Outings must be planned with the aid of specialized guides, as the tours are quite demanding. Some stretches are covered on a vehicle and others hiking through lush woodlands.
Visiting Mount Zeballos is a fascinating experience that leads adventurers around the highest spots in the Province of Santa Cruz
. The tour and its panoramic viewpoints in almost intangible areas promise a unique kind of beauty. They are completely worth visiting.
Once we contacted our guide and fulfilled the painstaking list of needs for the outings, we got on his 4WD looking forward to our adventure. At first, we were thrilled by some viewpoints and the Jeinemeni River, which featured an incredible sight. From then on, the scene started to change little by little and the steppe was left behind.
We went through private fields, where we had to open and close gates to leave them just like we had found them. A mountain path took our breath away but not because it was dangerous but because we were not used to such geographical traits.
The mountainous skyline boasted eroded rocks that separated us from Chile through the window. The explanations provided by the guide let us understand the changes of hues on the rocky walls, which respond to the intense volcanic activity thousands of years ago.
As we reached the 30th kilometer marker, we stopped to observe the depth of the Jeinemeni River running between high walls. At this spot, our first hike started. Turquoise and reddish hues tinged the sidewalls of the waterway and left an imprint on our retinas. We could not stop taking photographs.
The explanations and comments made by the guide followed one another, thus making our outing much more interesting. “Mount Zeballos is unmistakable. It is 2,748 meters high and may be admired from a great distance and several perspectives. It was named after the founder of the Argentinian Geographical Institute: Estanislao Zeballos”.
We went around the Andean Patagonian forest foothills to get to know its aroma. We made several stops. Ñires
were our roof when the sunshine was too strong, especially at noon.
At one of those stops on the way, we changed our path to approach a strange rocky formation. “According to a well-known geologist, this is an eroded basaltic dam. It dates back to 65 million years ago, when the mountain range was formed. Back then, this area used to be a volcanic boiler”.
Some of our fellow adventurers returned to Los Antiguos
. The rest of us chose a site sheltered from the western wind to set up our camp and spend the night.
We were tired but eager to go on. We lit a fire, ate some supplies we were carrying in our backpacks and got ready to rest and set out again the following morning.
When we woke up, we noticed that the day was windy and inclement. We waited for a couple of hours before resolving to go back. It is a known fact that southern weather is not always appropriate for outdoor activities. On a pleasant day, we had two options to continue our way: either on foot or on the vehicle. This time only the second option was valid.
Anyway, we had the unbeatable feeling of the mountain at a close distance, of letting the vast sky shelter us and the challenge to see how strong and willing we were to carry out this kind of experience.