Tronador is an 11,000 foot high extinct volcanic mountain just south of Bariloche, containing numerous glaciers. It’s name is Spanish for Thunder, the sound of the ice cracking in the glaciers.
It is in all day effort to drive up, and hike around, the mountain and the glaciers. We started by heading south on Ruta 40 – passing the ever present hitchhikers seen in the area.
A few miles south of Bariloche you make the turn to the road leading up the mountain. It is a narrow dirt road, so narrow that it is one way up the mountain from 10 AM until 4 PM, then one way back down the mountain until 7 PM.
The initial part of the road passes through a valley floor and Lago Mascardi.
It is a 48 kilometer drive up this road, but about 1/2 way you begin to get some amazing views.
Eventually we made our way to the National Park where we were surrounded by towering walls and waterfalls. The area to the right is known as the Black Glacier due to the amount of debris it picks up off the mountain as it comes down.
Eventually it was time to head back down the mountain and our funky little rental car (which we named La Cucaracha – the cockroach – it was a no frills, nasty little car but no matter what we did to it you couldn’t kill it) hung on through the now wet, curvy downhill.