P. Edronkin

Lake Los Rizos (I).

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Lago Los Rizos (Lake Breezes) is located at 1650 metres above the sea level, at 42 degrees south and in the backbone of the Patagonian Andes. It is surrounded by the Blanco Valley and three mountains remarkably higher than the lake itself.

Lake Los Rizos is one of the three water sources where the Blanco River originates. This is an important stream which contributes its water to the Puelo Lake system.

This lake is fairly inaccessible. It is located in the middle of high mountains but, due to its lower height, constitutes a kid of oasis in a region characterised by its sub-polar climate.

The surrounding mountains and areas have low average temperatures, even during the austral summer. There is no vegetation except for a few dwarf plants that grow among the rocks, and a high proportion of the terrain is covered by eternal snow.

However, Lake Los Rizos enjoys abundant vegetation, including 'dwarf lengas'. The Lenga (notofagus antarctica) is the typical tree of the Valdivian forests which cover lower areas of the mountains in Patagonia.

The local fauna of the lake is also interesting: rabbits, deer, ducks, frogs, pumas, eagles and condors abound and can be seen almost on a daily basis, and their numbers seem to be growing, according to our observations.

The lake itself resembles an oval or kidney. It is approximately 1,5 km long, and 300 - 400 metres wide. It receives water from four water streams: two come from the east, one from the west, and the other from the north. The westwards and eastwards streams form very nice waterfalls before reaching Lake Los Rizos.

Lake Los Rizos.
A view of Lake Los Rizos from Mount Hensley.

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