HOW TO GET THERE
From downtown Bariloche:
Bus: In summer season there is a minibus transfer to Pampa Linda which takes roughly 2 hs. Reservation required.
By car: 85 km. total. Take route 40 towards El Bolsón, soon after Villa Mascardi at 36 km., there is a right turn off onto a gravel road. Another couple of hundred meters and you are at the Park Rangers Office “Mascardi”, where is the paid entrance fee to the National Park. From here there are 50 km. to Pampa Linda.
The road between Los Rápidos and Pampa Linda has timetables of restricted one direction:
- One way up: from 10 to 14 hs. from Los Rápidos.
- One way down: from 16 to 18 hs. from Pampa Linda.
- Two way road: from 19:30 to 9 hs.
- From 14 to 19:30 hs you cannot head towards Pampa Linda.
- Plan according to the time of the year so as to have plenty of daylight hours.
- Bear in mind that the rain in this area can really make the hiking a lot harder due to all the mud and very slippery.
The trail starts next to the Park Rangers Office in Pampa Linda. The first 3 km. are almost flat, you’ll arrive at the Castaño Overa bridge. The trail from here is partly on a 4×4 road with lots of well thought shortcuts for the next 6 km. and gaining 500 mts. The last part is pretty steep with switchbacks to make it to the shoulder called the “La Almohadilla”.
From here the trail continues along the shoulder with less incline towards the Tronador peak, roughly 2 km. ahead at the edge of treeline you pass the highest point the horses go when taking people or gear. From here on it’s a rocky trail though very well marked, the last 2 km. are very exposed to wind.
Warning: Snow has lasted until the end of December these last years and the last part of the trail changes course going on top of the ridge, the hut keepers mark this detour to avoid high risk exposure to slipping on hard snow or ice. Snowshoes/ crampons are highly recommended during October – November.
The Otto Meiling Hut is set on the shoulder of the Tronador peak, between the Castaño Overa glacier and the Alerce glacier almost 2000 mts. above sea level.
The way down to Pampa Linda is via the same trail or you can connect to Agostino Rocca Hut doing the Alerce Glacier crossing or heading down part of the way to the junction to the trail heading to the Agostino Rocca Hut via the valley, this trail is part of the “Paso de las Nubes” (“Clouds pass”) traverse.