Paso de los Nubes
February 23 Campamento Frías to Bariloche
The Paso de los Nubes (Pass of the Clouds) trail started out placidly enough, following the placid Río de los Alerces towards its glacial source. Later it became rougher, zigzagging up a low pass and then plunging down a long, steep descent.
The lower and more open areas of the trail often passed by fuchsia bushes. These are Fuchsia magallanica, which are called “chilco” in Spanish.
After plunging down from the pass, we camped in the valley near the source of the Río Frías. Pampas grass and fuchsias below by the river, glaciers above. From time to time we could hear huge blocks of ice peeling away from the glacier and crashing down the cliffs.
We had been told in Bariloche that there was a temporary refugio we could stay in at the Río Frías campground. This was it. The blue tarps covered a framework of bamboo trunks lashed together.
We spent several hours lazing beside Lago Frías, waiting for the boat to arrive and take us down the lake. This was no problem on a hot, sunny day.