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Tronador is an extinct stratovolcano in the southern Andes at the border between Argentina and Chile near the city of Bariloche. It was named Tronador (Spanish for Thunderer) by locals in reference of the sound of falling seracs. With an altitude of 3,491 m Tronador stands out of nearby mountains in the Andean massif by more than 1000 m making the mountain a popular mountaineering trip. Placed inside two National Parks, Nahuel Huapi in Argentina and Vicente Perez Rosales in Chile, Tronador hosts a total of eight glaciers which are currently retreating due to warming of the upper troposphere.

Geography and geology

Tronador is located in the Wet Andes, a zone of high precipitations in form of both snow and rain. The humid temperate climate of the southern Andes allows several glaciers to develop due to high accumulation rates. Most of the precipitation is produced by western frontal systems from the Pacific. Located in the middle of the Andean massif at a latitude of 41 S Tronador is part of an alpine landscape of fjords, glacial lakes and u-shaped valleys. The forming of the landscape took place during the Quaternary glaciations, periods during which the whola area was covered by the Patagonian Ice Sheet. The volcano grew during the glacials and interglacials of the Pleistocene but became practically extinct in late Middle Pleistocene 300 ka ago, due to a shift in the active front of the Southern Volcanic Zone to which it belongs. Since then, glaciations and other erosive processes shaped the mountain freely without new output of lava or tephra. As in the case of nearby Lanin volcano Tronador is built up mostly of basalts and has since it decline in activity seen new volcanoes further west grow; in this case Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes.


Tronador is notable for its many glaciers that cover part of its flanks. The glaciers have been inventoried up to eight; these are Alerce, Ventisquero Negro, Casa Pangue, Castano Overa , Rio Blanco, Frias, Peulla and Manso. Over the last decades the glaciers on Tronador as well as the mayority of southern Andean glaciers have been retreating. Casa Pangue Glacieron on northwestern side of Tronador have also experienced a thinning between 1961 and 1998 with and increase rate in the period 1981-1998. The glacier terminus retreat of Casa Pangue also did also accelerate since the 1980s to a retreat rate of 52 m a1. The retreat and thinning is attributed to a decrease in precipitations and a warming of the upper troposphere over the last decades.

Alerce Glacier on the Argentinian side can be visited easily from Refugio Otto Meiling, which is sandwiched between it and Castano Overo Glacier. Castano Overa, asl on the Argentinian side, is small and relative accessible since it can be visited by several hours walk from Pampa Linda, making it a popular tourist attraction. Along with Alerce Glacier, it is one of the two glaciers flanking Refugio Otto Meiling. Guided trekking tours allow visitors to cross it or walk to Tronador's peak. Ventisquero Negro ("black snowdrift" in Spanish) is a rather unique glacier at the base of Tronador in Nahuel Huapi National Park. The glacier's unusual dark brown colour comes from dirt and sediment picked up in the glacier's accumulation zone, which itself is fed from Rio Manso Glacier, several hundred metres higher up the mountain. Brown icebergs which calve from the glacier float in a small lake until eventually melting.


According to the Aoneker map, these are the named peaks on Tronador: Anon or Interacional (3484m), Argentino (3187), Chileno (3262), Torre Ilse (2585). Ridges: Filo Sur (3054), Filo Blanco (3146), Filo La Vieja (2715), Filo Lamotte (2340).

Mountaineering and tourism

Tronador was first climbed by Hermann Claussen solo on 29 January 1934, after several attempts. A mountain hut, Refugio Otto Meiling, is the destination of popular day hikes, named after a mountaineer who made dozens of ascents and spent years guiding people around it. The hut is located about 1200m vertically above Pampa Linda, at the mountain's base.

Most summers the International or Anon peak (the highest of its three peaks), is climbable. However, an unusually hot summer increased rockfall to dangerous levels during January and February 2008. The Argentine side risks becoming no longer accessible due to increasingly warm weather in the region destabalising the glaciers.

One of the ice fields of Tronador is called Ventisquero Negro, due to the colur taken by the ice that carries mud and rocks within.

See also

Cerro Volcanico



File:Tronador.JPG|Seen from the ascent to Refugio Otto Meiling. Castano Overa Glacier is visible.

File:Tronador from Pampa Linda Stevage.jpg|Seen from Pampa Linda.

File:Cerro Tronador - cordillera de los Andes.JPG

File:Glacier Alerce Stevage.jpg|Alerce Glacier, one of Tronador's 7 glaciers.


Global Volcanism Program: Tronador

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tronador

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