Paso de las Nubes Trek

Published: May 11th 2006
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The guysThe guysThe guys

Me, Ayal, Erez, Maayan and Elad, from left to right
This trek goes around Monte Tronador (The thunder mountain), but actually it's best parts are the side-trips - Refugio Otto Meiling and Salto Garganta del Diablo.
So, following the recommendations of other people who did the trek before us, we've decided to do just them, and they were indeed worthwhile.

On the first day we've climbed up to Refugio Otto Meiling which is situated in the middle of nowhere, just bellow the permanent snow line, at the height of 2000m.
On the way to the refugio we saw some interesting ice and snow phenomenas, which we of course had to explore.

From the plato on which the refugio is situated an amazing view opens up, of snow caped mountains, and valleys far bellow. It was actually difficult to tell sometimes where some mountain ends and the clouds begin.

We've decided in advance not to camp, but stay inside the refugio, and that was a wise decision, as at night it got way bellow zero.
Some Europeans did actually camp there, but we were cold just from cooking outside at evening.
The refugio itself is just a simple wooden hut, but it's really amazing that someone had actually managed
Monte TronadorMonte TronadorMonte Tronador

At sunrise
to build anything in such an isolated location.
And although it was simple, it was at the same time cozy, and the best part was that it had a real fire place.

The night before we arrived it snowed, so we had the luck to find just above the refugio an unspoiled snow, of amazing quality, and we had the pleasure of being the firsts to walk on it.

On the second day we descended from the refugio, and continued to Salto Garganta del Diablo side-trip. It's supposed to be a grand waterfall, but to tell ya' the truth, we have bigger than that in the 'Golan Heights'. Someone explained to us later that we simply came in the wrong time, as it is best viewed in Spring and not in Fall, when all the snow melts.

On the way down we also went to the Vantisquero Negro (The Black Glacier), and this was indeed an interesting phenomena. If I hadn't known in advance that it's a glacier I would have thought it's just a mountain.
What happens is that ice on the way down from the top of the mountain erodes the local soil and compacts
Monte TronadorMonte TronadorMonte Tronador

There are 3 peaks - the Chilean, the Argentian and the International which is the highest
with it, so it gets the dirty black color, when it finally arrives to the glacier bellow.

Additional photos below
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The valleyThe valley
The valley

From the top
Spoiling the snowSpoiling the snow
Spoiling the snow

My foot prints

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