This is a three to four hours walk. There is no need to take your backpack as you return to the refuge hut by the same route.
The glacier cannot be seen from the refuge (west side) though you can clearly see the track that goes to the lagoon that surrounds it.
Hielo Azul Base, as the glacier is named, is located 1700 meters above sea level.
The track is different to the one used to climb to the refuge. From the refuge onwards, the tall woods come to an end and you walk over stony ground so the way will be rougher.
The whole track is marked with red and yellow dots painted over stones and yellow and orange small flags for the last 500 meters.
Walk rating: Difficult to really difficult, depending on the hiker’s experience. We recommend you go to the refuge and ask for information from the refuge keepers before climbing.
“Hielo Azul” = Blue Ice in english
The snow when it falls is white, light and porous, as everybody has almost had opportunity to observe. A snowflake has the characteristic hexagonal crystal form that has become the well-known symbol of the cold.
Refuge Hielo Azul in winter 2005
When the fallen snow receives more and more snow layers raise, it is compacted, that is to say, it is having less air, with which it stops being spongy to become nevizca, hard snow.
Snow compacting itself in the sidewall of refuge. El Bolson Patagonia Argentina
If the process of snow accumulation continues, the part of down supports more and more weight, with which every time is more compact transforming itself little by little into ice, almost without air.
Glacier Hielo Azul
To this process the fact that helps in the surface there is snow that is based, transforming itself into water that when falling towards the interior of the glacier occupies the place of the air and it becomes to fuse.
It cracks in the Glacier of Hielo Azul
This first ice that still contains much air denominates white ice and is similar to which there is in our refrigerators.
When the compression and the fusion of the ice and recrystallization advance, the ice of the bottom of the glacier is transformed into blue ice, almost without air, for that reason it has east color and with plastic properties. One behaves like a fluid, in spite of being a solid.
In the cracks, in seracs or icebergs this color can be seen clearly.