Deep silence, new-fallen snow and the sounds of a mountain village that breathes in the heights are the sensations enjoyed while practicing this winter sport.
lies a few kilometers away from the City of San Martín de los Andes
. It offers circuits where unspoiled snow demands the use of showshoes to walk around ancient woods. This activity is suitable for children and adults alike.
A half-day tour led us to the base of the hill. After contemplating the spectacular scenes on the road, we got on the 4WD trucks from the travel agency. The adventure began at that very moment. After a short ride, we arrived at the gated neighborhood known as Las Pendientes
, where a great deal of lengas
are mingled among the imposing housing units entitled to their own ski trails.
We were fascinated by that world where the multicolor apparel worn by skiers, the snowmobiles, the ATVs and the snow groomers are part of the scene. The children from the snow garden passed nearby. They felt totally confident on their boards.
We had been told by the guides that the weather draws a different scene every day. They provided us with the snowshoes, which we fixed to our footwear to have a better support during the outing.
We slowly left the houses behind as we accessed a trail uphill. Once on the ridge, we came across Valle del Águila
(Eagle’s Valley), Pradera del Puma
(Cougar’s Meadow) and deep down a marshland known as Mallín Grande
. By then, we had already understood how to use the snowshoes. Therefore, we were focusing only on the view. We felt free, just like several rabbits we saw running away from us as we moved along. We crossed creeks and, in some cases, opened up trails. Everything was new and captivating.
As it was mid winter, the trees were bare, only covered by a thick layer of barba de viejo
(Spanish moss). This lichen lives in areas where the amount of oxygen is optimum. The powder snow rests on the trees and the surroundings look incredible.
The snow was hard on some of the trails. However, others featured intact soft snow. The sensation of stepping on the spots where no one had stepped before was unique. The blue hues of the ice and the sound around us were amazing. We had tons of fun and even laughed at some fall.
We went into an igloo, where we found plenty of space to sit, and made a toast to our incredible experience with a nice cup of tea accompanied by some regional alfajores and some tasty chocolate liqueur. Then we had a rest and gathered strength to cover the last stretch.
As we went down, we appreciated the vastness of Lake Lácar in the distance. We got to a sled trail where we were given some toboggans to crown an awesome afternoon. We all relished the experience leaving all shyness aside.
When we returned to the base of the hill, we got together inside the Mapuche ruka (house), owned by the Curruhuinca community, in order to learn about their cuisine and bid farewell to the group. The snowshoeing outing was a real success. We were all charmed and satisfied to have gone through an experience that would have been impossible without the assistance of our guides.
Opening hours: Reservations and timetables are to be arranged at the agency.
Bear in mind: A certain degree of fitness and good health are necessary to enjoy this outing.
This tour incudes: roundtrip shuttle, guide, snack, snowshoes and poles.
Check with the agency in advance in case of changes due to weather conditions.