lunes, 16 de abril de 2018

SENDERISMO EN EL CHALTÉN: LA LOMA DEL PLIEGUE TUMBADO

Click here to read the English version


Nuestro primer día por El Chaltén estuvo nublado así que abortamos la misión de ir hasta la base del Fitz Roy, que es la excursión que hicimos cuando vino Nic y no vimos absolutamente nada.





Elegimos recorrer el sendero hasta la Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, desde donde en principio hay unas vistas panorámicas del Fitz Roy, el lago del desierto y casi hasta la Sagrada Familia. 



Empezamos el sendero por detrás del centro de información. Es un camino que asciende suavemente por las lomas de las colinas que rodean El Chaltén, dejándolo atrás pero viéndolo todo el rato. Si el pueblecito ya es pintoresco estando en él, visto desde lejos la sensación de estar mirando un cuadro es todavía mayor.



A medida que ascendíamos cruzamos bosques de Lengas y Ñires que, siendo ya otoño por estos lares, están de todos los colores cálidos del Pantone: desde amarillo pálido hasta rojo intenso. Estaban los bosques muy bonitos.





El único riesgo de esta caminata, obviando las inclemencias del tiempo, son las vacas salvajes argentinas que parecen más sanguinarias que las bandas de moteros de Sons of Anarchy. Afortunadamente nosotros sólo las vimos de lejos.





Pasado el último bosque llegamos a la Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, que decidimos que debía estar tumbado por el viento que hacía, que era infernal.




Ascendimos por la nieve contra el viento un poco como pudimos hasta llegar a mirador del nunatak Cerro Chaltén, que estaba todo cubierto por una nube gigante. Así que ni cortos ni perezosos subimos a la montañita que teníamos al lado para ver mejor el Lago del Desierto.





Desde donde estábamos podíamos mirar hacia el sur, donde no había ni una nube en el cielo, y todo eran llanuras infinitas o podíamos mirar hacia el norte, donde había una pared de montañas de más de 3000 m de altura completamente tapadas por nubes espesas que se movían a velocidad infernal. Nosotros estábamos justo en la linea de separación de ambos mundos.



Nos lo pasamos muy bien haciendo esta caminata que, a pesar de ser larga (24 km), es relativamente fácil.


Enrique & Marina
English version

HIKING IN EL CHALTÉN: LA LOMA DEL PLIEGUE TUMBADO



It was more or less cloudy on our first day in El Chaltén. Then, we didn’t even attempt to get to the base of Fitz Roy which is the same trail we took when Nic visited us. That time the weather was pretty bad and we didn’t see a single thing.




Instead we chose to take the trail to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. Apparently this would take us to a lookout where we could see the Fitz Roy peak, Lago del Desierto and maybe the Sagrada Familia. 



The trailhead is just behind the fantastic information centre located out of El Chaltén. The track smoothly ascends the hills surrounding the village, leaving the town behind but on sight for a very long time. As we’ve written before, the little settlement feels pretty picturesque when you’re on it or getting there from the road but when you look at it from the hills it looks as it’s just been built to take postcard pictures. 



As we went up we crossed native forests of Lenga and Ñire that were preparing to lose all their leaves in the winter. Luckily they still had them on and were displaying their autumn colours: from creamy yellow to deep red and all the shades of brown you can imagine in between.  The forests colours were at their best. 





As opposed to Canada where a hike could turn into a bear or cougar watching event, the only real danger of this track (a part from the weather and its consequences) were the wild Argentinian cows. Apparently, they can be more menacing than a motorcycle gang. Fortunately, we didn’t get close enough to check if they’re as scary as they say. 





Past the tree line we got to the lookout of Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. This name literally translates for the “hill of the laying down fold”. We decided that the name goes very well and that this fold is laying down as the winds are so strong that really knocked it down. 





The views we had of the nunatak of El Chaltén hill weren’t too good from that lookout as there was huge cloud blocking the view. It really didn’t feel like a lookout as there was a mountain on our right that also blocked our sight of that part. So despite the infernal wind we started climbing that mountain to try to get better views of the hill and the nearby Lago del Desierto.




We climbed it for a bit fighting a really cold and serious wind up to a false summit where the snow had turned into ice and the ascend was getting really tricky. Looking south from there we could see the never ending pampas bathed on the golden light of the early afternoon sun. Looking north we could see Mordor. Nah, that was back in New Zealand. Looking North we couldn’t see much. We could sense the presence of a 3000 m wall of mountains blocked by a gigantic mass of clouds that moved terribly fast. And there in the middle there was us, trying not to get blown away to one side or the other, but specially not to the Mordor side. 



That trail was quite fun and not really hard. It might be a bit long (24 km), specially if you get sidetracked like us and decide to climb a random snowy mountain. 

Enrique & Marina

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