Mount Tronador and the Black Glacier

 Matt Note: I composed most of this while on a tour today of Mount Tronador and the black glacier outside Bariloche. I'll be posting a gallery of more photos when I'm back at home in the U.S, but here's some highlights and description of the trip. 

 Even with a selfie stick and a remote shutter, this self portrait thing is a mess. Hopefully I'll get the hand of it by Ushuaia.  

Even with a selfie stick and a remote shutter, this self portrait thing is a mess. Hopefully I'll get the hand of it by Ushuaia.  

Hello from the base of Mount Tronador and the black glacier. This mountain, a long dormant volcano, is named for the sound that cleaving ice makes when breaking off the main glacier is today's destination. The name "black glacier" comes from when the ice begins to fall down the mountain and mixes with volcanic rock. 

 One of several glacial lakes in this area. I'll be crossing several by boat tomorrow! 

One of several glacial lakes in this area. I'll be crossing several by boat tomorrow! 

After leaving Bariloche (albeit a little late) we headed up and out of the city into a national park. We left the highway and traveled on gravel and dirt roads and over wooden bridges on our way towards the mountain. Along the way we stopped at crystal clear mountain lakes and rivers carrying glacial melt into them. All and all lots of amazing photos were taken. 

 Yeah, I can't believe I was here too.  

Yeah, I can't believe I was here too.  

When we reached the base of the mountain we stopped at a camp run by Eastern Eurpoean immigrants for lunch. I had the best strudel I've had outside of Germany for dessert! A reminder, I'm in Argentina. I also went on a half mile hike along the river to view a waterfall made of glacial melt from high above on Mount Tronador. All of this was before 2:00 pm! 

 Hiking up to see glacial waterfalls.  

Hiking up to see glacial waterfalls.  

We then left the base camp and headed further around the park to the glacier. When we arrived,   I was greeted with an amazing view. Perfect white ice and snow towards the top of the mountain valley contrasting with the ice and volcanic dirt of the glacier lower in the valley. At the base was a wintergreen colored lagoon full of pieces of glacier that had fallen off. All the while I heard the thunder-like sounds of glacier breaking and tumbling town the valley. There were three avalanches during my visit.  Pretty awesome stuff. 

 The Black Glacier and its melt lagoon.  

The Black Glacier and its melt lagoon.  

Overall I'd recommend this tour; while we spent a lot of time on a bus to get places, there really is no other way to explore this vast and beautiful Patagonian National Park.  And as an aside, I was impressed with my comprehension of Spanish descriptions of nature as for the most part the tour was en Español! Now we're headed back into Bariloche, where I plan on pretending I'm in Germany or Switzerland and have an Alpine Evening...in South America. Chile tomorrow. 

 Remind me what continent I'm on again? 

Remind me what continent I'm on again?