• REQUIREMENTS: - Aptitude and riding experience - Health insurance. • NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Recommended 5 to 10 (please ask in case of more participants). • EQUIPMENT: - Clothing suitable for riding. - Jacket according to weather conditions. - Sleeping bag. - Mini backpack with personal hygiene items, torch, cutlery and camping cup. • DURATION: Three days, two nights. • TIME OF THE YEAR: November to April. • DIFFICULTY: Medium. • MEETING POINT: Río Azul Camping (located 6 Km from El Bolsón). • COST: Please contact us.
As soon as the group has gathered at Río Azul Camping (suggested time 8:30 a.m.), the group will be taken in a 4X4 vehicle, across the before mentioned river and nearby streams, arriving at the premises where we will find the horses. Once there, before departure, an explanatory talk will be given by the guide, who will explain the characteristics of the journey, with a special focus on the precautions to be taken.
Having fulfilled this requirement and with the horses ready, the ride will begin with the leadership of two knowledgeable guides and the company of four dogs that will be of help in case of a possible encounter with any wild animal (wild pigs). The trail will go up through a thick forest of large coihues and cypress trees on the east hillside of the mountain. There will be many stops for the horses to rest, while at the same time to enjoy the wonderful views of the El Bolsón valley behind us. After 2 or 3 hours of sustained ascent, the prevailing tree begins to be the lenga, which means that the trail is over 800 m above sea level. The ride goes on for other 2 hours through varied terrain, among slopes and lowlands with either ponds or mallines, depending on the season. These are ideal spots for birdwatching. In the last stretch there are glades in the forest and mallines through which the Lali river meanders run. A waterfall can be seen in the distance, with the Cerro Lindo Mountain Refuge (1.450 m) at its foot. The camp will be set up in the forest near the refuge.
After a comforting lunch and deserved rest, we will spend a pleasant afternoon walking through the area, and climbing up until Lali waterfall and lake, after 30 minutes of steep ascent. It is surrounded by a charming landscape in the shape of an amphitheatre, formerly occupied by a high-altitude glacier. Before dusk, dinner will be prepared: roasted meat accompanied by vegetables, good wine, water and bread. We can sleep in tents or in the refuge, as preferred.
Meeting and breakfast in the campsite (mate, coffee, bread, cheese, jams). Then, the horses will be saddled for the climb and a packed lunch will be prepared for a light meal at the summit. Leaving the heavy load at the campsite, guarded by the dogs, we will begin the ascent alongside a landscape that will soon turn from a forest into an arid area (rocky and somewhat snowy). Some stops later, we will arrive at the summit by midday.
There, we will enjoy lunch with the breath-taking views of Lindo and Tricolor lakes and the peaks of the Patagonian Mountains as background. On our way back, we will reach the campsite by mid-afternoon, where we will be able to sleep a bit to recover energy. The group will prepare dinner, consisting of a tasty mountain stew, which will be shared around the campfire, with some fortified wines.
After breakfast and once all the equipment has been loaded, we will start to descend along a trail different from that of the ascent along moderately risky paths, which will add adventure to the journey. Just as we did on our way up, there will be several stops, and 5 hours later we will reach the starting point (around 2 p.m.). At this location we will enjoy lunch with roasted meat to celebrate the return and to share experiences.
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