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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cerro Lopez and Bariloche

We made our way down to Bariloche last week to find a deserted city. The Puyehue volcano that started erupting in early June dropped quite a bit of ash on the city, and closed down the airport. When we arrived in town there was still a significant amount of ash, but for the most part the ash was out of the way. The main problem was no snow for skiing, and everyone was waiting around for the snow to start. Rather than snow, it rained, a lot, and for a long time.

Snow at a refugio in Nahuel Huapi, we did not actually witness this snow, this is a picture of a picture in our kitchen
Ash in our backyard
A soggy hike through patagonia
So rather than holing up and staying inside waiting for the snow to come, we embraced the rain and hiked some of the finest patagonian mountains we have ever seen! The funny part is, the day we tried to make it to Lopez refugio, it snowed, a lot, and on our way up another storm rolled in, so we only made it a third of the way up, but we caught some fantastic views!

About a third of the way up to refugio lopez, a snow storm started to roll in that made us have to scrub our ascent and turn around
View from the snow line

In the clouds at our turn around point

A nice fire, tea, and sandwiches in a little town, about 5k from the base of the trail
After a few days in Bariloche, we decided the town was not really what we were in the mood for, and being we passed through and fell in love with San Martin de los Andes on the way into Bariloche, we decided to head back up north a few hours and set up base in San Martin, where we are now. Again, once we got to San Martin, it dumped snow, and a whole lot of it. So here we are, in a town known for craft beer, meaty unique gastronome eateries, tons of trails, and a nice ski area called Chapelco. We will stay here for a few weeks embracing the ski culture, food, and wine, then decide what we want to do after this.

A meaty dinner and wine at Ku
A typical Parrilla Kitchen
Life in our hobbit house
Who knew we would be so happy to find snow in July, check out the clouds we could almost swim in them!

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