Bag a cerro


Sep 8, 2005
I still dream about this place and how unbelievably peaceful it was so I can only imagine it being the perfect getaway from BA for those of you lucky enough to be living out there, but in need of a short break away from all the smog and smells of the Capital Federal.
Back here in Scotland when we need to get away from it all in the big city, some of us like to "bag a munro" (climb one of Scotlands many small mountains) where a very rare, completely peaceful and relaxing day can be enjoyed. The one comparison that I have in Argentina would be the majestic Cerro Piltriquitron overlooking the wonderfully laid back town of El Bolson, Rio Negro. A long weekend stay in a mountainside log cabin (only $50 pesos/night for 2 people) would be a perfect time to absorb the rejuvinating energy from this place.
You have 2 options when deciding how to tackle the climb: Do it in a day or overnight. You will need a daypack, hiking shoes, waterproofs and cold weather gear. Bring 1 litre of water per person. You can sleep in the very basic accommodation of the Refugio if you don't want the early start or you can do it in a day - Pack a daypack with food and water and head for the hill early in the morning by taking a taxi to the start of the trail and hike through the sculptured forest and onto the Refugio situated at 1400m above sea level (45mins). The view from here is spectacular! Life continues in the now tiny town far below but you wouldn't think it from up here. Have a brew and when you're ready but not later than 10.30am, commence the 2.5 hour trek to the summit. After a short, steep climb to start with, pace yourself through the gentle 1 hour climb taking in the beautiful surroundings and perfectly silent atmosphere until you reach the fairly steep summit ascent. This is tricky as you reach the top but going down on all fours and a reasonable level of fitness should get you there. If you're not confident then you shouldn't attempt the peak but there are still many relaxing resting places around to eat your lunch and chill out in the clouds. At the peak, 2100m above sea level, the feeling is unbeatable as you sit on a rock near (but at a safe distance from) the edge and enjoy panoramic views of other mountains and lakes for miles around. The journey down is much quicker and will take no more than 2 hours but 1.5 is achievable. From the Refugio, call a taxi and descend back through the forest to the pick up point and head back to reality for dinner and a guaranteed early night!
When you awake, you will feel rejuvinated both mentally and physically. Another day to relax in the town would complete the break and give you a chance to take in the market or the cervezaria sampling the famous local brew.
Sorry for going on and on but I love this place and I'm sure you will too!
That was a pretty good description! I just came back from San Martin de los Andes and I had a few experiences like that. I am writing on another web site to assist travelors coming to Argentina....If you have any other great experiences from Argentina I would like to hear them. Restaurants, bars....places....Hearing stories like yours helps make other have good experiences too. Thanks, Paul [email protected]