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Beer and cards after a long day on the trail. If the refugio has its own home brew we have to try it :)
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Morning reflections. What a stunning sight to wake up to.
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Mt. Tronador in the distance. We weren skilled enough to capture a pic of the condors flying around us, but we felt pretty high up.
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We started on the other side of the mountain behind Dale, and were only halfway to our destination.
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View from the top, spectacular.
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Unimpressed with the direction the trail takes. At least there is no snow on it.
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Enjoying a well earned beer with a fantastic view.
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There was no real trail, just scramble up as best you can without starting a rockslide. But we were glad we were going up not coming down cause it was steep!!
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Breakfast view
You may be wondering what happened to Bariloche part 1. Well that was 4 days of rain and nice day hikes without too much to write home about. Although we did spend 2 hours on the top of a hill sipping hot chocolates in a rotating restaurant, which was quite enjoyable.
This time, a week and a half later, Bariloche rewarded us with stunning blue skies so we are making the most of it. These pics are from a 3 day hike we did to Laguna Negra and Cerro Lopez. The camping and refugio at laguna negra is perched on the edge of a 1000ft cliff. To get to the refugio you have to walk over a rock bridge at the outlet of the lake as the water begins its cascade down the cliff.  It was a beautiful setting and well worth the long haul up the valley and then up the cliff next to the waterfall. The following day was a long 8 hours of climbing and descending on loose rock, luckliy we made it through with our ankles intact. We were lucky enough to see a few Andean condors soaring up the canyons and around the snow capped peaks, they are so graceful whey them fly and it is rare to see them flap their wings. Well up the first hill and around the second to the saddle between 2 peaks. Then we saw what the fuss was all about, we had to descend into the vally below then trudge/scramble up the imposing face of Cerro Lopez. Neither of us had ever tackled a climb like this, especially with packs on, and for Dale with one arm tied behind his back. But slow and steady we made it up. I think it was close to 2 hours of straight vertical. At one stage when I looked behind me I could not see where we had come from it was so steep. But we were rewarded with amazing 360 views of the Andes and the Lakes District. Mt Tronador dominated the landscape but there were a few other impressive snow covered volcanic domes. Then anoter descent! This time we could have a bit of fun cause there was a lot of snow, so the fastest way down was to sit on your bum and slide. 3 sections of sledding then a descent down a steep rocky face, at times through a slight waterfall and we were at camp. It was an unreal day with the difficulty paying off with amazing vistas.
We made it out the next day for a quick refueling stop, and now we are about to head out for a 4 day trek, celebrating New Years up in the mountains. Hopefully we will have some equally amazing vistas.
 





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