2 Day trek to volcan Puyehue
|2017/05/18-2017/05/19||Chile, Anticura||2 Day trek to volcanu Puyehue and 1990 eruption side||Amazing views on the crater and on the surrounding mountains.
I stayed (alone) in the refugio just above the tree line in the snow.
I first went to have a coffee with the couple from the motorhome. After that I went to get some info for a couple day trek to the volcano and a short hike to a waterfall and huge tree in which they say 13 people could stand (not 13 Dutch though). Originally I thought to prepare the first day for the trek and leave the second, but the prediction was good for the first and second day and after that (so the day that Im typing this) the weather would take a turn for the worse. So during the short hike (1.something km) I changed my mind, I quickly went back to the cabin, packed my backpack and went to the start of the trail, 2 km down the road, I even managed to get a ride from a truck to reduce lost time. I still was late to start, so i might only be able to reach the refuge and not the top on the first day.
For entrance of the trail I had to pay 10.000 Chilean pesos (~€14)at the restaurant, but the restaurant was closed so I just continued. The path first went through some open fields with great views on the surrounding volcano’s and with impressive huge trees, al covered with parasitic plants.
After the field the path went through the fog forest (similar to rain forest but farther from the equator), this forest had furs, bamboo, lots of fungi and impressive trees al covered with other plants and liana.
After going up for a while there was more and more snow, even further up the trees disappeared and the was only snow. Here I arrived at the refugio after about 2.5hours walking up. I left most of my stuff and continued to the peak of the volcano.
The path to the top was marked with twigs, very helpful, and stone piles, not so helpful. There was a lot of snow, sometimes to over my knees making the stone piles often invisible. Anyway it was clear where the peak was.
The view only got better and better, on the other side of the valley you could see the peaks of other volcano’s and in the direction of the sea a lake with an island and after that I was looking down on the clouds.
Arriving at the top of the volcano I was looking down in a huge crater, too big for a picture, but the view was amazing. North, south there were snow covered peaks of volcano’s, east, direction of Argentina snow covered mountains and lakes and to the west a large lake and on that side there were clouds drifting in, but the clouds were way lower than the volcano making it look like a sea of clouds.
I walked back from the top to the refugio while the sky slow changed of colour due to the approaching sunset making the clouds change to yellow and the mountains turned pink.
In the hut I tried to switch on the stove, but there was water in the stove and I didn’t manage. I cooked my meal, and did hang my food out of reach in case there were mice. This turned out to be a smart move, because I heard and saw a mouse running around during the night.
My sleeping mat is getting worse and worse, I had to blow it up over 10 times during the night, its time to look for a new one. in general I need to replace some of my equipment, the shoes I bought new in Ushuaia have had their best time as well.
in the morning at was very cold. I ate some chocolate while still in my sleeping bag. Then hanged everything to dry, sleeping bag, and rescue blanket. I put my solid frozen shoes outside in the sun so they would be soft before I put them on and made a coffee.
After the coffee I went for a hike to the eruption zone. Again the view was amazing, but there were a lot more clouds then the day before and when I arrived at the the eruption zone I even walked through the clouds for a bit.
I decided to o back to the hut. I packed my stuff and walked down and back to my hut in Anticura. In the evening I had a burger in the hostel/restaurant on the other side of the street and afterwards polenta back in my cabin.