P. Edronkin

Lake Los Rizos (II).

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The local microclimate is somewhat milder than the one that characterises this part of the world. Actually, the climate of the Patagonian Andes at this latitude (Munich, in Germany, is located at a similar latitude, but in the northern hemisphere) is colder than what it should be, according to the geographical location of the area, and it is not uncommon to have heavy snowstorms during the summer. Even Lake Los Rizos partially freezes during some summer nights.

The lake itself gives birth with other two sources (Lake Tres Islas and Mount Serrucho glacier) to the Blanco River, which feeds by means of an impressive waterfall located on the north side of Lake Los Rizos. Among all these sources, this lake is probably the most important due to the volume of water that it pours down.

One of the most remarkable characteristics of this lake is that its whole volume is contained on its north side by means of a natural dam. If this formation would not exist, the whole lake would pour suddenly into the Blanco Valley, located about 1000 m below, so the natural dam is responsible for the whole local ecosystem formed there.

This lake was first seen by members of The Gea Org in 1984, during an expedition to Mount Roca del Tiempo, located exactly to the north, across the Blanco Valley. In 1998, during an expedition to Mount Hensley, another nearby mountain, we found out that it was actually possible to climb down the 400 m rock walls that scare everyone who ventures past Mount Bolsón.

Lake Los Rizos.
The chapel near the lake, shortly after the completion of the initial stage.

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