Well prepared and earlyish in the morning we showed up at the National Park office in Bariloche to obtain the authorisation to climb to Refugio Otto-Meiling and finally summit Volcano Tronador. We had been talking and dreaming so much about this mountain but at the same time we knew that it was also a mirage at the powdery horizon.
The friendly girls told us that there was no problem and that we would get it at Pampa Linda inside the park. Of course there was no one there and we were refered to the Gendarmeria and after two attempts of sweet talking them and assuring that there were two guides in our group we got turned down and they refused us to enter.
So we decided to still do it and sneaked in, walked for about two hours through the bushes and a bit further up skinned in finest powder between the trees.
Inside these perfect woods the temptation was big to do some lapping but we were far behind schedule and walked straight into the foggy dusk. The glimpses at mighty Tronador were astonishing but the swiss team was still silently doubting the upcoming success as all fresh snow and signs of wind usually are not the best despots.
All the emotions, beautiful moments and the remoteness of this amazing tour are best summarized with the following selection of photos, enjoy and follow our footsteps!!!
Returning form the mountain to Pampa Linda was the best ever. Feasting at the big restaurant and going for two servings of the daily menu of mashed potatoes and stew and of course lots of beer in order to wait until the timeframe when one is allowed to drive down the narrow road. It wasn’t a big surprise that police didn’t open the gate and we had to stop there and of course they still knew who we were. Everyone but the driver (not me) pretty drunk I started arguing with the filthy policeman and the highest officer in trainers again. They took our passports, let us wait for ages and most probably just wanted to see some bucks inside our red little booklets. In the happy and exciting mood of adrenaline and alcohol I couldn’t care less and we played the innocents….
Our advise if you want to summit in winter would be that you get the authorization directly in Bariloche and if not permitted just go there without telling anything to the authorities. Supposedly it easier in the end of October and November….