trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles
Good morning from the Andes.
There’s a reason Bolsón is so popular. It’s a pretty alpine meadow, a green oasis on the edge of a volcanic wasteland.
Most who make it this far stop and day hike from here.
But I was determined to see – if not climb – Mt Decapitated. I’d have to get past that spiky peak in the distance to do so.
On the other hand, I took it easy today ascending steeply up to the next obvious campsite. Past that the next recommend camp is Laguna Mondaca, too far for me with full pack, I was thinking.
The trail is clearly signed up to Valle de Indio, another lush alpine meadow. It’s gets more volcanic after this point.
Despite the heat and intense sun, snow crossings were frequent. Early season would require an ice axe.
Footing is either bad up here. Or volcanic ash. I used the “instagator” system with my socks.
In South America you can expect to see at least one religious pilgrimage site every day.
The higher I climbed, the better I liked it.
I arrived Ánimas before 3pm. With at least 5 hours of sunlight left, I was tempted to risk it and climb higher.
Instead I cooled my heels. Listened to my Coffee Break Spanish lessons. Walked the perimeter of the tarn.
Not many carry tents up here from Bolsón, but there were a few groups with me at the lake.
Just above my tent is the trail I’ll take in the morning.