Glaciar Alfredo and Laguna Azul

Trekking to Laguna Azul. Mariniella & Claudio, Molly & Aaron, and Bev & Carl. Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina

Trekking to Laguna Azul. Mariniella & Claudio, Molly & Aaron, and Bev & Carl. Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina


Guanacos

Guanacos along the path to Laguna Azul. © Carl Amoth

Today is the most magnificent day yet. We trekked 16K (10 miles) with our new Italian and American friends to Laguna Azul, a small glacial lake high in the Andes. I can barely describe the natural wonder and rugged beauty experienced; there is an overwhelming sense of truly being a part of something incredibly special. And the weather for the trek is perfect: WE ARE HIKING IN THE PATAGONIAN ANDES MOUNTAINS IN T-SHIRTS!

One of the bridges along the trail to Laguna Azul. © Carl Amoth

Starting from our base at Helsingfors lodge, we are soon ascending a grassy canyon where we encounter guanacos, a regal-looking relative of the camel. We cross the rushing water of the canyon stream on creatively-crafted foot bridges. The grassy slopes eventually give way to forested slopes of conifers, and the grade of the trail begins to quickly steepen. The pace of our group is slowing down, and Carl begins to wonder whether bringing his plethora of heavy photo gear—most of which is in his backpack—was a good idea. The Trek is becoming exceedingly difficult during the last four miles to the lake, but the inspiring beauty of the setting, the crisp/clean Andean air, and the anticipation of what awaits us spurs us on. As we hike through a grassy meadow we spot our first Andean Condor of the trip. With its massive 10½ foot wingspan, the bird alters its course to soar directly towards us, and then directly OVER us—gliding perhaps 15 feet over our heads. You could hear the air passing through its wings! Truly breathtaking!

Falls spilling from Laguna Azul. © Carl Amoth

We finally crest a rocky hill overlooking Laguna Azul, and know the effort expended to get here was worth it. We are transfixed by the stunning beauty of what our senses are taking in: the vibrant turquoise hue of the lake; the colossal mass of rock rising out of the water, leading the eye upward to the jagged peaks and Patagonian sky; the tongue of Alfredo Glacier reaching downward to the lake; and the thunderous sound of the avalanches.

I have always loved writing and feel most at peace when I share my thoughts, views, and experiences with others, but I just have to let these pictures speak for themselves.






Laguna Azul, Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina. © Carl Amoth

 

Laguna Azul © Carl Amoth

 

Example of extreme folding on one of the mountains along the trail. © Carl Amoth

 

Bev on the trail back to Helsingfors. © Carl Amoth

 

Enjoying the hike. © Carl Amoth


Lake Viedma, and the Andes beyond. © Carl Amoth

We’ll have dinner with our American friends tonight, as Claudio and Marienella had to leave today. One more post after this one (call it my funny story post) and that will catch us up with this segment of the trip. We leave Helsingfors tomorrow for Perito Moreno Glacier, where we’ll be staying at Los Nostros.

Ciao!
Carl & Bev

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