For thousands of years a thick icecap has covered the summit of Cerro Tronador. From its three peaks, eight descending tongues of ice model the landscape. With incessant movement, they dig down and push everything out of their way, rolling away the stones, gravel and earth. This slow yet steady task can be seen on visiting the Black Snowfield.
This giant, called Anon by the aboriginal population, is 3,478 meters high and is the highest peak in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Its present name, Tronador, refers to the roaring sound produced by the constant breaking off of enormous blocks of ice.
The three peaks of the mountain are known as the Argentine (3,410 meters above sea level), the Chilean (3430 meters above sea level) and the International (3478 meters above sea level) All of them are excellent challenges to mountain climbers who usually come to Bariloche during the summer. This is a show that cannot be missed.
The road to Tronador starts in Bariloche on Onelli street, which leads you to National Route Nº258. Pampa de Huemuleo is crossed in order to get to Lake Guitierrez, after crossing the Pilmayen and Melgarejo streams. At km18, on the shore of the lake, there is an inn with a uniquely lovely beach, two piers and a boat ramp. In this place, you can go for a guided ride around the area. As you leave this lake behind, you begin skirting the eastern tip of Lake Mascardi.
If you continue along this way you will get to a fork in the road. To the left you will see the start of National Route Nº254 and the road to Tronador (gravel). This is the road you should take, crossing the bridge over Manso Superior River up to Pampa Linda.
Almost at the end of this road, you will get to Manso River Glacier, better known as "Ventisquero Negro" (Black Snowfield), since it is covered with earth, sand and stones. Your trip ends a little further ahead, at the base of Cerro Tronador. A track leads to a huge natural rocky amphitheater called "Garganta del Diablo" (Devil's Throat) where there is a spectacularly high meltwater fall.
LOS ALERCES CASCADE
Los Alerces Cascade is a variant of the above excursion. Instead of crossing the bridge over Manso Medio River, you continue along the road skirting Lake Los Moscos and Manso River, until you get to a 300-meter-track that reaches this impressive waterfall. In a beautiful setting surrounded by mossy larches, you can admire Manso River strongly cascading between the rocks for a distance of 20 meters or so.
The return journey is along the same road.
Having left Lake Gutierrez behind, and instead of reaching the city the same you started de trip, you can opt for an alternative route. You can take a taking a gravel road that brances off to your left going slightly back to Lake Gutierrez. Some kilometers ahead, you will skirt the lake again, go past Villa Arelauquen and later reach a grotto called "Virgen de las Nieves" (Our Lady of the Snows). You return to the city along Bustillo Avenue.
CERRO TRONADOR VIA LAKE MASCARDI
This beautiful excursion offers the interesting possibility of visiting the area around Cerro Tronador and sailing on Lake Mascardi. You set off from the city on National Route Nº 258 toward Mascardi Harbor in order to embark on the Victory II cruise boat. You will have a wonderful one-hour-trip to Hotel Tronador. From this place, you may go up a path to the waterfall, and you can look over the 70-meter drop that gives origin to it.