This is an invitation to tour around spectacular lakes and vegetation to see the glaciers and snowdrifts that have ornamented Mount Tronador for thousands of years.
awakes in a beautiful mood as usual and we set out on four wheels in an emblematic tour: Mount Tronador
and its ancient glaciers. We meet Omar, the driver, once we occupy our seats.
“Our job is a pleasure both for my partner and for me. We have been trained professionally and we love dealing with tourists, whether from our country or from abroad. Let me introduce myself: my name is Omar and my job is to drive this comfortable vehicle towards our destination. Ayelén, my partner, will be the guide of this tour and will provide information to all of you today. We were born in this land and we love it as much as we love our job. Tourists will surely appreciate that”, Omar concludes and after hearing that introduction, we feel we are taking the right tour. Ayelén occupies one of the first seats in the vehicle and carries countless books, posters, photographs and research material that she will lend visitors at all times.
Everyone gets on board and the journey along a 36-kilometer-long paved stretch to the Southwest begins. Afterwards, we get deep into a mountain gravel road and make several stops to behold nature.
Lakes and rivers change color as we advance towards the mountain range. We are amazed by Lake Gutiérrez, Mount Catedral
and the residential villas around them. A great diversity of natural environments: the dry shrubby steppe vegetation and the humid Valdivian rainforest. According to Ayelén, this is the result of heavy rainfall from the West. 800 Meters above Sea Level
We border Lake Mascardi for a while and bid farewell to its turquoise waters until our return. That is how we enter the territory of the Nahuel Huapi National Park.
The impressive figure of perito
(expert) Francisco Pascasio Moreno soon appears in Ayelén’s speech. A visionary, explorer, scientist, statesman, philanthropist and educator, he worked in the layout of the borders between Argentina and Chile in the late 1800s and was acknowledged by the Argentinian government of the time. The regulations started by him have remained until our days. He deserves our respect for having taught us how to take care of the environment.
Ayelén’s voice is constant and talks about wildlife and expressions in the Mapuche
tongue. We participate in each story told by the confines of these rivers, lakes and woodlands.
No Service in our Cell Phones
We leave behind the Manso River, Pampa Linda and the Vuriloches slope and become aware that the road becomes narrower and only one vehicle may pass at a time. There are fixed timetables to travel to and from the snowdrifts. This is the time to behold all the magnitude of Mount Tronador and see its various faces. The highest peak reaches 3,554 meters above sea level.
“I make a great effort to drive the vehicle as smoothly as I can in order to avoid any of the uneven stretches of the last part of the circuit. Ayelén and I are circumstantial photographers by request of the tourists”, Omar recovers his voice as we all get more and more eager to reach our destination.
By now, after several hours of traveling together, the passengers have become almost friends and keep chatting about circumstantial but very amusing matters. As we reach the dark snowdrifts, Ayelén explains how the volcanoes, the glaciers and the plates were formed in the Andes Mountain Range. We are already at 1,100 meters above sea level.
We finally get off the vehicle and the group walks towards several vantage points displaying the lagoons formed by the snowdrifts or glacier moraines and the floating ice resulting from the constant global warming.
The deafening noise produced by the break-offs gives origin to the name of Mount Tronador, which stands for “thundering” in Spanish. Visitors must take full advantage of these moments. On the other hand, those of us who have witnessed the same scene more than once feel amazed to discover nature is not static. It is undergoing constant changes. The vastness of this site invites everybody to keep silent.
We return following the same road but everything is quietness inside the vehicle. The euphoria of the journey to the snowdrifts fades out and some of the passengers feel very tired or even fall asleep. Ayelén remains silent for the sake of “the guided ones”.
Omar looks at us and whispers: “I speed up on the way back for everybody to return to their homes as soon as possible after this beautiful tour. As I always say. I am glad everything turned out well again”.