Refugio (Refuge) of Hielo Azul
EL Bolson Patagonia Argentina
The Refugio belongs to the Club Andino Piltriquitrón. It was made in 1958 of wood cut from the surrounding forrest. An interesting fact to mention is that the original hut was completely made with the use of an axe, even the roof made of cypress tile.
The first hut keeper was Ramiro Uriarte. He was in charge of taking care of the place for eleven years, from 1989 till 2000. Meanwhile he improved the original refugio with stove equipment, a floor where people could sleep, a latrine and other stuff in order to improve the service.
In the year 2000 the refugio concession changed. Lucas Angelino and Lucía Saquero have been in charged. Since the beginning the construction was completely modified. Naturally fallen trees due to wind storms and avalanches were used for this. Nowadays the refugio has running water, hot showers and bathrooms from spring till the end of autumn. During winter the facilities are restricted due to climate hardness.
It is located at 1300 meters height over the sea level, in the tall forest limit. Over this height onwards you can find Lenga achaparrada and stony ground.
Stream Teno, at meters of Hielo Azul Refuge
Also there is 12 volt DC electricity generated by a mycro hydraulic turbine and a solar panel, non pollute energy source, set up by the refugio keepers. This energy is used to feed a VHF communication system, little illumination and functional music. The produced waste is recycled. The organic matter used for compost. Tins, glass, plastic are separated away so as to be carried back to town or burnt in the area.
The pernocte service (sleeping in the refugio) includes the kitchen use, fully equipped with dishes, hot shower and mattresses in the bedroom although is essential to take aislante.
Pizzas, "pizeada" in Hielo Azul
The bedroom is shared among all the travellers. It has thirty mattresses but as we are talking about a mountain refugio where no one is let out sometimes, you can find many people during summer, specifically during January when mattresses are shared and some have to sleep on the ground floor. The idea is that no one is let aside sleeping under the uncertain stars roof.
Acclimating the night of the refuge
Hot meals are served, homemade bread and beer offered. There is no market due to the difficulties towards carrying things which are taken by horse and bag.
In order to help taking care of the place, everyone must carry the inorganic waste (plastic, glass, tinc, etc.) they have produced during their visit.
inside of the "Refugio"
It is also possible to camp nearby the refugio. You have to pay for this. The camping area has a communitary closed place where the fire and tables can be used and you can protect yourself from rain. In this area you can also find fire places for which you have to fetch the wood. The camping doesn´t include hot showers nevertheless the bathrooms are shared among the refugio and camping.
The refugio keepers are there since spring till the end of autumn. Away from this period please inform yourself in the Club Andino Piltriquitron Office or the Town Council Tourism Office.