as weatherproof gear like wind/rain jackets. On an average day, the temperature fluctuates between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during climbing season.
Being that it is a multi-day adventure, you also need more than one set of clothing. A backpack is a necessity, as well as a good sized water bottle to keep on top of hydration; you do not want to run out of water halfway up the mountain. On the technical side, you will need mountaineering boots, crampons with gaiters for the short stretches of ice-climbing, a helmet, and hiking poles.
Travel & Board
Getting to Tronador requires a trip to Bariloche, a small town in Argentina. Being that Bariloche is a small town, getting there requires several plane trips. If you are departing from most major US Cities, then you would first stop in Miami, Florida, then fly straight to the Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires, and finally, take your final flight to the small local airport in Bariloche. Most trips take just shy of day, making it quite a long journey.
The average round-trip tickets cost $1,200 per person, but trips can go as low as $850 round-trip. Upon arriving in Bariloche you will need to stay overnight in any number of accommodations available. Hotel accommodations are between $30-$80 per night, making it extremely cost-effective. The average round-trip tickets cost $1,200 per person, but trips can go as low as $850 round-trip. Upon arriving in Bariloche you will need to stay overnight in any number of accommodations available. Hotel accommodations are between $30-$80 per night, making it extremely cost-effective.
Day 1: Entering the Park
On the first day of travel, climbers will depart from Bariloche and take a short trip West to Pampa Linda. A mandatory $250 fee must be paid to enter the National Park. Upon arriving, an hour long horse-ride will take you from Argentina to Chile. After disembarking from the horse, climbers begin their ascent, in a stretch that lasts about four hours up to the Refugio Viejo, which sits at over 7000 feet in elevation. Most climbers break up the trip here, as this is a full day of travel, and the night is spent preparing for the next day in the Refuge. This entire day is non-technical and fairly easy.
Day 2: The Real Climb Begins
The next part of the climb requires more advanced climbing techniques. The day starts with a set out from the refuge towards the Glacier Manso, and eventually off to the Glacier Blanco. These section of glacier climbing are a bit more treacherous, and any assisted climb will have short-roping during this section for safety purposes. Ice climbing can be difficult, and only experienced climbers should consider refraining from short-roping. Once the glaciers are passed, it is an easy trek over to the last section of the climb, where climbers will face a forty degree ascent that requires no technical climbing.
At this point, climbers will be on the summit, overlooking Patagonia and the surrounding mountains. This peak is the tallest of the three peaks on Tronador, standing at over 11,000 feet. After spending time on the summit, climbers then begin descending on the same path, spending the night below the treeline, as it is more comfortable. The last day, climbers will finish the descent back to Pampa linda, and are taken to Bariloche.
For those looking for a less intense climb, there is the climb to the peak of Peak Argentino on Tronador, which is the third highest peak. Unlike the other climb, Peak Argentino is accessible from Argentina. This climb requires shorter stretches of technical climbing and does not require a border crossing. The first part is more of a hike, as it is a gentle stretch that lasts about six hours and a little over ten miles of walking. Although devoid of technical climbing, this section is tiring due to the length of travel and heat.
During this stretch, climbers ascend above the treeline around seven miles in, providing uninhibited views of Tronador, as well as other mountains and the rest of Patagonia. At the end of this part of the climb is the Otto Meiling refugee, which is a place for climbers to spend overnights. Tronador is a great place for camping, as there are two refugees available, as well as many other good spots to camp alone. The Meiling Refugee is quite expensive, costing climbers $600 per night, and can host up to sixty campers. The refuge is close-quarters, but this helps climbers bond among each other as they prepare to head higher. For those who choose not to spend, pitching a tent is an easy option, as the conditions are not harsh.
The next day the round trip to the summit takes about 12 hours. The day starts with a trek over a rocky ridge before climbers reach a glacial section filled with crevasses. Traversing this technical area will take about six hours, ending in the final part of the ascent. The last challenge climbers face is the short climb to the summit which is steep. After resting and enjoying the view, climbers then retreat down the mountain to the previous nights camping site. The whole trip is roughly 13 miles, making it a long day. After that, it is an easy descent to Pampa Linda.
The total cost of a trip to and climb up Tronador could cost as little as $1,200, not including gear. For breathtaking views of the northern regions of Patagonia and a multiple day adventure, it’s hard to say no to! The views from the peak of Tronador are worth the climb and something you will not soon forget.