climbing Piltriquitrón out of El Bolson, Argentina

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Click PLAY or watch my HOW TO video on YouTube.

As many do on this popular hike, I walked from El Bolsón, centro. Three hours of dusty, but tranquil road walking to get to the parking lot.

(Actually, I tried a trail alternative recommended on my Maps.me app. Bad idea, as it turned out. Coming down I stuck to the road.)

Taxi would cost at least $25. Drivers don’t like going up here. You MIGHT be able to join up with others to split the cost at a collectivo office near the Via Bariloche bus station.

It took me about 4 hours to reach the Piltriquitrón hut and campground.

After a brief siesta I headed over to the nearby El Bosque Tallado (carved forest). $5 entrance.

There are over 50 crude wooden sculptures with new ones being added. A fire in 1978 inspired lead artist Marcelo López to initiate this tourist attraction.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The refuge has a superb location. People can’t get enough of the vistas.

I enjoyed dinner at sunset, myself, overlooking El Bolsón.

Alpenglow was lovely this evening. I didn’t edit this photo.

I was on the summit trail by 9am next morning.

Pack horses were grazing free.

Easy going until the final scramble before the top.

There’s a 360 degree vista from the peak.

A German living in El Bolson just spend 5 days up in those craggy, intensely glaciated peaks. Because there are no alpine huts, he had that wilderness to himself.

I could clearly see Tronador volcano about 100km distant.

Rick atop Piltriquitrón

I had done the 1800m ascent over 2 days.

I was back down to the hut by Noon. Back to town, very tired, by 3pm. That’s 1800m of descent.

Supposedly it’s easy to hitchhike back down from Piltriquitrón. I had no luck.

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